We received a lot of helpful feedback in response to the survey about our newsletter. Thank you to everyone who took the time to complete it. We’ve compiled a spreadsheet containing all responses and we’re working to incorporate these ideas in future editions of the newsletter. Here are some of the survey results.
Which of the items below would you like to see more of in the newsletter?
- 38% New business updates
- 20% Neighbor spotlights
- 18% Local business events
- 14% IDO updates
- 10% Construction updates
Do you have a story, group, or event you want us to include in our newsletter?
- Focus on sustainability issues
- Benton House
- Downey Avenue Food Pantry
- New Irvington welcome sign
- Irvington green space and restoration
- Exodus Refugee Center
- Irvington CSA
Do you have someone you would like to suggest for our neighbor spotlight?
- Steve Barnett
- Sue Beecher
- Dave from World of Vapor
- JauNae Hanger
- Sue Kennedy
- Ed Myers
- Jenny Skehan
- The Sponsel Family
- Heidi Unger
- Sara Zollner
If you’ve ever walked along Washington Street between Emerson and Ritter Avenues on a hot, sunny day, you know there aren’t many trees to shade the sidewalks in that stretch of Irvington. On either side of Washington, we’re known for our leafy canopy. Not so much along our main corridor.
That won’t be the case a few years from now, as Phase II of the Washington Corridor Streetscape project is implemented. Almost 50 volunteers showed up on a Saturday morning this March, with staff from Keep Indianapolis Beautiful (KIB) to plant 40 trees along two Irvington streets. The tree planting on Washington Street started near Hawthorne Lane and extended west to East Pleasant Run Parkway North Drive, and the Spencer Avenue ran south from East Washington Street into the residential area. KIB’s Youth Tree Team will keep them watered for the next few years to allow them to get established.
We’d like to extend a Great Big Thank You to the organizations and individuals who contributed time, labor, and resources to this project. Thank you, KIB, for donating the trees, coordinating the planting, and training the volunteers on the finer points of tree planting. (There’s really more to it than just digging a hole! Check out this informative video.) Thank you, Hart Bakery, for donating the yumdillyicious donuts that kept everybody going. And thank you to the good people from both within and outside of the neighborhood who spent their Saturday morning helping beautify our neighborhood.
Irvington Green Initiative just kicked off the Resilient Community Building series with a meet-up at Bittersweet on January 28. The group focused on renewability via community recycling and composting. About 30 Irvington neighbors enjoyed communing over Laura Johnston’s light appetizers.
If you missed the meet-up, here’s something you can do right now. Call Mayor Joe Hogsett (317-327-3601) and your City-County Council rep (for many of us, it’s Blake Johnson, District 12, at 317-721-3487). Let them know you want a comprehensive, sustainable materials management plan and curbside service for all of Indianapolis!
Then, be sure to like and follow Irvington Green Initiative on Facebook for neighborhood info, ideas, and action opportunities. Contact us at email@example.com to get on our e-list for future notices.
There’s much more to Irvington than what we find on the Washington Street corridor. In an effort to highlight those off-the-beaten-path treasures, we’ve created signage that points the way to shops, parks, and trails. IDO’s Public Spaces Committee worked with Lodge Design, who provided the design based on the Irvington logo colors for free. The city manufactured and installed the signs. One sign is installed at the intersection of Washington Street and Audubon Road, and the other is installed at Washington Street and Ritter Avenue.
“The Public Spaces Committee realized that Irvington was becoming a destination, and we needed to do something to help our visitors find parts of the neighborhood that they might miss if they just stay on Washington Street,” said Erika Hinshaw, IDO’s Public Spaces Committee chair.
We thank DPW and Lodge Design for producing and installing the signs.
We have two announcements about the street lights included in IDO’s Streetscape project that has revitalized our Washington Street business corridor with infrastructure improvements, additional lighting and landscaping, and bike racks. IDO is responsible for paying the light bill for the 30 street lights, which costs $12,000 annually.
NAP tax credits reward donors. IDO’s tax credit allocation to help donors to the street lights fund has been extended. It’s a great way for you to help the Streetscape stay bright, clean, and green while also saving some green on your taxes. The state offers Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP) tax credits to individuals and businesses who donate to eligible programs, including the Streetscape.
For the next two months, up to $1,158 in donations to the street lights fund are eligible for a direct credit against the taxpayer’s state tax liability up to 50% of the donation amount. The minimum donation is $100 and it must be made before March 31, 2017. So for a $100 donation, you can take $50 off what you owe in state taxes. You can also claim the full $100 as a deduction on your federal taxes if you itemize, further lowering your out-of-pocket costs. For more information on how you can help the Streetscape and save money, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
HICC pledges an annual donation. At its January meeting, Historic Irvington Community Council voted in favor of supporting streetscape maintenance with an annual $2,000 contribution to the street light fund. That’s five streetlights and 17% of the bill! Thanks especially to council Vice President Mike Spilbeler, who introduced the donation to the council for approval.
At its February 1, 2017 hearing, IHPC advised Coal Yard developers to rework their application for a certificate of appropriateness for the Bonna Avenue property. The commission asked developers to reconsider architectural style and landscaping for the site. The City of Indianapolis videotapes these hearings and posts them publicly online.
The site proposal in the application incorporated suggestions that Irvington neighbors contributed during the past four months in community meetings, emails and phone calls, and face-to-face meetings with the developers and IDO staff and board members.
Developers will resubmit the application, and the commission will hear the case on April 5, 2017 at 5:30 p.m. in the public assembly room at the City-County building. Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission (IHPC) holds design and zoning jurisdiction over 12 designated historic districts to preserve the character and fabric of historically significant areas and structures.