By Nancy Price
(Photo by Nancy Price)
A ‘new’ Old City Park
Greenwood Mayor Mark Myers discusses economic success, project goals and a welcome surprise to the city
By Nancy Price
In his eighth annual State of the City address, hosted by the Greater Greenwood Chamber of Commerce, Greenwood Mayor Mark Myers highlighted the success of the previous year’s completed projects and discussed his goals for continued growth in the areas of public safety, infrastructure, transportation and quality of life.
“After several years of conservative fiscal diligence, I’m proud to report that Greenwood now owns one of Indiana’s strongest balance sheets,” Myers said Feb. 7 at Valle Vista Golf Club and Conference Center. “Once again, in 2018, we presented the common council with a balanced budget; our seventh consecutive year. Our fiscal house is in order and we’ve been able to improve city services while also maintaining one of Indiana’s lowest tax rate, currently the fourth lowest in the state.
“It’s no coincidence that for the fifth year in a row, our finance department is receiving a certificate of achievement for excellence in financial reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association. Our city is one of only a handful of Hoosier municipalities to receive such a recognition.”
Myers reviewed last year’s completed projects that contributed toward the administration’s goal for a walkable, connected, accessible and pedestrian-friendly city.
- The first phase of the redevelopment of Madison Avenue, which includes a multi-use, 12-foot-
- wide trail for pedestrians and bicyclists.
- Finalizing a second round of funding for the Granting Revitalization and Opportunity for Workplace Initiative.
- A Surina Way extension, which sets the stage for development of the 19-acre property for the former Greenwood Middle School and the reimagined Old City Park.
- A roundabout at Smith Valley Road and Madison Avenue.
- Phase one of improvements on Emerson Avenue, which included raised center medians, a new multiuse trail and more than 60 trees.
Myers continued the address by discussing what he called the four pillars – public safety, infrastructure, quality of life and economic development – that “serve as a foundation for any city government.”
“If invested property these pillars work together to build a thriving community,” he said.
Public safety: This year, the Greenwood Police Department is preparing to launch crime mapping software, which will help with analyzing criminal activity patterns and geographic footprints. In addition, Greenwood Fire Station 93 will be relocated in Freedom Park, which will shorten response times and improve operations.
Infrastructure: Myers emphasized the need for continued progress with roadwork and completing efforts in increasing safety and modernization at school zone crossings later this year, which he stated to be “one of Greenwood’s most important projects.”
Construction on a 50,000 square-foot facility for the Department of Public Works will begin this spring; completion is targeted toward the end of the year. In addition, Greenwood’s Sanitation Department will begin installation of a Western Regional Interceptor, which would alleviate the current sewer system. “This will provide much-needed relief for the Pleasant Run Interceptor, channeling as much as nine million gallons of waste water daily,” Myers said.
Quality of life: A new event lawn in Craig Park should be completed by this summer, with new trails and a multi-use trail connecting to the Northwest Park Annex. Later this year, the parks department will open its first rental hall, converting the former Hampton House on Fry Road.
Economic development: Myers concluded the address by announcing a design for the reimagine of Old City Park, which includes a 20-foot cube tower, a custom climbing wall and custom climbing net for younger children, pipe slides, spinners, ping pong tables and an open space for non-structured play, porch swings for adults, bocce ball courts, a fitness circuit and a new pedestrian bridge.
“Old City Park will once again become a central cornerstone for old town, with connectivity to the Greenwood Amphitheater, Craig Park, the former middle school property, the Greenwood Public Library, the Madison Avenue Trail and even more,” Myers said.