July 7, 2020
A Town of Zionsville Publication
In This Issue • Zionsville Goes Solar • Zionsville Police Chief Discusses Diversity • Love Your Parks and Trails
July 7, 2020
ZIONSVILLE GOES SOLAR The Boone County Solar Co-op has officially launched thanks to national nonprofit Solar United Neighbors and local resident Eliana Armstrong. When Solar United Neighbors and Eliana Armstrong approached the Town with the mission of helping Zionsville go solar, Town administration was immediately on board. The co-op brings together 50 to 100 neighbors to go solar together. Experts support the neighbors through each stage of the solar process. The process helps ensure each member gets a quality install from a vetted and neutrally-selected installer. Solar United Neighbors helps the solar co-op develop a request for proposal (RFP) from local installers, resulting in a competitive bidding process. Co-op members leverage bulk-purchasing power to get discounted pricing and a quality installation, while still signing individual contracts that ensure the right system for their home. Once an installer is selected, Solar United Neighbors works closely with co-op members to evaluate their solar contracts and advocate on their behalf during the installation process. The Boone County Solar Co-op is open to residents and small businesses in and around Boone County. In addition to competitive pricing on solar panels, the co-op offers: • • • • •
Vendor-neutral solar experts. A direct line to ask specific questions now and long after installation. A team that solicits and reviews proposals from solar companies. A built-in network of support and inspiration from others who are also advancing the clean energy economy. A bigger impact of creating jobs and contributing to cleaner air and water for everyone.
The direct benefits? According to Solar United Neighbors, the average size of solar installation in their co-ops is 7 kW. Installing a 7 kW array typically saves a homeowner an average of $35,000 on energy bills over the next 25 years and increases the value of the home by about $21,000. Environmentally, a typical 7 kW system will eliminate 118.6 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions over its 25-year lifespan. The co-op is open to new members through September 30, 2020. To learn more or to join the coop, visit: www.solarunitedneighbors.org/boonecounty.
How Does Solar Work? 1.
Solar panels are mounted on the roof (or the ground) and produce electricity.
That electricity flows into an inverter, where it’s converted from direct current to alternating current, which we use in our homes.
It then connects into your electrical panel, where the power gets used up by your appliances.
If you’re not using all of the power you’re producing at any given moment, any excess goes out through your utility meter onto the local power lines before getting used up by your neighbors.
July 7, 2020
Local Solar Success Story: Terry McCain and Mike Howenstein Terry McCain and Mike Howenstein of Zionsville went solar in 2017, the last year to quality for 30 years of net metering (net metering is a solar incentive that allows you to store energy in the electric grid. When your solar panels produce more electricity than you need, that energy is sent to the grid in exchange for credits). Since going solar, their electric savings run between $1,700 – $1,800 per year.
Why did you decide to go solar?
There were two key reasons for our solar decision: environmental and financial. • From an environmental standpoint, in our opinion, far too much of our electricity is generated from coal which hurts our air quality. Going solar helps reduce that pollution. • From a financial standpoint, we look at the solar investment as another component of our investment strategy. Financial advisors typically recommend diversity in both investments and income. Going solar reduces our monthly expenses which in turn reduces our income needs. The solar investment financial return is better than investment grade bonds, but generally less than stocks. However, the solar return will increase over time as the cost of electricity increases and has much less volatility and risk than stocks – especially in the current market. The solar system is a nice complement to our other investments.
Did anything surprise you about going solar?
We have engineering and science backgrounds and did a lot of investigation and review with the electrician beforehand so we knew most of the technical stuff. One surprise that many who go solar have is that the system will not generate electricity during daytime power failures without a battery system. We planned for this during our initial installation and designed in the ability to add a backup battery later so that we could power essential circuits when the power is out. We added the backup battery to our system in 2019 and also the ability to plug in generators to our system.
What advice would you give someone considering going solar?
You can install your solar system in phases which can help with spreading out your costs. Make sure the solar company knows of your long-term plans (for instance, adding a backup battery later and
Terry McCain and Mike Howenstein using a generator for some circuits) so the system is capable of handling your expansion plans.
Anything else you would like to add?
If you live in a subdivision with a Homeowners Association (HOA), make sure that you check with them to see if your solar installation needs HOA approval. If your HOA does not permit solar, now would be a great time to work with your HOA to change that. Talk with other solar homeowners about their experiences with solar. Also, check with your insurance company to make sure that your solar installation is covered under your homeowner’s policy.
Upcoming Webinar Solar 101: Boone, Hamilton and Marion Counties Solar Co-op Info Session Wednesday, July 15 at 6:30 p.m. Learn about the solar co-op and about solar energy including the technology, economics, financing and more. This will be a live presentation on Zoom and attendees can ask questions about solar. To register, visit www. solarunitedneighbors.org/boonecounty and click on “Events.”
July 7, 2020
Diversity, Inclusion and Safe Policing By Zionsville Police Department Chief Spears The Zionsville Police Department is committed to compassionate, professional service to the citizens and guests of our town. Fundamental to our commitment to service is the fair and respectful treatment of all persons. We constantly evaluate our policies and directives to ensure they reflect the highest ideals and practices of modern law enforcement. Members of our department are diligently working to attain national accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) to ensure we meet and perform our duties consistent with the highest standards. Through training we ensure officers understand community expectations and are prepared to help others with integrity, understanding and confidence. Officers receive instruction in important subjects like use of force, de-escalation techniques, implicit bias, mental health and other contemporary social issues. We are aggressively recruiting patrol officer candidates to help improve diversity and ensure all applicants know they are welcome and have equal opportunities. We are working to enhance relationships with neighborhoods, businesses, schools, churches and individuals within Zionsville. Our police department and Town leaders are in the process of commencing a series of community discussions to ensure all people know they are welcome, included and important to our town and its future. Our police department is not detached from our community but is an important part of it. I am proud of and commend the people of Zionsville for their care and concern for others. Their support of our police department is second to none. It reflects high levels of confidence, trust and an ongoing willingness to work together to make improvements and ensure safety and peace.
Police Chief Michael Spears
In the Know Oak Street Sewer
CR 400 South
The Zionsville Wastewater Department is bringing sewer to portions of Oak Street. This sewer will be located on the north side of Oak Street and will extend west of Cooper Road traveling east to just west of Irish Hill. All residents along the side streets of Oak Street who are in the direct location of the sewer project are being considered for sewer. Surveys are being collected for residents in the vicinity to research interest in connecting to the new sanitary sewer. Residents in this area can complete a survey by visiting: www.zionsville-in. gov/207/Wastewater.
As part of the North-South Connector project, the intersection of Whitestown Road and CR 875 East is closed to traffic through Aug. 21, weather dependent. This project involves a new roadway segment that will connect the intersection of CR 850 East/Cooper Road with CR 875 East to the north. The design includes a roundabout at the intersection of CR 850 East/Cooper Road and Oak Street and a roundabout at the intersection of CR 875 East and Whitestown Road. There are no planned closures of Oak Street for the south roundabout at CR 850 East/Cooper Road and Oak Street. This roundabout is planned to be constructed while maintaining east-west traffic on Oak Street. However, CR 850 East/Cooper Road will close periodically south of Oak Street during certain phases of construction.
Utility relocation is underway. Following the utility relocation work, beginning on or after Aug. 23, CR 400 South to the west of CR 875 East for approximately .5 miles will be closed to through-traffic. Local access to homes will be maintained. This will be the final phase of the CR 400 South widening, repair and resurfacing project.
July 7, 2020
MEET THE MERCHANT Q&A with Bob Goodman Robert Goodman Jewelers
106 North Main Street www.robertgoodmanjewelers.com Open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Thursday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
How did you get your start in the jewelry industry?
I’m third generation. My dad had 11 stores in Indiana and used to take me to his stores. I was 16 when he took me to jewelry shows for the first time. When I was 17, I started selling in one of the stores. I was going to go to gemology school, but we realized I could learn more from my father.
How did you land in Zionsville?
We liquidated Goodman Jewelers at the end of 1999. I left the business in April of 2000 and my wife Rose-Marie and I opened in Zionsville in October of 2000. The demographics in Zionsville were right. A lot of people in the industry didn’t think I could make the transition from a chain store owner to a mom and pop store owner. We are now in our 19th full year.
Tell me about the types of jewelry and designers you carry.
The genesis of our business is diamonds. In the past eight years we have transitioned to partnering with small independent designers and artists. Many are working sustainably and using ethically sourced metals and stones. We are always looking for interesting and unusual stuff, for that amazing local artist who is creative, has great workmanship and whose style is unique.
You’re known for #ZionsvilleRocks. How did that get started?
When we were setting up the business, we knew we had to come up with a tagline. The whole idea is it’s a double entendre. We were really protective of it for a long time because we invested a lot of money and time in it. Now it’s evolved into something the community uses.
You have also made an impact in Zionsville through promoting local art and murals on your building. How did that get started? Kids and Zionsville students come in and ask: what do we need to do to create a mural? We tell them: you just did it. We don’t ever know what’s going up with our murals, and we don’t restrict the muralist’s voice. Our building is an open space for public art.
You often take a stance on current social issues. How do current issues impact your business decisions?
We had the first “Open for Service” sticker on the street. We’ve never been shy about talking politics and religion in this store. And we are always happy to talk to someone with opposing views. But we have very few confrontations because we want to encourage people to come in here and have these conversations whether they agree with us or not. We will not turn anyone away. Regardless of what they believe – agree or disagree with us – it doesn’t matter.
July 7, 2020
Elm Street Green
Love Your Parks and Trails Through these difficult times Zionsville parks and trails have been a welcome respite for the community. As spring turns to summer, we encourage you to continue to get outside and explore. Enjoy Zionsville parks amenities but please remember to respect the parks, respect the animals and plants that live there and respect other park users. 1.
The safety of our staff and community is the top priority. Please do your part and follow CDC recommendations: practice physical distancing and maintain at least six feet from others when possible; avoid crowded areas; stay home if you are sick or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19; and practice frequent hand washing and bring hand sanitizer. Masks are highly encouraged.
Pick up after your pup. Dog waste bags are available at all park parking lots or trailheads as well as several areas along the Big-4 Rail Trail. Please pick up after your pet and then dispose of the waste properly (not on the trail or in the woods). Dog waste can carry diseases and bacteria that may make other dogs, people or wildlife sick. It’s not pleasant to come across as you walk in the park and it pollutes Eagle Creek from runoff.
Leave no trace. Scouts aren’t the only ones who should practice “leave no trace.” Dispose of trash in the cans located in each parking lot and areas along the Big-4 Rail Trail. Parks Department maintenance staff work hard at making sure trash cans are emptied regularly and dog waste dispensers are restocked.
Don’t park on the lawn. The lawn is a green space for picnics, playing catch and enjoying our parks. It’s also something that needs to be mowed, which cannot be accomplished when there are cars parked there. Wet weather can result in ruts and damage to the grass. If a parking lot is full, why not try exploring another park? Find a parks map here: www.zionsville-in. gov/268/Parks-Map
Stay on the path. The number of unauthorized trails, trash and campfire pits in the woods have become a concern. Please respect the property of those who live near our parks.
Skateboarders unite! Spread the word: bikes and scooters are not allowed in the skate park. The park was not designed for use of bikes and scooters, which can cause significant damage.
July 7, 2020
Happening Around Town Night on the Bricks Night on the Bricks takes place on Thursday evenings from 5 – 9 p.m. Guests are invited to bring their own chairs or picnic blankets, sit at one of the many tables set up on Main Street, order from local restaurants and remain socially distanced while enjoying dinner on the Brick Street. Before or after dinner, shop the many retailers throughout downtown Zionsville.
Zion Nature Center Reopens The Zion Nature Center is currently open on Fridays and Saturdays from noon – 5 p.m. Steps are being taken to follow CDC safety guidelines: a limited number of visitors are allowed in at one time, face masks are required for those ages three and older, animal meet and greets are cancelled and the play area is closed. Please do not visit Zion Nature Center if you are sick or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. For more information, visit: www.zionsville-in.gov/ zionnaturecenter.
Night on the Bricks
Zionsville Fire Department Recruit Academy To become a firefighter with the Zionsville Fire Department (ZFD), recruits must meet certain requirements and pass a series of tests. Part of this requirement is attending recruit academy, a training for firefighters to become certified by the state of Indiana as firefighters and often EMTs. The academy includes classroom lectures, hands-on training, physical fitness training, live fire drills, vehicle extrication and more. Currently, ZFD and Whitestown Fire Department have a combined recruit academy with five candidates. The recruit academy is approximately 12 weeks – four weeks are focused on EMS and eight weeks are focused on fire training. Not all fire departments have staff that are cross trained in EMS. All members of ZFD are cross trained as either
firefighter/EMTs or firefighter/paramedics. “This partnership with Whitestown Fire Department goes beyond the current recruit class,” said ZFD Deputy Chief of Operations Brian Miller. “Both Departments regularly train with each other to ensure proficiency and knowledge in times of need for mutual aid and large-scale responses. Crews from Zionsville Fire Department will be assisting Whitestown Fire Department throughout the next 12 weeks to help both departments achieve the common goal of ready to deploy probationary firefighters by the end of the class.” Following graduation in August, recruits will begin shifts in area fire stations.
ZFD Division Chief of EMS Steve Gilliam and Recruit Jacob Elliott
July 7, 2020
COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT Zionsville Farmers’ Market By Kristin Nester, Zionsville Farmers’ Market Manager The Zionsville Farmers’ Market is in full swing every Saturday morning through September 26 at this year’s new location, the Zionsville Town Hall parking lot. The market hours are 8 – 11 a.m., with 8 – 9 a.m. reserved for highrisk patrons. Parking is available at Town Hall and at Zionsville Christian Church (120 N. 9th Street). The market is doing a lot to keep the community and vendors safe during COVID-19, including offering pre-order, providing curbside pick-up and dedicating one hour for high-risk individuals. If you are interested in pre-order or curbside pickup, check out the website (zionsvillefarmersmarket.org). Preordering is not required. When visiting the market, please leave dogs at home as the market is humans-only this season to encourage social distancing. Please wear a face covering. The market offers fresh produce, honey, meat, flowers, plants and more. This is a fantastic way to support local farmers while social distancing. When you visit, consider parking at Zionsville Christian Church and walking the Big-4 Rail Trail to the market. It is a short walk and will ensure that you easily find a parking space. For the most up-to-date information about the Zionsville Farmers’ Market, take a look at the Facebook and Instagram pages (@zionsvillefarmersmarket).
A newsletter from the town of Zionsville Indiana.