NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (January 25, 2016) –Elected officials from Fishers, Noblesville and Hamilton County met Monday evening to discuss the $124 million improvement project planned for State Road 37 in Fishers.
Governor Pence announced the project in December and the goal is to reduce traffic on SR 37 by creating similar roundabouts that are currently on Keystone Parkway in Carmel.
However, some business owners located on SR 37 fear their company could suffer the same fate as some businesses in the Merchant Square area of Carmel, which located on Keystone and had several businesses close down during construction.
“This is my lifeblood. This is sole income. This is my retirement," Claude and Annie's Food and Spirits Owner Bill Smythe said. "So the prospect of being put out of business at this age and at this time is somewhat frightening to me and my wife.”
Smythe has owned the pub for 15 years and voiced his concerns at the meeting Monday night, after the commissioners allowed public input following a Hamilton County Council member's request.
Smythe said he is frustrated with the lack of public input concerning the project, but the Hamilton County Commissioners and Mayor of Fishers, Scott Fadness, cited multiple opportunities given for public comment.
The Fisher's City Council approved the first phase of the project at its December 21st meeting. The first phase includes a $12 million financial commitment for the City of Fishers as well as Hamilton County. The state would give $100 million to the project as part of the agreement. That $124 million would then go toward four large roundabout interchanges at 126th, 131st, 141st and 146th streets in Fishers.
The Hamilton County Commissioners also approved the first phase of the project shortly before Monday's meeting, pending the Hamilton County Council's approval, which serves as the financial power of the county. Now, the project is on hold until the county council approves the agreement.
Hamilton County Commissioner Steven Dillinger asked the council to approve the agreement at its February meeting, but council members were concerned about moving to quickly on the project and said they wanted time for their lawyers to review the agreement.
An INDOT representative said the state could not move forward with the plans until the council approves the agreement.
The agreement for the second phase of the project, which would add three more roundabout interchanges on SR 37, has not been completed yet, but would depend heavily on a $16.5 million commitment from the City of Noblesville.
Dillinger said while the process of this construction may be hard for businesses on SR 37, it's better than the alternative of doing nothing.
"I certainly believe that when this project is done it will enhance the business viability to that corridor to something fantastic," Dillinger said. "For us to keep Hamilton County viable and the businesses viable, we have to be able to move traffic."
To view the entire first phase of the agreement between Fishers, Noblesville and the state click here.