FISHERS — The City of Fishers held a ribbon cutting ceremony for a brand-new waterfront park that comes with a controversial price tag for non-residents.
Geist Waterfront Park, located on Olio Road in Fishers, officially opens on Saturday.
The city turned the last piece of undeveloped land along the lake into a public access point for Fishers residents. It was a $30 million project, including land and construction costs.
“Geist Reservoir has always been a great amenity in our city, but up until this park, the only public access you’d have to the lake is to literally buy a home on it,” Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness said. “We had the opportunity to turn this last bit of land, that wasn’t developed yet, into a public access point for our residents.”
To use the reservoir, residents can sign-up for a smart pass for free. For non-residents, the City Council approved a $50 fee – a move that has generated a heated debate among council members.
The passes must be purchased 48 hours in advance. Guests will scan the digital smart pass to gain access to the park. Those who do not have a smartphone can pick up a physical copy of the pass.
The community's main concern is the $50 parking fee only applies to people who don't live in Fishers.
Residents and some leaders said that rate is too high to use the reservoir for just a few hours.
However, those who support the park say it’s a great, family-friendly amenity.
The council will revisit the fee in one year.
The park will be open from dusk until dawn, with swimming hours from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
For more information on the park or to register for entry, click here.