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Carmel City Council Discusses New Developments, Water Supply

Updated: Mar 24


Greg Daniels is HamCo Dems’ new correspondent covering city government in Carmel. He attended last week’s city council meeting and shares details of the most important issues discussed.


Land Development 

Ordinance 2710-24/Gramercy Developer Bond Project is a big concern of residents because of more construction and the removal of natural trees, etc. The project is proposed to bring in 63 homes, 64 townhomes, and 364 apartments. The average acreage price will increase from $270,000 to $6.1 million.


The development will consist of age-restricted housing. Buckingham Developers will drive the project. There will be at least three more meetings with the Land subcommittee, led by councilman Snyder. There is also a big concern over this project including garden homes. This project, if fully approved, will be financed by developer bonds and the developer will be paid from the taxes of the units accumulative.


There was also citizens’ pushback on another project, under ordinance 2-687-24. This is a project called Grammer West/Gray Oaks expansion and will be 1,000 new homes to displace 64 older homes, also through Buckingham Developers. The Council voted yes to move forward on this development because of the high quality of the homes and the fact that the number of homes being built is half the quantity initially proposed. Concerns centered on residents who have been in Carmel for decades and own older property and that they were being displaced.


Carmel Utilities 

There was heavy discussion on improving the Carmel water supply. With residents coming from a 35% usage increase in December, questions centered on how Carmel Utilities can prevent this from happening again and manage the growing demand. Carmel Utilities is still operating very much in the red. They are using investment bonds to pay off their debts, and project that they will do so without any more major rate increases to Carmel customers. This is also predicated on a glide path of annual 3% utility increases to Carmel residents. 


Before going into debt, the utility company had projected that the growth of housing and annual increases would have closed the gap, but that was not the case. 


The next step includes Carmel Utilities using its bonds to pay off the 10- to 20-million-dollar debt and to have discussions with a company in the northeast part of Carmel that is using a large majority of Carmel water and flushing some out to the White River. The council challenged the utility company to see about reducing that usage and keeping the water in Carmel aqua fill tanks versus the White River.  


There will also be a new water tank built off 131st Street and Shelbourne to help accommodate our continued growth and usage.



 

Greg Daniels recently retired after 42 years as an executive with a major Midwest company. He and his wife have been married for 40 years and have an adult son. He has been a Carmel resident for over 25 years, is active with the Carmel Democrats, and recently worked on the Miles Nelson campaign.


Featured image provided by Unsplash

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