The idea of Center Grove becoming a town leads to questions about our schools, utilities, roads, and even controlling tall weeds. The truth is not a lot changes, except you get more say over the future of your community.
First, what won’t change. The area is already served by the White River Township Fire Department south to Stones Crossing Road; the area south of Stones Crossing is served by the Bargersville Fire Department. That will not change. Your school system will not change either. Just as the fire department is independent of the Town of Center Grove local government so is the school system.
Your utility company will not change, rules about your fences, out buildings and other zoning issues remain the same. If you have a horse on your property now, after forming the town, you can keep it. We want to protect our way of life, not change it.
Our focus on minimizing change also means working with the county to provide services. The plan for the Town of Center Grove is to enter into an agreement with the Johnson County Sheriff to continue to provide our police protection. We have spoken with Sheriff Cox and he likes the idea. Their service is great now, why change. More importantly why go out and buy a bunch of police cars when we have the option to work with the sheriff. The same applies to roads, we do not need to create a street department when we can contract with the county and private companies to provide the service we need.
What would change? You would have a local government making the decisions about what kind of buildings and businesses can be built in our commercial areas. Right now, someone living in the southern rural part of our county has as much say as you do about development in our community. To get that local control you are also going to get a part-time town council, a clerk-treasurer as required by state law, and a professional town manager.
One other thing will change, your taxes. Currently there are taxes you pay that are spent elsewhere in our county. There are taxes you pay that flow to other cities and towns and not to the Center Grove area because we are not a town. Those tax dollars that we will gain will help offset the cost of our limited local government. Nevertheless, your taxes will also go up. How much we do not know yet but we do know this. If Bargersville or Greenwood annexes us, our taxes will increase. If we do nothing our taxes will increase as the county needs additional revenue to make up for the annexations of the prime commercial areas by our neighboring communities.
We make you this promise if the Town of Center Grove is not the lowest cost option we will not create the town. We ask you to ask yourself, which option gives you the most control over your taxes?