Carmel, Ind. (Jan. 4, 2016) – Mayor Jim Brainard is looking to borrow millions of dollars for dozens of projects in 2016 and he’ll present his plan to the Carmel City Council Monday night.
Mayor Brainard will propose $217 million in bonds to pay for road improvements all over Carmel. The money would go to a new storm water system, roadwork and 32 roundabouts.
“It is so important to stay up with infrastructure,” said Mayor Brainard. “That’s what so many cities across the United States have not done. They delayed these things and then it costs much more to fix and you have problems and you don’t get as much investment in your community.”
Thirteen separate ordinances will be presented to the council.
One of the biggest roundabouts would be at the 96th Street and Keystone intersection. He’s also proposing seven roundabouts on Rangeline Road and five on Gray Road.
Mayor Brainard says the time to borrow is now since interest rates are low.
“We have an aging system, 30 or 40 years old, and we want to keep up with it. We don’t want to leave a problem with the future. But we would rather, instead of building these projects over the next 20 or 25 years, build them over the next three and get ahead of problems that could occur.”
Critics say the city shouldn’t borrow the money, but should pay for projects as they go.
Outgoing City Councilor Rick Sharp said, “What if some new problem develops that’s serious and we don’t see it today because it doesn’t show up for five years? You’re going to be scrambling to find funding once again. I just don’t think that that’s sound fiscal management.”
Sharp is no longer on the City Council.
There are several new city councilors, all backed by Brainard during the election.
If passed, the owner of a $200,000 home would pay $22 more a year in extra taxes. Homeowners of properties $345,000 and more wouldn’t pay any extra because they would’ve already met a constitutional cap.
The council is expected to approve getting rid of a stop sign at 126th and Autumn Road at the meeting Monday night. The stop sign could be gone as soon as tomorrow morning.
Mayor Brainard says the stop sign is not needed and causes a 10 to 20 minute delay during rush hour on 126th. He says crews would take it down Tuesday around 10 a.m.
No word on when the council will vote on the overall road improvements.