Carmel proposes big plans for 2016, including tax increases

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CARMEL, Ind. (Dec. 28, 2015) – The mayor of Carmel plans to bring more than a dozen ordinances and a handful of resolutions to the city council next week, authorizing several bonds totaling $217 million.

The money would go towards improving roads, new roundabouts and improving the storm water system. The proposal would also include a property tax hike. A owner of a $200,000 home would see an increase of $22 a year in taxes, however homes valued at more than $345,000 would see no increase because they have reached the constitutional cap of 1 percent of gross assessed value.

"It is so important to stay up with infrastructure," Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard, (R-Carmel) said. "That’s what so many cities across the United States have not done. They delayed these things and then it costs much more to fix and you have problems and you don’t get as much investment in your community."

However, critics of Brainard's plan say borrowing large amounts of money is what put the city into financial trouble earlier this year and the city should be more financially conservative.

“The fact that all the city’s revenue was tied up in debt service or operations left us short at the end of the year to pay debt services," Outgoing Carmel City Council Member Rick Sharp, (R-Carmel) said.

Sharp says it's a difference of philosophy.

Take for instance the storm water system. The city added a $4.95/month fee to residents this year to pay for maintenance and future improvements of the system.

Brainard is proposing to take out $40 million in bonds in 2016 and then use the money to improve dozens of sewers in the next three years.

"We would rather, instead of building these projects over the next 20 or 25 years, build them over the next three and get ahead of problems that could occur," Brainard said.

On the other hand, Sharp said he would rather save up the money from the fees and then pay for projects in an as needed basis.

“We have problems that need to addressed, but I’m not thinking that it is wise to tie up all that revenue for storm water projects for the next 20 years or so," Sharp said. "What if some new problem develops that’s serious and we don’t’ see it today because it doesn’t show up for five years. You’re going to be scrambling to find funding once again. I just don’t think that that’s sound fiscal management."

Brainard argues spending the money earlier will save money in the long run and avoid future problems. He also says now is the time to borrow money since interest rates are low.

Brainard will bring the proposals to the newly elected city council on Jan. 4.

Below is a list of projects Mayor Brainard hopes to accomplish in 2016:


  • 96th and Delegates Row Roundabout
  • 96th and Gray Road Roundabout
  • 96th and Hazel Dell Parkway Roundabout
  • 136th and Carey Road Roundabout
  • Carey Road and Hawthorne Drive Roundabout
  • Carmel Drive and City Center Roundabout
  • Guilford Road and Carmel Drive Roundabout
  • Guilford Road and City Center Roundabout
  • Pennsylvania Street and City Center Roundabout
  • 116th and Range Line Road Roundabout
  • Range Line Road and Executive Drive Roundabout
  • 106th and Towne Road Roundabout
  • 96th and Priority Way Roundabout
  • 116th and Gray Roundabout
  • 116th and Hazel Dell Parkway Roundabout
  • Carmel Drive and Old Meridian Roundabout
  • Carmel Drive and Range Line Road Roundabout
  • 96th and Keystone Parkway adjacent roadway construction
  • 96th and Keystone Parkway interchange
  • 96th and Randall Drive Roundabout
  • 111th and Range Line Road Roundabout
  • 116th and College Avenue Roundabout
  • 116th and AAA Way Roundabout
  • AAA Way and Carmel Drive Roundabout
  • 126th and Gray Roundabout
  • 136th and Gray Roundabout
  • 116th and Guilford Avenue Roundabout
  • Gray Road and Main Street Roundabout
  • Pennsylvania Street and Carmel Drive Roundabout
  • Range Line Road and 4th Street Roundabout
  • Range Line Road and City Center Drive Roundabout
  • 116th and Towne Roundabout

Street and road projects

  • Guilford Road reconstruction from City Center to Main Street
  • 126th Street reconstruction from Hazel Dell to River Road
  • 126th Street reconstruction from Range Line to Keystone
  • Monon Boulevard construction from 2nd to Main Street
  • 126th Street Path from Keystone to Hazel Dell
  • Hazel Dell Parkway widening from Cherry Tree to 146th Street
  • Keystone Way Construction to connect to AAA Way
  • Monon Trail reconstruction from City Center to Main Street
  • Various multi-use Path construction
  • Range Line Road reconstruction from 136th Street to U.S. 31
  • Range Line Road extension to Lowes Way connector
  • Range Line Road streetscape with on-street parking
  • Spring Mill Road improvements from 111th to Main Street
  • Underground relocation of existing Duke Energy transmission lines from Carmel Drive to 2nd Street SW
  • Landscaping and streetscape improvements to city roundabouts
  • Land acquisition for redevelopment
  • Resurfacing and multi-use path construction in SW Clay
  • Land acquisition in Central Business District
  • Land acquisition for future City Center hotel
  • Various public infrastructure projects in Central Business District

Storm water infrastructure projects

  • Foster Estates
  • Monon Swale
  • Old Town
  • Range Line Road
  • Various storm sewers
  • Various small structure and culvert projects
  • Various small structure placements

Subdivision drainage improvements

  • Carmel Meadows
  • Carmel View
  • Cedar Pointe
  • Concord Village
  • Crooked Stick and Crooked Stick West
  • Green Tea Estates
  • Harrowgate
  • Ironwood
  • Jordan Woodlands
  • Village of Mount Carmel
  • Wilson Village

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