Fishers voters to pass judgment on growth strategy

February 24, 2014
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In many ways, Fishers’ first city election will be a referendum on the Hamilton County community’s current economic development strategy.

As I reported in the print edition of IBJ this week, the six Republicans vying to be mayor don’t agree on the best way to handle growth. The central point of debate: whether the burgeoning suburb should be using public resources to encourage private development. (Subscribers can read the story here.)

After decades of discussing ways to build a vibrant civic square, town leaders last year began investing in efforts to spur business activity downtown.

Fishers is contributing land and some funding for public infrastructure for four high-profile construction projects, and the town has offered financial incentives to keep existing businesses (and their employees) in place.

Town Council President John Weingardt praised the recent economic development efforts during his State of the Town speech last week.

“We’ve got a lot of great stuff to talk about,” he told a crowd of about 300 at a Fishers Chamber of Commerce luncheon. “We’ve made significant strides.”

The seven-member council set out last year to create a thriving, financially sustainable community. To do that, Weingardt said, officials worked on building a comprehensive economic development strategy and a strong sense of community while providing “world-class” infrastructure and efficient municipal services.

Opponents of the current strategy say fast-growing Fishers was doing just fine before it started subsidizing development.

What happens next depends in large part on the outcome of this year’s election. Residents voted in 2012 to make Fishers a second-class city with an elected mayor and nine-person City Council. Now, the council calls the shots.

What’s your take on the economic development debate? Should Fishers try to influence business investment or wait for developers to make the first move?

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  1. I had read earlier this spring that Noodles & Co was going to open in the Fishers Marketplace (which is SR 37 and 131st St, not 141st St, just FYI). Any word on that? Also, do you happen to know what is being built in Carmel at Pennsylvania and Old Meridian? May just be an office building but I'm not sure.

  2. I'm sorry, but you are flat out wrong. There are few tracks in the world with the history of IMS and probably NO OTHER as widely known and recognized. I don't care what you think about the stat of Indy Car racing, these are pretty hard things to dispute.

  3. Also wondering if there is an update on the Brockway Pub-Danny Boy restaurant/taproom that was planned for the village as well?

  4. Why does the majority get to trample on the rights of the minority? You do realize that banning gay marriage does not rid the world of gay people, right? They are still going to be around and they are still going to continue to exist. The best way to get it all out of the spotlight? LEGALIZE IT! If gay marriage is legal, they will get to stop trying to push for it and you will get to stop seeing it all over the news. Why do Christians get to decide what is moral?? Why do you get to push your religion on others? How would legalizing gay marriage expose their lifestyle to your children? By the way, their lifestyle is going to continue whether gay marriage is legalized or not. It's been legal in Canada for quite a while now and they seem to be doing just fine. What about actual rules handed down by God? What about not working on Sundays? What about obeying your parents? What about adultery? These are in the 10 Commandments, the most important of God's rules. Yet they are all perfectly legal. What about divorce? Only God is allowed to dissolve a marriage so why don't you work hard to get divorce banned? Why do you get to pick and choose the parts of the Bible you care about?

  5. Look at the bright side. With the new Lowe's call center, that means 1000 jobs at $10 bucks an hour. IMS has to be drooling over all that disposable income. If those employees can save all their extra money after bills, in five years they can go to the race LIVE. Can you say attendance boost?

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