Fishers Leads County Growth through Smart Economic Development Initiatives Hamilton County is one of the fastest growing counties in the nation, and the county’s growth has been led for several years by the Town of Fishers, with a 2.7 percent average annual growth rate. Founded as a rural farm community in 1802 by William Conner, settlers first came to the area after Indiana became a state in 1816. The Nickel Plate railroad, connecting New York, Chicago and St. Louis, was an early catalyst for the area’s growth, drawing residents and businesses. In 1872, Salathiel Fisher divided the land he owned next to the railroad into town lots and Fisher’s Station—later Fishers Switch and finally just Fishers—was born. In 1960, the census recorded a population of 344. The relocation of Indiana Highway 37 to the east side of town and the connection with I-69 spurred continual growth as Fishers emerged as a commercial and residential center. By 1990 the town had grown to 7,508 residents, with much of the town’s growth coming from the migration of Indianapolis residents. With award-winning schools, affordable homes and a plethora of recreational opportunities, Fishers quickly became one of the most attractive communities for families in central Indiana and has gained several national distinctions as such, including one of the 10 Best Towns for Families and one of the 100 Best Places to Live in America.
Town Talk October 2014
The Town’s most explosive growth has come in the last two decades with the population increasing from 7,508 in 1990 to 37,835 in 2000 and then to 76,794 in 2010, according to census data. In 2013, the estimated population was up to 83,891 second only to Indianapolis, with a 10 percent increase from 2010. The Town is poised for continued growth of at least 1.5 percent annually through 2030, as projected by a forecasting and sustainability analysis completed earlier this year. The task of town officials is to ensure smart growth. The Town’s aggressive economic development strategy, as outlined in last month’s Town Talk feature ‘Fishers Advantage Leads the Effort in Creating a Sustainable Community,’ is the crux of our smart growth. Through aggressive business attraction, growth and development efforts, the Town is working to balance the tax base with residential and commercial development. As residential development continues naturally with the town’s growth, commercial development must keep pace. Significant increases in the commercial tax base are critical to increasing revenues, which are needed to fund the increasing public safety and infrastructure demands of a growing residential population.