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The original item was published from 5/12/2020 1:05:00 PM to 5/12/2020 2:13:05 PM.

News Flash

Town News

Posted on: April 28, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Recap: Live Sessions with Mayor Emily Styron and Town Council President Josh Garrett

Interactive Live Session 1

Mayor Emily Styron and Town Council President Josh Garrett have taken to YouTube for bi-weekly interactive live sessions. These sessions provide timely updates to residents and businesses and offer an opportunity for the community to ask questions.

Here is a recap of some of the questions asked during the live session on May 12.

Is there a timeline for the demolition of the PNC lot? Has any thought/discussion been had for what to do with the property?

The plan is to remove the building and prepare the lot for a short-term approach for parking. The longer-term project is to look at the entryway into Town and see what we can do with that space for traffic flow or something that would support commercial development. We also want to think through the Zionsville Farmers Market. But the first immediate piece is to remove it.

What value added does Zionsville offer the Rural Community of Southern Perry Township? When will Zionsville start investing our tax dollars into this community in a positive way resulting in maintaining the rural setting and lifestyle?

Perry Township joined with Zionsville as part of the reorganization process about five years ago. There are no plans to turn Perry Township into a big commercial area but also no plans to leave it entirely rural. It will be a mixture of commercial and rural like Zionsville is today. Zionsville’s Comprehensive Plan will guide us. 

To some degree, diversity of growth and being more vibrant is what a community is about and what helps deliver services to residents. Mayor Styron has seen changes in land use patterns, especially in the 65 Corridor and understands that those in rural environments have a desire to see that environment stay. Planning documents, for years, have looked at the Perry Township area as an opportunity to grow and develop in a variety of ways and that can, unfortunately, create tension. We are looking at balancing the economic opportunities that Perry Township provides that will add value to the entire Town.

Can we see about making a plan for golf carts to get from Cedar Bend to downtown? As of now, we cannot get there with the current road restrictions.

Last year we passed a golf cart ordinance that allows golf carts on some Town streets. This is a living and breathing ordinance. We plan to relook at it and possibly expanding the routes offered.

There are a number of streets in Zionsville that have no sidewalks. One example is Greenfield Road between the Carmel border to the east and Michigan Road to the west and Willow Road to the west. Is there any overall plan in the works to install sidewalks/pathways along streets in Zionsville where sidewalks don’t currently exist?

There is a pathway plan and pathway committee. There are a number of places where there are gaps in the pathways/sidewalks and we strive to get those projects started when there is private investment that can go along with the construction. A certain amount of money each year is spent from the Town’s budget on pathways/sidewalks but often projects start because there is a development in the area which will help offset the Town’s costs.

Ford Road is being worked on for the third time in the 12 months. Appears the construction company did it incorrectly the first two times. Did Zionsville still incur the cost of that work?

In the previous live session, Lance Lantz, Superintendent of the Zionsville Street & Stormwater Department, mentioned three phases of roadwork: the first part of the work is sidewalk/curb repairs, the second phase is base repairs and the third phase is milling. The road often looks worse before it gets better. Work done last fall may have left the road jagged and bumpy but that was a phase in the overall project. There were no additional costs to the town and the sequencing was as planned.

Here is a recap of some of the questions asked during the live session on April 28.

Can you update us on why so many roads are torn up or patched?

Spring is here and you will start seeing more cones around town. The Town sees two kinds of road projects – a stand-alone road project and lightly engineered projects.

Zionsville Road is a stand-alone road project. There is one contractor working on one project.

The annual road resurfacing/road rehab projects are examples of lightly engineered projects. Every year, the Town budgets approximately $1.5 million for the road rehab program. For example, Ford Road was part of the 2019 annual rehab program but as the Town grows, and projects grow, it becomes difficult to fit everything in one calendar year. The contractor working on this project is also working on 11 other projects in town. On a typical scenario, we have anywhere from 12 – 30 roads under one contract.

The first thing you see in a road rehabilitation project is work on the curbs and sidewalks (along Ford Road, you will see several new concrete curb ramps to meet federal, state and local standards). After the concrete crew finishes the ancillary work, the patching crew will repair the underlying structural issues underneath the road (sunken spots, areas holding water, etc.). This is what results in “rough patches.” In the next phase, the milling crew comes in. This crew grinds up the asphalt which results in a temporarily rough road. This is the last phase before paving begins.

How will the Coronavirus shut down affect the completion of the new Sycamore Street Bridge and the completion of Zionsville Road projects?

With the best available information today, COVID-19 has not had an effect on the timing of our projects. The Sycamore Street Bridge Project is a Boone County Highway Department project and so far, there have been no COVID-19 delays. As of right now, the completion of Zionsville Road is still on schedule to be completed by end of May.

How will Zionsville help small businesses recover from COVID-19?

There are small business resources on the Town website:

When a business is okay to open, will there be anyone following up to see if we are all following the recommended guidelines? What happens to individuals who do not follow the mandate? Will Zionsville go on the opening recommendations of the governor or not? From my understanding, local governments cannot go less time but can extend it more.

Zionsville intends to follow the lead of the State of Indiana as to guidance and guidelines. In terms of enforcement, there will be guidelines from the state for various businesses and industries and the Town will adhere to those. Boone County has an emergency command structure, in collaboration with the Boone County Health Department, and will have codes and regulations.

We are asking everyone to use common sense, support our local businesses and follow guidelines that keep you safe.

Zionsville needs a dog park or dog run. There are hundreds of dogs in Zionsville and nowhere for them to run. 

We agree! This is something the Town is exploring. 

When will it be possible for the Zionsville Golf Course to open?

In the interest of the safety of the community and Town employees, and in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus, all Town facilities are closed. This includes Zionsville Golf Course. There are many factors to consider in opening a golf course, including disinfecting, use of carts, etc. We are taking the cautious approach and we continue to follow the County and Governor’s guidelines and CDC guidelines regarding social distancing. Once there is a date, we will share this information on the Town’s website and social media.

I really enjoy the Big-4 Rail Trail. What is the current status for connecting it to Whitestown?

At the north end, the Big-4 Rail Trail ends at Zionsville’s Heritage Trail Park. Negotiations for the last half mile of land needed to reach Whitestown were completed December 2019. Final land acquisition, engineering and construction plans will start this year and carry into 2021. To complete the south extension, there were five parcels needed. Considerable effort has been conducted on the last parcel, but acquisition is still in progress. Engineering and construction/bid documentation will start this year.

What plans are in place to monitor traffic and control speeds this summer with all of the construction projects and keep the kids, families and residents safe?

Pedestrian and bicycle safety is vitally important. Officers are aware of most locations where traffic tends to exceed the speed limit or where there are projects or detours and patrols are directed to these areas. If there are neighborhoods or specific roadways in need of more attention, please let Zionsville Police Department (ZPD) know. ZPD wants to know where speeding is occurring, especially in areas where there is extra pedestrian or bicycle traffic or school zones.

One of Chief Spears’ goals is to increase the number of officers on the road and remind drivers of the speed limit.

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