Mayor Jensen Recaps First 100 Days in Office

Posted by Noblesville Economic Development under News

NOBLESVILLE, IN (April 10, 2020) – Even before being sworn in as the city’s 25th mayor, Chris Jensen had a vision for his hometown, and for himself. In his first 100 days in office, Jensen and his administration have advanced a proactive agenda focused on his campaign’s four key areas – Workforce and Economic Development; Downtown, Culture and Recreation; Public Health and Safety; and Roads and Infrastructure – while also solving problems and providing strong leadership on urgent and emerging issues.

“While our administration is focused on four pillars to better our community, the COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on our plans for the city and on our normal daily lives,” said Jensen. “I’m excited about what we have been able to accomplish – and everything we are currently working on and will achieve – but I could not be prouder to be mayor for the way our community is handling the Coronavirus outbreak. The caring spirit of our community has continued to show and we will overcome these challenges and come out a stronger city.”

Major Accomplishments of First 100 Days:

Workforce and Economic Development

“Our administration’s vison is to be proactive not reactive and attract businesses that make sense. We will work to establish a strong economic identity with medical technology and manufacturing sectors as key areas of focus. We also are looking to provide larger numbers of mid and high wage jobs,” Jensen said.

  • Small Business Resilience Grants – This week, Jensen announced the 46 local establishments that are recipients of the Noblesville Small Business Resilience Grant, which awarded a total of $250,000. The grant was created to help small businesses with unmet immediate needs such as maintaining payroll, paying rent and utilities, and covering other expenses to remain operational and serve customers and clients. Based on demonstrated need, the grants provided up to $10,000 per small business impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The Lofts on Tenth – The City of Noblesville and Xanderco, LLC have agreed to partner on a new downtown redevelopment project. The Lofts on Tenth, a $7.7 million project, will add 31,700 square feet of mixed-use redevelopment along 10th Street between Clinton and Wayne streets. This project will increase the downtown livability and provide immediate density and energy along with 8,000 square feet of commercial and retail space. Unique below street level commercial and restaurant space keeps with the historic feel of the architecture.
  • Village at Federal Hill – In an effort to connect downtown and west side, the Village at Federal Hill is a livable, walkable connection between downtown. The project consists of 163 Living Units, 36,000 square feet of commercial retail space and 437 proposed parking spaces with a combination of surface, on-street and structured garage spaces.
  • Panacea – India-based Panacea plans to build a new 60,000-square-foot facility along the I-69 corridor at 141st Street and Olio Road in Noblesville. The company’s North American headquarters plans to employ 65 full-time employees in the new headquarter by 2023. Panacea manufactures modern radiotherapy machines to diagnose and treat cancer. The groundbreaking is set to begin in summer 2020.

Downtown, Culture, & Recreation

“Our downtown is a treasure, but one that needs preservation and enhancing. The city has projects that will increase our downtown livability and provide immediate density and energy along with new commercial and retail space. We will continue to work on ways to expand the downtown across the White River,” Jensen said.

  • Community Engagement Manager – The city’s new community engagement manager, Kayla Arnold, serves as the merchant liaison and first point of contact for downtown businesses. She works directly with merchants and residents in the downtown area to make sure they feel connected to the city and to make sure the city is working on behalf of them and the unique challenges that they face.
  • Hobbs Station – The city is finalizing a plan for Hobbs Station to reintegrate the former train yard site back into Forest Park as a viable and attractive piece of the park. With 135 excursions planned in 2020, the increased potential for visitors to Forest Park for the train is over 25,000 people and will allow Nickel Plate Express to operate out of Forest Park again.

Public Health & Safety

“Public Health and Safety are key ingredients to a livable, growing, and successful community. The city is fortunate to have many health care providers, and highly accredited police and fire departments that are well equipped and well trained to maintain a safe environment for all,” Jensen said.

  • NobleAct – The city recently unveiled its paramedicine program called NobleAct. The program utilizes current community, healthcare and public safety resources to proactively identify and assist the public with non-emergency needs, health issues, and strives to maintain a healthy community. NobleAct is a multipronged approach based on the Community Health Assessment, public safety data analysis, trending issues, stakeholder needs and citizen feedback.
  • New officials – Jensen created the Director of Public Safety position and hired Chad Knecht, a past Deputy Operations Director of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and former Senior Director of Security and Safety for the Indiana Pacers. Coordinating Noblesville’s public safety efforts, he will oversee the city’s police and fire departments and manage traditional public safety issues, mental health care, and community partnerships. Matt Mitchell was also promoted to fire chief and John Mann was named the new police chief.

Roads & Infrastructure

“Infrastructure improvement projects must be prioritized and address both current and future needs and are a wise investment for our community and public safety. The improvements will make it easier for local residents and visitors to get where they need to be, when they need to be there,” Jensen said.

  • Pleasant Street – The expansion of Pleasant Street is Jensen’s No. 1 infrastructure priority. After years of discussion, the city is working on a new plan and seeking potential funding from state and federal grants.
  • Community Crossings Grant – The City of Noblesville received a $1 million from INDOT’s Community Crossings Grant. The 50/50 matching grant will address road improvements in North Harbour, Little Chicago Road (from State Road 38 to 211th Street) and segments of the southeast thoroughfare including 146th and 141st streets and Prairie Baptist Road.
  • Logan Street Pedestrian Bridge – The City of Noblesville and Hamilton County officials opened the Logan Street Bridge renovation in early January. The joint project widened the bridge over the White River to accommodate sidewalks on the north and south sides and constructed a new bridge deck. A 150-foot scenic river overlook was added along the south side of the bridge.