FISHERS — Investing in neighborhoods and improving roads in Fishers is something the mayor there is vowing to do.
It's something residents there have been asking for, for years, but not everyone is on the same page with what is being prioritized.
"It's all about value proposition," Mayor Scott Fadness said.
Fadness' budget proposal calls for $80,107,292 to be spent.
With $12 mil. on his priority list. "The investments we are making are where the community needs to go," he said.
The mayor's priority list lays out a number of areas he wants to focus on:
- Decrease property tax rate
- First-ever investment in school innovation
- Historic investment in neighborhoods
- increased investment in road infrastructure
- Continuing to invest in public safety and critical services
The proposal calls for a tax reduction for Fishers for the third year in a row.
The rate would be the lowest since before 2020.
The mayor hopes to add to the city's public safety team, from first responders to health and safety officials.
- 3 new firefighters
- 3 new police officers
- 2 new school resource officers
- 1 forensic tech
- 1 full time health inspector
- 1 public health nurse
- 1 FTE (billing & grants)
- 2 laborers (sidewalk repair)
- 1 transition contractual employee to FTE
- 1 full time agripark employee
- 1 community operations manager
- 1 community center membership manager
The mayor is also proposing a 5% salary increase to first responders and increasing longevity pay for public safety personnel.
He also wants to see $3 million in fleet replacement, including police cars, and a fire truck.
The mayors proposal calls for a significant amount of infrastructure investments.
From roundabouts to road widening, it's something he says is needed.
"Fishers has this unusual challenge of continuing to build new and expand while also trying to take care of the old," he said.
- 126th & Southeastern roundabout
- 96th & Allisonville roundabout
- Cumberland road widening
- 136th St. widening
- Nickle plate trail completion
- SR-37 & 141st interchange
The completion of the SR-37 & 141st project is highly anticipated.
The project was started nearly 8-years ago.
"Our citizens and businesses have gotten weary and they're disappointed so this is the number one project that I hear citizens want completed," City Council at Large, Jocelyn Vare said.
The project is something the mayor admits has taken longer than they'd like.
"Did the road project take a longer than we would have hopes, absolutely. Does it cost more than it did 7 years ago, everything does. The fact that we're going to have this corridor done and it's an ease of traffic I think it's a home run for the City of Fishers," Fadness said.
Fadness added that the project wasn't originally planned to take place, but the city secured funding from the state.
"If it's something that's unfinished we should probably focus on finishing something," resident Dawn Warner said.
The mayor also wants to invest in sidewalks across the city, allocating $1million to repaving a number of sidewalks in neighborhoods.
"In 2024 with this funding we plan to replace or repair 6,463 panels in one year," Fadness said.
The Windermere and Sunblest neighborhood are included in that replacement number.
"I am a little shocked," Dawn Warner said. Warner lives in the Sunblest neighborhood.
She said she's shocked at the amount of money Fadness is planning to invest to her neighborhood. She doesn't think the sidewalks are that bad.
"I don't think that, that would be something that I would prioritize," Warner said. "Despite maybe one or two places it might be elevated this much, otherwise I think my sidewalks are perfectly fine."
Other neighbors said it's much needed.
"We need it," Caleb Bopp said. "They're decent but I mean obviously we've got some cracks going on, just wear and tear over time. Yeah it's good that we're getting some new sidewalk."
The mayor said they chose these areas based off of citizen complaints.
The mayor is proposing to allocate funds to the schools.
He is hoping to add a new program that provide money to teacher innovation.
His goal is to have retired teachers on a panel vote for ideas submitted by teachers to provide grants to them.
The grants will allow for teachers to provide innovation to schools.
The budget will go before the City-County Council for the first reading Monday.
From there the final vote will happen sometime in October.
You can view the full budget presentation from the City of Fishers below.