At its Oct. 22 meeting, the Fishers City Council approved three bonds and the 2019 city budget.
Bonds were approved for Fire Station 93, Fire Station 91, the Nickel Plate Trail and several road projects.
The bond for Fire Station 93 is to significantly renovate the building or rebuild it. Council member Pete Peterson thanked the city for allowing council members to tour the building.
“We are a completely different organization than when they were built,” Peterson said. “They are in serious decline and not in great condition for our public health folks to work in. It’s not one of the things we take lightly, asking taxpayers to pay for municipal buildings, but in this case, I think everybody would agree with us if they went through those buildings.”
The bond for the Nickel Plate Trail will extend the trail from 106th Street to 126th Street and pay for several road projects throughout the city.
For Fire Station 93, which is the fire department’s headquarters, the bond allows for its reconstruction.
Council member Selina Stoller voted to approve the bonds but raised concern about an economic downturn within the next few years.
“As we move forward, I have no problem with these today. I just want us to be aware of what we could be facing in just a few years,” she said.
Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness acknowledged Stoller’s concerns but said if the city had to issue debt, the recently bonded projects were good investments.
“What I’m proud of is, the investments this council has greenlighted to date have been on transformative or long-term capital projects,” Fadness said. “We are talking about a police station which will be here for 50 years, a 70-acre (Geist Waterfront Park), fire stations, road projects. These are things if you are going to issue debt, you want them for those types of projects. The assets will outlive the debt.”
City Controller Lisa Bradford said the city is already looking toward the future.
“We are not just looking at this year, at next year, we are looking at three to four years down the road, and hopefully with that, we start to anticipate those perceived downturns and hopefully start to make those changes here a year before some economic downtown,” Bradford said.