Noblesville Adds To Investment In Downtown Maintenance

05/03/2019

Downtown Workers

New staff and equipment to provide daily upkeep for central business district

Noblesville is taking more steps to focus on the maintenance and care of the city’s downtown. Street department employees Thad Gilliam and Jedidiah Henson began their duties in April following the approval of the 2019 Noblesville Civil City budget that provided additional staff and equipment to better maintain streets, sidewalks, alleys, bathrooms, signage, lighting and overall cleanliness of the central business district.

“We are blessed to have such a beautiful and historic downtown; it truly is the heart of our community,” said Noblesville Mayor John Ditslear. “I appreciate the support of our Noblesville Common Council for this investment and the extra effort by our street department to give our downtown the love and care it deserves.”

Downtown WorkersThe two are assigned to downtown from Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. In addition to the daily cleaning of streets, alleys, sidewalks and the public restrooms in the alley off of Conner Street, Gilliam and Henson will address any maintenance issues within the central business district that are the city’s responsibility. Next winter, the city also will begin removing snow and salting sidewalks for downtown, a task that was previously done by business owners.

“There has been a growing need for more maintenance and upkeep in our central business district,” said Noblesville Street Commissioner Patty Johnson. “Before we were only able to schedule work two or three times a week, now we can be much more proactive especially as we prepare for the greater number of residents and visitors we’re expecting in our downtown.”

A few of Gilliam and Henson’s primary maintenance responsibilities include emptying trash cans and wiping down lids, sweeping sidewalks, collecting cigarette butts disposed of on ground, ensuring light bulbs in all downtown fixtures are illuminated, placing flower pots and banners, and miscellaneous landscaping in parking lots. They also are responsible for painting and maintenance of all facilities including curbs, walk alley brick staining, benches, traffic sign poles and trash cans.

“Downtown also hosts several special events throughout the year and this crew will assist by cleaning up during and after those events, setting and moving barricades as necessary and providing appropriate services to event coordinators,” Johnson said.

Gilliam and Henson also will provide business owners and frequent patrons with a familiar face.

“They will act as a liaison between the city and downtown businesses so if a business has a question or concern they have a point of contact and a familiar face,” said Johnson. “If you have an issue with a dirty sidewalk or a trash can they can find one of these guys because they will be downtown every day.”

The funding for additional maintenance was approved by the Noblesville Common Council in October for the 2019 Civil City budget. Recently, Noblesville expanded its facade grant program to add to other downtown improvements that are in the works, such as newly painted street lights and trash cans. Meanwhile, the city is considering new planters, installation of new alley features and other ideas gathered through public input from the streetscape master plan and the council’s downtown district committee, which consists of city and county officials, community leaders, business owners and downtown residents.

“All of these efforts are a nice addition to the city and council’s focus to support and improve our downtown,” said Common Council President Brian Ayer. “In the past, snow removal was inconsistent on streets and in front of businesses, making it difficult for shoppers and diners to patronize our stores. From winter to spring and through summer and fall, it’s important to keep our downtown well-kept and accessible for all visitors all year long.”