The Fishers City Council approved the continuation of the city’s new community center construction during its Jan. 17 meeting.
Lisa Bradford, city controller of Fishers, presented the city’s 2023 budget to the council that included an appropriation of funds from the general fund for a scoping and design agreement for the potential community and recreation center.
“A few years ago, we had a community survey about what residents were looking for,” Bradford said. “A community center came up very highly in terms of importance, so these funds will allow us to explore and determine what viability there is (for the project) and what kind of design we need.”
In the community survey, the steering committee for the project targeted the Age Friendly Committee, Fishers Arts & Culture Commission, and the Disability Advisory Council to receive specific feedback on desired amenities and programming in an indoor facility. From the survey, it was found that most residents asked to see an indoor walking track, fine arts classes, an indoor swimming pool, green space and a dog park.
Bradford said the appropriation would allow for the council to approve a reimbursement from the general fund if a bond was ever needed to complete the project. This would allow for the city to be put in a “net zero position” to avoid any tax increases for residents.
Thus far, the city has invested $1.8 million from the city’s cash reserves in research and preliminary work on the community center. Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness said the city wants to present a full proposal to the council within the next two months.
“Our hope is to bring a full proposal to this council within the next 60 days,” Fadness said. “Both vision and economics will be presented. If the council so chooses to move forward, we will issue the permanent financing and replenish the cash reserves in that timeframe. The ($1.8 million) will allow us to finish up the design in order to present (the council) with a true design and picture of what the economics around the project are.”
The city wants to unveil official plans for the community center in February.