Discussions continue on First Street enhancements


The Town of Zionsville and VS Engineering are working on the most recent revisions to the enhancement plan for improvements along First Street from Sycamore Street to Poplar Street.

Improvements such as drainage system upgrades, new sidewalks, crosswalks, landscaping and lighting elements were included in previously submitted plans.

The Town of Zionsville has been planning the First Street project for many years and has held public workshops and “think tank” meetings over the last couple of years to inform the public and property owners of the proposed designs and concepts as they were put to paper. Ed Mitro, Zionsville Town Manager, provided an update regarding the plan’s status.

“Nine additional property/business owners have been identified for individual meetings to review proposed changes. The consultant on the project, VS Engineering, Inc., is currently scheduling and meeting with these entities. Upon completion of this series of meetings, an additional public meeting will be scheduled to present the final design development plans,” Mitro said.

Lance Lantz, Zionsville Street and Storm water Dept. director, explained that the meetings with the nine property/business owners should be concluded within a month and then a public meeting will be scheduled in April.

“This level of personal communication is far greater than on any project previously. We recognize that in order to make a project of this nature work, certain sacrifices, real or perceived, must be made. Although the vast majority of the reconstruction work is proposed to be within the public right-of-way, we are taking all reasonable steps to minimize the effects off-site or in the access to and use of private property,” Lantz said.

Property owners with properties located within the scope of the First Street project are eager to learn more about the latest version of the plan, the costs incurred and how the end result will affect their property values. Business owner and landlord agent, Barbara Jennings, spoke on the affects on the property values that the First Street Enhancement Project might yield based on the existing design plans posted on the project’s Web page.

“Apart from a few select properties that could stand to have some landscaping, I don’t believe there will be much added property value to most landowners in the area,” Jennings said. Project updates will follow the April meeting.

The current design layout and related information can be found at www.reasite.com/firststreet/.

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