Letter: Iceplex is a good idea, the location is not

To the editor:

My family welcomes the proposed Iceplex to the Greenwood area. We attended the first Greenwood Common Council meeting concerning this project, and we support local facilities for the youth of our area. However, we believe Freedom Park is not an appropriate location for such a commercial facility.

Freedom Park may be “shovel ready” for development, but please be wise and careful about the development within our precious park.

Traffic studies have not been completed for a facility with projected visitors of several hundred thousand per year. Residential two-lane roads around the park are already busy.

The new Greenwood Middle School traffic is not yet known. It would not be amenable to funnel commercial traffic through surrounding neighborhoods, and near neighborhoods would have difficulty accessing entrances and exits. Please complete the promised traffic studies before deciding on the iceplex location. Let’s not get the cart before the horse.

Freedom Park is located in the heart of a large residential area, as seen on the Greenwood planning map. Placing a busy commercial facility in the middle of this residential neighborhood is not in accordance with the plan developed by the city of Greenwood.

The area the planning committee has designated for recreation and entertainment is located near Interstate 65 and County Line Road. We need our elected officials to follow the predetermined plan so residents and potential homeowners can make informed decisions about the community in which they choose to live.

Why don’t we offer the iceplex alternative locations? Perhaps they would rather be closer to major roads, since visitors will be coming from out of town. At the meeting of the council, it was mentioned that Graham Road has been developed to four or five lanes and prepared for more development. Perhaps the traffic could be better accommodated on Graham Road.

At the meeting, Sean Hallett mentioned the success of the comparable facility in Fishers. Fishers has a full schedule for next year. Good news for the iceplex. Mr. Hallett also said these scheduled tournaments last until “midnight every night.” That schedule does not align with park hours (dawn to dusk). Nor does the plan to serve alcohol within the complex.

These activities and schedules would change the atmosphere of the park.

In order for the 6.5 acres of Freedom Park to be leased to this commercial development, the land must be designated an “Environmental Development Target Area.”

According to the directives from the Indiana state legislature, an economical development target area must be of historical significance or an “undesirable” area. Surely, Freedom Park does not have any land that meets these criteria.

We are thankful to have a mayor who is ambitious to make Greenwood a better place to live.

We are glad to have council members who listen. Please carefully consider the location of the proposed iceplex. We like our park.

Kristy Mathews