CARMEL, Ind.– The Carmel city council is moving forward with plans to develop a laser light show around their midtown water and 911 towers.
“We want it to be unique and different,” said city council member Jeff Worrell. “We are always in competition with cities that are trying to grab that next corporate headquarters.”
The project will cost an estimated $1.5 million and is part of a larger bond project. The next step is for engineers to do an assessment of the light show, which will then come back to the city council for fiscal approval.
Worrell expects the project to be scaled back due to physical constraints. Council members who voted for it believe it can help attract new businesses and tourists.
“I have been to Toronto where they do a light show on their city hall, and we stood there for an hour as tourists,” said Worrell.
The project will not be funded by tax dollars, but instead by excess revenue from the city’s tax increment financing (TIF) districts. Those are locations where the city has paid to redevelop the area.
After paying those development costs, Carmel can use excess revenue from those locations to pay for new infrastructure improvements elsewhere. Payments for the light show will be done over a 20 year period.
“People want to equate Carmel spending and the proper use of debt with the federal debt. We can’t print money, so when we take out debt, we have to pay for it,” explained Worrell.
“We know exactly the payment that is due every single month, and how we are going to pay for it. When it’s done there’s no leveraging into future generations.”