- Monday, February 6 at 7 pm – Town Council Meeting, Town Hall
- Tuesday, February 14 at 6:30 pm – Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting, Town Hall
- Tuesday, February 14 – Valentine’s Day
- Wednesday, February 22 at 7 pm – Village Residents’ Association Meeting, Town Hall
I hope everyone is having a nice winter and enjoying some of the surprisingly warm days we had in January.
At the latest Planning Commission Meeting, the petitioners for the “200 West” development requested a continuance. The continuance was granted for the March 20th Planning Commission meeting. The representatives from the development have agreed to meet with the VRA to provide information on the updated project and answer questions. This meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 22 at 7 pm at the SullivanMunce. The VRA has requested that the developer, Randy Green, attend the meeting. I hope you are able to attend to learn more about this development.
Looking to get more involved? The VRA is in search of someone to take over the Village Voice editor role. For the past year, Terri Moyer has served as our editor. She has done a fabulous job putting together the Village Voice for us, but with her new grandson and travel plans, she is looking for a replacement. Articles are submitted by others via e-mail, and the editor “assembles” the copy into an online issue. The new editor would be free to re-make the newsletter via design and/or content if so inclined. Terri is available to walk the new editor through the process to ensure a smooth transition. If you’re interested, please contact Terri at email@example.com. She is happy to answer any questions!
Lastly, the VRA will be hosting a new social event! The event will be a regional wine tasting and dinner at Serenity on Main Street. I am especially excited about this event because for one it involves wine, and, two, it supports a local business! The wine tasting and dinner will take place on the evening of May 20. It will consist of six courses with six wine tastings. We will need of minimum of 20 to people to sign up and maximum capacity is 48. The first 48 people to sign up will be able to attend this inaugural event. The cost is $40 per person, and that is all inclusive (tip, tax, etc.). You can reserve your spot now by e-mailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org or sign up at the next meeting.
Looking forward to seeing you at the next meeting and around town!
I hope everyone is getting through our very up and down winter. One-day last week I came into work in short sleeves and left in a winter jacket!
Speaking of winter, I was talking with Lance Lantz a few weeks ago, and he mentioned a recent warm-up meant he could avoid applying a second coating of salt on neighborhood roads. I was curious about how much salt we saved in doing that and was shocked to hear it was 50 tons!
Besides the cost of purchasing the salt, I was more concerned about the environmental impact of where this salt goes. On my street (and most streets) it gets washed right down the sewer drain, into a creek, and eventually into Eagle Creek that feeds into the reservoir. Salt is not healthy for the environment, and that run-off can build up and impact our ecosystem.
Unfortunately, there aren’t many alternatives to salt. I learned in some communities out west where salt is banned (due to water rights issues), they use ash – which is both dirty and also causes air pollution. Other communities use sand, but that run-off is equally impactful.
The real way to reduce salt usage is to lower expectations. While it’s important to have major thoroughfares clear of snow and ice, it also seems to be expected that each side street and cul-de-sac also has bare pavement as opposed to just being plowed. I’m curious to know what Village residents think about this tradeoff… Do you prefer bare side roads in the Village or less salt usage?
On an unrelated note, I was humbled to be elected Vice President of the Town Council during our first meeting of the year. In addition, we elected Elizabeth Hopper to be Town Council President. Both of us represent different areas of the Village and hope to continue representing your priorities. Elizabeth takes over from the very capable hands of Susana Suarez, who is remaining on the Council but has also taken on the role of Director, Strategic Communications for our new Governor.
Zionsville Mayor Tim Haak has announced eight appointees to Town of Zionsville Boards and Commissions. Three individuals are new appointees and five individuals are reappointments. These individuals give their time and expertise for the benefit of the community.
New appointees to their respective Board or Commission:
· Mary Grabianowski to the Plan Commission
Mary Grabianowski is a lifelong Zionsville resident. She is an IU graduate with a degree in Political Science. Mary is a retired Zionsville High School social studies teacher and is currently active in the Zionsville community.
· Mike Rinebold to the Plan Commission
Mike Rinebold is the president and chief executive officer of LeadingAge Indiana. Since 2005, Rinebold has served as Zionsville Little League president. He is also a member of Zionsville Lions Club and the Precinct Committeeman for Union TWP 1.
· Sanjay Patel to the Redevelopment Commission
Sanjay Patel has lived in Zionsville since 2003. He has a civil engineering degree from Purdue University and is owner of VS Engineering in Indianapolis. Locally, he has served as President of the Board of Directors of the Zionsville Department of Stormwater Management and as a Citizen Working Group Member for the 2010 Zionsville Transportation Plan.
Reappointments to their respective Board or Commission:
· Jeff Edmondson to the Parks Board
Jeff Edmondson is retired from the Senior Executive Service at the U. S. Department of Energy after 33 years of service. He moved to Zionsville and became involved in hiking activities around the state.
· Gregory Morical to the Board of Zoning Appeals
Greg Morical is the Vice President General Counsel of Calumet Specialty Products Partners, L.P. (NASDAQ: CLMT). Greg, his wife and three children have lived in Zionsville since 2002.
· Bradley Johnson to the Redevelopment Commission
Bradley Johnson, AICP, is the president of Ground Rules Inc. He graduated from Ball State University and currently lives in Zionsville. Bradley also serves on the Zionsville Architectural Review Committee.
· Luke Phenicie to the Redevelopment Commission
Luke is the Lead Transaction Partner at HKW, a private equity investment firm based in Indianapolis. He has served on the Zionsville Redevelopment Commission since 2013 and lives in Zionsville with his wife Jenni and three boys: Max, Hank and Judd.
· Robert Goodman to the Non-Discriminatory Practices Review Committee
Bob Goodman has been in the jewelry business for 43 years. Bob and his wife Rose-Marie own Robert Goodman Jewelers in Zionsville. Bob has served as an officer with the Zionsville Merchants Association and currently serves on the Zionsville Chamber of Commerce Board.
Zionsville Park Department crews found a fallen oak tree in Starkey Park early on the morning of January 19 that permanently damaged parts of one of the trails. Park users will not be able to access Trail SP-1 from the Starkey Park parking lot to the trails intersection at Trail SP-2 until at least the end of spring.
The oak tree, which was six feet in diameter at its base and four feet in diameter at chest height, fell onto the pedestrian boardwalk on SP-1. The boardwalk, originally constructed by an Eagle Scout project, is permanently damaged. Up to 10 feet of the base of the stairs leading to the boardwalk is also destroyed.
The Park Department immediately began the process of cutting up and removing the tree and salvaging as much material as possible from the boardwalk. A fence will be erected to prevent walkers and runners from using the trail segment until it can be reopened.
According to Matt Dickey, Superintendent of Parks and Recreation, the fallen tree is a result of improper trail use by pedestrians and runners. When people walk off designated trails and to the sides, tree roots are compacted over time and can eventually die. Runners who run to the side of the stairs in Starkey Park rather than using the treads wear down the soil. This creates a water trough, which, in this instance, delivered water to the base of the oak tree and killed the tree’s roots.
While the Park Department has tried adding more soil to the trough, they were unable to keep up with the trail damage. Eventually the roots of the oak tree became so wet and damaged that the tree toppled.
“Walking off the side of the designated trail surface or around the stair treads is improper use of the trail. We really need to get people to use the trails responsibly,” Dickey said.
Initial estimates by the Park Department show the damage to the boardwalk and the stairs will cost tens of thousands of dollars in staff time and repair/replacement costs. As a long term remedy, the Department will look into replacing the damaged wood stairway with a more permanent industrial metal staircase.
This fall the Zionsville Chamber of Commerce will be closer to the Town of Zionsville — quite literally. When the new Town Hall opens this year, the Zionsville Chamber will move their offices, currently located on Elm Street, into the second floor of the building.
The future 1,125-square-foot Chamber space will include a welcome area, work stations and dedicated offices for Executive Director Tracy Phillips, Director of Member Services Diana Schultz and one other employee. The space will also include a conference room and a work room.
By relocating into Town Hall, the Chamber will be able to utilize various conference rooms within the building as well as host events in the Community Room. The Chamber’s move will also allow Chamber and Town employees to more efficiently work together in their shared goals of establishing Zionsville as a thriving and economic leader in the state.
“We are looking forward to having the Chamber in the same building,” Zionsville Mayor Tim Haak said. “This is a natural fit for the Town as we work with the Chamber to continue to support the businesses in Zionsville and look to attract new businesses and partnerships within our community.”
The new Town Hall, currently under construction behind the current Town Hall on Oak Street, is a two-story 42,600- square-foot facility that will replace the 45-year-old former church Zionsville has used as Town Hall.
Chamber Board of Directors President Kris Patel is looking forward to the move this fall.
“Obviously this is a new chapter in the history of the Chamber,” Patel said. “I believe that working closely with the Town of Zionsville will be a benefit to our community and economic growth in the long run. Being able to walk down the hall to speak with the leaders of the Town will also be a major benefit for our members.”