CARMEL, Ind. (Oct. 14, 2015) - The City of Carmel's Mayor highlighted the current success of the city and laid out plans for future projects in his annual state of the city address on Wednesday.
Mayor James Brainard said the city's success is largely in part to continued economic growth and development. Since his last state of the city address, he said the city has added more than 2,300 jobs.
“One of the things that attract businesses to Carmel are our plans for future growth, particularly, our growth for redevelopment areas and our downtown," Brainard said.
The mayor said the biggest avenue for future growth is in areas of the city that currently aren't developed, including the area between Meridian Street and Keystone Parkway.
“A lot of this is older warehouse and industrial parkways that have been abandoned and we have great opportunities to develop this area into something very special," he said.
The cost for redevelopment and continued growth could come at a cost to taxpayers, though. The mayor said in the future, they will be looking at the possibility of the city rate to increase.
“We’ll still have a very low tax rate, a very competitive tax rate, but I think we need to seriously consider that it’s also important to put a sufficient amount of money into infrastructure," he added.
Some of the most successful projects the mayor said include the Arts and Design District, specifically the Palladium. The mayor said in it's five years existence, the Palladium has given the city a $16 million economic boost.
"The center has welcomed 550,000 patrons to more than 1,300 performances from all 50 states and 22 countries," Mayor Brainard said.
The mayor commended recent awards for the parks department and public safety divisions. He said plans are in the works to expand the 170 miles of trails and parks on the city's east side.
"We have a plan to connect every neighborhood in the city to our trail system," said Brainard.
Roundabouts in Carmel have gained national attention. The mayor said the innovative road design has sparked interest among other communities. Carmel is in the process of completing its 100th roundabout.
“80 percent reduction to injury accidents and as a four way stop conversion we save a couple hundred thousand dollars minimum," he said.
Brainard said the city will have a major expansion announcement within the next coming days. The city is also planning on developing and launching a smartphone app.