A group of White River Township residents has organized to form the Town of Center Grove. Many times during the Greenwood/White River Township reorganization effort the question was raised “Why are you not investigating idea of creating a new town?” (See video of question here) The simply answer is, state law requires that incorporation efforts be “citizen led.” The Township Board and the Greenwood Common Council did not have the authority to conduct such a study.
Shortly after the reorganization fell to the wayside a small group came together to officially form Citizens for Center Grove. The organization is a registered non-profit with the state and a 501(c)4 according to the IRS.
The first step was to conduct an initial feasibility study. Considering the available population, the number of road miles, and with the goal of creating a low cost government, it was determined that it was feasible to form a town. Furthermore, based on nothing but the current assessed value of the properties within the defined boarder, this town could operate at a tax rate lower than either Greenwood or Bargersville.
Late last year more volunteers joined the effort and formed four committees: Governance, Infrastructure, Resource Management, and Community Services. Details are on their website.
Early this year the group began working with graduate students from the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs (see IU Daily Student story here). Since the beginning of January, the students have collected a significant amount of data for the submission. The work of the students will be complete by mid-April and the report will be ready to submit to the County Commissioners by mid-year. If the submission is acceptable to the County Commissioners and other meets other requirements, the Town of Center Grove could be a reality by the end of this year.
The final cost is still unknown, but the group expects it could cost as much as $100,000 to bring the town into existence. The funds will be spent on items such as conducting a survey of the town borders, counting the residents, legal fees, certified mailings to every affected household and general and administrative expense. No one is paid for his or her efforts; this is being accomplished strictly through volunteer labor.
You can follow the progress of Citizens for Center Grove in a number of ways. You can check out their website: CitizensForCenterGrove.org, or follow them on Facebook.com/C4CenterGrove or Twitter @Citizens4CG. The website also allows you to sign up for their email newsletter or become a member of C4CG. There is not cost to join, however board member Ryan Rhoten says, “It’s a great way to show support for the future of our community.”