CARMEL, Ind. (WISH) – Monday night, Carmel’s City Council approved a multi-million dollar plan to pay for a parking garage and other improvements.
By a vote of 4-3, the council offered its support for a bond issue of as much as $20 million. Most of the money would pay for a four story garage with 620 spaces.
Council member Luci Snyder said Carmel was promised more parking ten years ago and didn’t get it.
“We have suffered and the businesses there have suffered,” Snyder said. “Some have left. Some have not done as well as they should have because we had a lack of sufficient parking.”
Critics of the bond plan, such as councilor Rick Sharp, said they worry that it could lead to a tax hike, if the plan fails.
“I also declined to put the tax payers in any way at risk for this development and I will have to vote against it this evening,” Sharp said.
Council member Kevin Rider, a defender of the plan, noted the establishment of protections that reduce the risk of a tax increase.
“There are levels of backup in this that make it about the chance of a meteor hitting Carmel,” Rider said.
Most of the money dedicated to the project will go to the garage, called Park East Parking Garage. Other money raised will fund improvements elsewhere in downtown Carmel.
Council member Sue Finkam told 24-Hour News 8 the project’s design phase begins in 2015. Construction begins in 2016. She expects the garage and four other buildings in the complex to be finished in late 2017.