Zionsville Srategic Plan Survey
The town has enlisted a planning company to do a survey to determine where the Town Council should go in the coming years. They are anxiously awaiting your input. Please go to the below link to fill out the survey. It is an anonymous survey, so please tell them your true thoughts and ideas about the town’s direction. You can click on: http://zionsville.questionpro.com/ to take this survey.

April 10th (Tuesday); ZVRA April meeting
7:30pm; SullivanMunce; The next meeting of the ZVRA will include discussions on quite a few local impact issues, such as: A Report from the Re-Developement Commission, Backyard Chicken Raising,Issues with the Eagle Creek Watershed and how Rain Barrels can help, Walking School Bus, Updates on First Street and Citgo Property, the EDC Strategic Plan and the School Referendum.

Lots of Great information that you won’t want to miss. Plan to be there! You do not have to be a VRA member to attend!

April 14th (Saturday); VRA Annual Pull for the Parks
9am to 12pm; Creekside Park; We will be there throughout the morning pulling the invasive Garlic Mustard weeds and doing some general spring-cleaning of one the Village’s great parks. Meet us at 9AM at the Creekside Park parking lot, located on State Road 334 across from the entrance to Lion’s Park parking lot. Coffee and donuts will be provided!

April 16th and 17th(Monday and Tuesday): Village Brush and Limb Pickup
 N/S streets on the 16th, E/W streets on the 17th, must be out by 7:30am to guarantee pickup. Our Happenings Calendar has more details.

Letter From The President

Hello Neighbors-

With summer seemingly in full swing as of the middle of March, I am excited to see all the beautiful spring blooms filling our Village with vibrance and color! I can’t wait to start riding my bike around the village again soon.

Our April Meeting is coming up on the 10th, and we have a lot of things to go through, a lot of which is really local stuff—Village Local. It will be exciting to see how one of our members doesn’t need to get eggs from Marsh any more! We will also be talking about some other more serious things such as the EDC Strategic Plan and what is going on with the Skating Arena. Plus, your 2012 Dues are Due!!

We have not had any response from Brad Richey of Monument Construction regarding development along the creek from the Citgo corner all the way to 4th St. I sent him an email early in March asking to share his plans with us at the April 10th meeting, but he has not responded. We know that there are plans out there because Mr Richey has shown them to a number of other Zionsville citizens and real estate professionals. Sadly, he hasn’t shown them to anyone from the VRA, but according to one person who has seen them, the several hundred apartments look “beautiful”.

So keep your eyes peeled when you walk at Creekside and Elm Street Green this spring. Jenn and I spied a Bald Eagle cruising along the creek last week. It was truly awesome to see.

You may have noticed that the Village Voice now has reports from VRA Legislative Affairs Council, which is creating reports on all the many Zionsville committee and board meetings. These reports are full of really great information on what goes on in your town government. If you would like to be part of this please let me know.

See you at the SullivanMunce on April 10th! Bring your dues!!

Chris Bucher

 VRA Garden Club News

 By Delma Mindel

There’s no denying it. With the temperature in the high 60’s, low 70’s, sun shining, trees budding, we’re hankering to get out in the garden, trowel, rake, shovel in hand, planting on our mind. It feels like gardening weather, smells like gardening weather so why isn’t it really gardening weather? Because, dear gardeners, Indiana in March/April can have temperatures in the low thirties, ice, snow, or in other words, winter having its final laugh. Or is that gasp. So here’s some suggestions about what can happen in the garden right now, recognizing that I have little, nay, no control at all over your gardening proclivities.

1. Rake up the leaves, sticks, twigs left over from last fall, leaving some piled on top of the roots of roses and other tender perennials at least until May 10th.

2. Cut back dead stems and leaves. Notice if green is showing in the cambium layer indicating the plant is alive. Compost the dead leaves from perennials, but not weeds.

3. Leave hydrangeas alone for now. When it starts pushing out green leaves from the brown buds, cut back the dry stems to the first green bud. Please don’t do this if you have mop head hydrangeas which blooms on last year’s wood. Go towww.hydrangeashydrangeas.com for complete information on fertilizing, pruning, planting, etc.

4. Plant cool weather plants such as pansies, violas, leaf lettuce, peas, spinach. Fogettabatit when it comes to tomatoes unless you’re going to protect the plants from icy night-time temperatures with those water-filled plant protectors.

5. Late April, early May is a good time to divide hostas that have been taking over, well before the leaves start to open.

6. Need to get rid of grass? Cover the area to be planted with layers of newspapers, at least 5-6 pages and cover that with 3 inches of mulch.Hold down corners with rocks or bricks. The grass will decompose leaving nice, rich dirt to plant in. (This will
take a couple of months)

7. If you don’t have time or the space for a compost pile, take a page from Kathleen at Altum’s and run your leafy garbage greens through the blender, with water, and then pour on your garden. Instant compost. No meat products are to be included or it will smell to high heaven (and doggies, raccoons, possums will love it).

8. Add compost and manure to your garden, which may be all the fertilizer your garden needs.

9. Birds and Blooms April/May issue, “New Plants for 2012”, features some very exciting new plants for this spring. (www.birdsandblooms.com) My personal favorites are Wasabi coleus, Primal Scream daylily, Wheee! Hosta, and Burgundy Bunny miniature fountain grass.

Happy gardening!

Village Voice Arts

by Sarah Zack

Click to zoom.

VRA Legislative Affairs Council

Meeting: Zionsville Town Council
Date: Monday, March 5th 2012

Agenda Highlights:

  • Consideration of additional appropriation to fund a Strategic Plan for Town Council.
  • The council unanimously agreed to appropriate $29,000 to pay StrategyWorks to put together a “Road Map”( per Susana Suarez) to assist the town council with “planning strategy and prioritization.” Current goals are to set up meetings and interview stakeholders to identify “painpoints.” No indication was given as to who these stakeholders would be or how this strategic plan differs from the town’s comprehensive plan.
  • Would like to have this plan done by mid-summer.
  • Town council members Steve Mundy and Susana Suarez will be in charge of this committee.

Meeting: Zionsville Parks Board
Date: Wednesday, March 14th 2012

Agenda Highlights:

  • Resident Garden Plots
  • Plots will not be available at Elm Street Green in 2012
  • Plots are available at the intersection of CR 400 S and CR 875 E
  • Garlic Mustard pulls begin in April.
  • An announcement will be made soon regarding Zionsville’s new park. The department will send out a call for names…more details soon!
  • Zion Nature Center will be assisting with the addition of a rain garden to the Town hall.

Village People- Meet Your Neighbor: The Zack Family

by Beth Bugbee

Do you have family in Zionsville?
Marc Sarah and their two children, John (6) and Emily (3).

How long have you lived in Zionsville?
Almost two years. They moved here in June, 2010.

Where are you from originally?
Marc and Sarah grew up in Indianapolis, near Castleton. Sarah graduated from Lawrence Central and Marc graduated from Park Tudor. They left Indiana during college and after graduation, lived in Chicago and St. Louis before coming to Zionsville.

What do you do professionally?
Marc is a research scientist at Dow AgroSciences and Sarah is an art teacher at Zionsville Middle School.

Why did you come to Zionsville and what do you like best about it?
They came to the area because of Marc’s job. They selected Zionsville because of the small town feel. They enjoy living in a walking community, close to parks and shops. They also like the Farmers’ Market and visiting with neighbors and merchants. They particularly like the special events in the Village, such as Fall Festival, Christmas in the Village, and the 4th of July.

What are your interests?
Marc and the kids play hockey during the winter. During the summer, they enjoy camping as a family and spending time outside. Marc brews his own beer. Sarah also has her own business, ‘Cute as a Button Blossom,’ which keeps her very busy. For the month of April, 10% of every Cute as a Button Blossom purchase from Ballerinas and Bruisers will be donated to the Just Win Ruby Fund.

What are your favorite Village shops and restaurants?
Ballerinas and Bruisers is one of Sarah’s favorites. You can also find her girl’s hair accessories for sale there. They try to shop and eat locally whenever possible. Cobblestone, Patrick’s, and Noah Grants are some of their favorite restaurants.

Who would like to sit down and have a conversation with?
Sarah would like to spend some time with Leonardo DaVinci. Marc wanted some time to think about this, but his first thought was to talk with his children when they were elderly. Oh, if we only could travel time!

What are your plans for the future?
Hopefully, stay in Zionsville.

What advice do you have for other Villagers?
Their best advice is to get out and enjoy what the Village has to offer and get involved. They have enjoyed meeting other Villagers through the VRA, Gardening Club, PTO, etc.

What are three words that would describe your perfect day?
Family, 70 degrees, Picnic.

TIF District- What’s That?

by Beth Bugbee

Have you attended any of the Redevelopment Commission meetings and heard the discussions about our TIF district? I have and, although I am familiar with the term, I really couldn’t tell you what a TIF district is. I thought there might be others who also didn’t know, so a little research might be beneficial to us all. Off to Google!

Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District reallocates funds from property taxes to encourage investment within the district. Before development of the area, the taxes are frozen at the existing rate and continue to be allocated to the existing taxing bodies (schools, parks, etc.). Any increased tax revenues collected due to an increase in property value then go into the TIF fund for redevelopment costs within the TIF district.

Let’s describe a fictional TIF district. A community selects an area for future redevelopment and it is designated as a TIF district. Before any development, the property value for the area is $800,000 and the annual property tax revenues are $50,000. That revenue has been distributed to the taxing bodies– schools, parks, roads, etc. -and will continue annually for the life of the TIF district. The community starts expanding the infrastructure to entice new development and after a period of time, the property value increases to $1,000,000 due to new development. The property tax revenues also increase to $62,000 which is an increase of $12,000. That increase in revenue is not distributed to the customary taxing bodies but to the TIF fund for the community to reinvest further in the TIF district. As the community invests more dollars in the area, more private investors are attracted to develop in the area and a snowball effect occurs.

Like all things, a TIF district does end. At that time, the tax revenue from the improved district is distributed to the taxing bodies annually.

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