Whitestown will change the name its portion of S CR 700 E, shown in blue, to Veterans Parkway on July 1. Zionsville and Boone County officials have not yet determined a new name for their portion of the road.
By James Feichtner
County Road S. 700 E. will receive a new name this year, but while the road itself may be concrete, an agreement on what it will be called is not.
The road runs through Zionsville and Whitestown in Boone County, and leaders from those jurisdictions have been contemplating a new name for the road.
“We had been considering renaming Whitestown’s portion of the road since we moved into the present location of the Whitestown Municipal Complex,” Whitestown town council president Eric Miller said. The municipal complex is along CR S 700 E just north of Whitestown Parkway.
Zionsville became involved in discussions to rename the road when Mayor Tim Haak met with Miller to discuss it.
“Eric Miller and I had met earlier this year about renaming the entire stretch of road,” Haak said. “He and I had agreed to jointly rename the road, and then we would include the Zionsville West Middle School students in some fashion to hold a naming contest.”
According to Haak, the students would hold the contest when they returned to school in the fall of 2016.
On June 15, the renaming plan seemed to dissolve when Whitestown announced that its portion of the road would be renamed to Veterans Drive on July 1.
“Tim Haak and I had discussed a naming contest with a committee made up of only the Whitestown council president and the mayor of Zionsville, but Zionsville and some county officials decided to go in a different direction without including me in their correspondence,” Miller said. “Rather than risk letting this turn into a political issue, we moved forward with this very positive plan to honor our veterans.”
Haak said Whitestown’s announcement caught him off guard.
“I was kind of surprised, because I thought we had the agreement in place to jointly work together to rename the road and involve the participation of the students, so I was a little disappointed that (Miller) renamed the road without prior notification to us or the county officials,” Haak said.
Despite Whitestown’s decision to rename the road, Haak said he likes the name but wished he would’ve known of the change sooner.
“I think it’s fine,” he said. “Anything to honor our veterans is a good thing, but I think that we would’ve liked to have some knowledge prior to that that (Miller) was going to do that.”
Miller said that he felt the new name was a great way to recognize local heroes.
“Naming a road in honor of veterans is a seemingly small but important step that Whitestown can take to honor veterans,” Miller said.
Haak said that he still plans to go through with his original plan to rename Zionsville’s portion of the road.
“The schools are still under the impression that we are going to work with them to rename the road, and I intend to honor the commitment that we made to the schools,” Haak said.