Mayor highlights city’s growth, projects

Mayor John Ditslear gives his annual State of the City address to the Noblesville Chamber of Commerce on Sept. 25. (Photo by Robert Herrington)

Mayor John Ditslear gives his annual State of the City address to the Noblesville Chamber of Commerce on Sept. 25. (Photo by Robert Herrington)

The city is moving forward – sometimes at a record pace. Mayor John Ditslear gave his annual State of the City address to the Noblesville Chamber of Commerce on Sept. 25. In his speech Ditslear reviewed the accomplishments, issues and upcoming projects within the city. Highlights of the mayor’s speech include:

• Vision Noblesville

The community listening and benchmarking initiative first conducted a citizen survey three years ago. Ditslear announced another anonymous survey will be conducted this fall.

“This survey tells us a lot about our citizen’s preferences and allows us to help determine what we’re doing right and what needs to be changed,” Ditslear said. “We will be presenting the survey results in late January.”

• Workforce Development Council

The council began one year ago with representatives from area businesses, schools, Ivy Tech, State of Indiana and the city’s economic development department. The council created and implemented the Noblesville High School Intern Program, which has 75 seniors working six to nine hours a week at area businesses, nonprofits and city government.

“These students are gaining firsthand knowledge on how to function successfully in the business environment and are also refining their own career goals,” Ditslear said. “For the upcoming year, the Workforce Development Council will turn their attention to high school students who have not given any thought about a future career and will help them to plan for their future.”

• PLANoblesville

The initiative is updating the city’s Comprehensive Master Plan. Ditslear said the goal is to build a framework for future development, redevelopment and building projects.

“The planning department staff has been working hard these past several months with our consultant and a draft of Noblesville’s proposed new Comp Plan will be presented at a final public meeting on Oct. 24 at 6:30 p.m. at Noblesville East Middle School,” he said.

• Development

In the past year, there has been almost $27 million worth of commercial projects completed, which equates to more than 591,000 square feet. The housing market is also seeing a boom this year.

“In 2012, we issued 391 single family permits. Year to date, we have already issued 351. Given the positive reports about the housing market, we fully expect to surpass last year’s permit count,” Ditslear said.

• City Façade Grant program

The city has approved more than $59,000 in grants for exterior building improvements, while the grant recipients have contributed almost $159,000 for these projects. Ditslear said since this program began in 2007 there have been a total of 38 grants distributed.

• Trails

The city currently has 80 miles of trails with plans to develop more. Ditslear said the city will be developing the Midland Trace trail starting from Hazel Dell Road and extending east to where it will connect to the Riverwalk in downtown Noblesville.

“When complete, the Midland Trace will allow Noblesville residents to follow the trail to Westfield where they will then be able to access the Monon Trail which would lead them south to Indianapolis,” he said.

• Road projects

The city is building a roundabout at the intersection of 196th Street and Hague Road. It will be mostly completed in mid-November and the only full closure of the intersection will take place during the two-week fall break of Noblesville Schools.

The city is partnering with INDOT and the Port Authority on the Eighth Street railroad tracks in downtown Noblesville. The construction for this project will take place in April during the two-week spring break of Noblesville Schools.

“It seems as soon as the tracks are patched, they are in bad shape again just a short time later,” Ditslear said. “It will be a large project as the railroad tracks have to be taken up, the concrete pads removed and replaced, followed by reinstallation of the tracks.”

Ditslear said the intersection of Eighth Street and Conner and Logan streets will never be closed simultaneously.

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