2024 Carmel City Budget Introduced

By: Adam Aasen

The proposed $208.8 million budget includes a 7 percent increase in the general fund, which covers most city services. Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard, who is leaving office on Jan. 1, said he will be recommending a rate cap resolution, which prevents any increase in the city rate in 2024 compared to 2023. Some highlights include a 3 percent cost of living increase for city employees and five new police officers. It also includes money for additional security cameras throughout our city, include cameras at intersections that can scan license plates and help catch dangerous criminals fleeing the scene of a crime.

One item that was proposed in the city budget that I’m very skeptical about is adding a second manager for an additional location for All Things Carmel, a nonprofit retail store on Main Street that sells Carmel merchandise. This new location would be inside the new Historical Society building. As a former small business owner, I understand the retail world is very difficult. Before we add a second location, I’d like to get a strong grasp on the finances of the current location. Upon my request, the city has provided some figures, and I will follow up with questions. At the end of the day though, I am hesitant to add personnel such as this because a new mayor does not want to come in and let someone go if it doesn’t align with his/her vision. A compromise I will suggest is that perhaps the city can partner with the Carmel Clay Historical Society to recruit volunteers at this retail space and a portion of the proceeds can benefit CCHS if they help provide volunteers to staff/sell items. Please let me know your thoughts.


Update on Conner Prairie Proposal

Carmel City Council will vote on the proposal on Monday Oct. 16

The most significant change made to the proposal since the last public meeting is reducing the size of the office building from 70,000 to 55,000 square feet, limiting its height to two stories and shifting it north. Decreasing the size of the office building will also lead to the elimination of two parking lots and expansion of a landscaped buffer area between the Conner Prairie property and nearby neighborhoods.

From City Councilor Adam Aasen:

“After more than a year of work, I think we are finally getting to a place where I think both Conner Prairie and the neighboring homes can all be pretty happy. Going from three to two stories, reducing the square footage and adding tree buffers should all help protect homes from light pollution and preserve some of their view. I also think that reducing the number of parking spaces (which was significantly reduced), along with reducing the office space, will help reduce traffic on River Road and 146th Street. The initial traffic study reported no noticeable traffic impact expected by this project, but since then we’ve reduced the number of buildings/parking spaces and removed one of the entrances (in an effort to deter traffic from traveling through residential areas). Please let me know your thoughts, but I think this has reached a point where this project won’t have a major negative impact on surrounding neighbors.”


Palladium light show starts earlier

Beginning tonight, Friday, Oct.  6, Palladiscope Carmel will begin showing at 8:30 p.m. The show will then play every half hour, with the final show beginning at 11 p.m.


Gray Road Path Now Has Asphalt!

I know it’s taken longer than expected (due to utilities), but the asphalt is down on the Gray Road path and concrete/clean-up is next. Very exciting!!! Please be aware this is still an active construction site, and we thank you for your patience as they complete this project. In the spring, new trees will be planted, and you have my word that as many will be planted as is possible.


Oktoberfest Tonight at Carmel City Center

Der Polkatz comes to Carmel City Center to celebrate Oktoberfest on Friday, October 6, 2023, from 6-10 p.m.

Oktoberfest has become an annual celebratory fall event for Carmel residents.

It is free to the public and open to all ages. Parking is available in area parking garages and street parking.

Participating food and beverage vendors:

  • Matt the Miller’s Tavern
  • Le Peep
  • 317 Charcuterie
  • Hotel Carmichael
  • Tucci’s
  • The Cake Bake Shop

-Adam Aasen was first elected to the Carmel City Council in 2019, representing Southeast Carmel. In addition to Aasen’s City Council role, he is a CarmelFest committee member, involved in Synergize, and a Carmel Rotary member.