VRA President’s letter:
For the last several months, residents have been inundated with all sorts of topics that affect the Village: zoning, the Gateway, conservation designation, updated developments. It’s been a very busy 2021 after our focus was elsewhere in 2020. VRA volunteers have put in a lot of work attending meetings and learning processes so that they can share some of this knowledge with others. Their hard work is very appreciated.
Now it’s time for the fun stuff!
Christmas in the Village returns with some exciting events that are listed in the article below. The VRA is celebrating in its own way with our substitute for a progressive dinner. Instead of progressing or having dinner, we’re hosting December Desserts at one special location. Residents who were up to date with dues received invitations. When we host a spring event (expected to include progressing at the very least) we’ll have it open to a greater number of people.
Our annual Holiday Decorating Contest returns. Due to a limited time to review entries, we’re only allowing participants in the Village, but if you’d like a home or business to be included check out the website for rules and entry information.
It feels like we’re closing 2021 on a much more positive note than a year ago. Hopefully those happy vibes carry into 2022. In January we’ll be ready to share our plans for meetings and other events to bring our neighborhood together.
The past year remained a busy one for the Zionsville Town Council. In addition to our normal duties which include setting fees, appointing boards and commissions, and approving a salary ordinance, we have continued to work on other initiatives to better enable Zionsville to attract economic development investment and continue to make Zionsville the preeminent location to eat, shop and live.
The most important task of the Council in any year is to adopt an annual budget. In 2020, the Council turned a $6 million proposed budget deficit into a balanced budget which enabled our town to weather tough challenges through the pandemic while other communities across the state faced difficult challenges from an economic slowdown. The Council’s fiscal discipline continued in 2021 as we passed another balanced budget while continuing to invest in our community.
Infrastructure remains a priority for the Council, and we continue to support the Department of Public Works and their many efforts to build and maintain our streets and trails. In 2021, this included financially supporting the construction of a roundabout at 800 East & Oak Street as well as the expansion of a downtown parking lot at the site of the former PNC building. Pedestrian traffic was also assisted with the acceptance of Holliday Road from the County for a future trail, as well as the paving of golf cart paths at the Zionsville Municipal Golf Course. Lastly, we supported a process for approving new crosswalks which included funding the first recommendation for a new crosswalk at CR 975 East at Oak Ridge Drive.
While supporting current needs is important, we also continue to spend time on long-term projects. This past year our town participated in a wastewater capacity study to ensure our future needs are met as Zionsville continues to grow. The Council was also an active participant in the Gateway Study which evaluated a plan for the entrance to our downtown. We are also excited to learn more about the Carpenter Nature Preserve (formerly Wolf Run Golf Course) and approved master planning for that future park. We approved a new bond for the Hussey-Mayfield Library system that will create a second branch to support the western sections of Zionsville. That bond allows us to support growth without raising taxes which will always be a priority for this Council.
It’s also important to look back and appreciate all the things that make Zionsville special. Councilor Joe Culp has been working with residents to determine the need to create a historic preservation committee and possibly a historic preservation district in our Village. More to come on this in 2022.
Finally, economic development is the engine that will support our future needs for services and expansion. This past year saw us approve commercial projects for Appaloosa Crossing retail center, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing in the Creekside Corporate Park and the HUB Phase 2 which adds to our growing inventory of distribution space along Interstate 65.
We have much to be thankful for and proud of as a town after a challenging 2021 following the pandemic. We look forward to 2022 and the many opportunities we will have to continue moving Zionsville forward for our citizens and our future.
Town Council President