Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness proposes 2019 budget

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Mayor Scott Fadness introduced the 2019 budget to the city council Sept. 17. The budget will return to the council for approval consideration on Oct. 22.

With the budget just more than $108 million, 53 percent of it went into the general fund. Within that 53 percent, 34 percent is allocated to fire and emergency services, 28.5 percent is allocated to police, 12 percent is allocated to administration, 11 percent is allocated to public works and 14.5 percent is allocated to other departments.

The City of Fishers has big plans when it comes to public safety in 2019, and the budget proposal would allow for five more police officers, two of which would become school resource officers. Fadness said the discussion on increasing SROs came before the school shooting at Noblesville West Middle School that injured a teacher and a student on May 25.

“We had a goal to add two additional SROs to our SRO program that would allow us to spend more time in our junior high and elementary schools,” Fadness said.

Also on the police side, body cameras will be supplied to every officer beginning next year. The Fishers Police Dept. is currently undergoing a pilot program to determine which company they will choose for the body cameras.

Other public safety increases include adding three firefighters. With the new police department headquarters completed earlier this month, the 2019 budget moves onto the fire department headquarters, 2 Municipal Dr.

“As we cut the ribbon on the police headquarters the other day, it just starts another chapter, which is the fire station headquarters,” Fadness said.

Following building assessments, it was determined the fire station headquarters, Station 91, was out of space, had an outdated HVAC system and didn’t meet the needs for the growing department.

“There’s a bond issuance anticipated to pay for a massive renovation or expansion of the current headquarters or potentially a new headquarters, and that will be contemplated and decided in the next 60 to 90 days,” Fadness said.

Fadness said he is a firm believer in keeping public safety headquarters within the heart of the city, so it is highly likely the fire department headquarters will remain in its same location, it is just unsure if the building will be renovated or reconstructed.

Fire Station 93, 10501 Allisonville Rd., also will undergo renovations to its interior. The option for a reconstruction there also is possible.

Although items the 2019 budget covers, if approved, would be intersection improvements at 126th Street and Reynolds Drive, 126th Street and Ford Drive and the expansion to Allisonville Road. These road improvements would be in preparation for the Ind. 37 construction set to begin next year.

Also proposed in the 2019 budget is a slight municipal tax rate increase from .6538 to .690. This still keeps Fishers as the lowest municipal tax rate in the county, as well as the lowest out of the top 10 major cities in Indiana. Carmel’s municipal tax rate is at .7887.

Two cents of the increased tax rate are related to a bond regarding construction of the Nickel Plate Trail to begin next year. The trail bond is for $12 million, and in addition to constructing the first phase of the trail from 106th Street to 126th Street with one separated grade crossing at 116th Street, the bond also supplies funds for upcoming road projects.

“We think we have more than enough funding to do (the trail) from 106th (Street) to 126th (Street),” Fadness said. “If we have additional funding, we will go further. But at this point, I wanted to commit to residents that that will be done for sure.”

Fadness also is proposing a 3 percent salary raise to all city staff – elected and otherwise.

For more, visit fishers.in.us.

Breaking down the general fund for 2019

  • 34 percent to fire and emergency services
  • 28.5 percent to police
  • 14.5 percent to other departments
  • 12 percent to administration
  • 11 percent to public works
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