April 6, 2015 News


Monday, April 6th, 2015

By Sadie Reecer sadie@thetimes24-7.com

CICERO — Downtown Cicero has found its niche with restaurants, like the trendy 10 West, shopping and a vibrant arts community just blocks away from the reservoir, Red Bridge Park and the newly completed Jackson Street Causeway and trail.

With everything it has to offer, the Town has looked more than once at creating an organization that would be a hub for events and be a voice for the growing community as Cicero sees more visitors from improvements made at nearby Strawtown Koteewi Park in Noblesville and Grand Park in Westfield.

For the last few years, Cicero Planning Director Paul Munoz, with other members of the Town’s Economic Development Commission (EDC), have been researching Main Street organizations in other communities and decided the town should have its own to be implemented by fall of this year. The Cicero Economic Development Commission will meet at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at Cicero Town Hall to discuss further development of the organization.

“We decided this would be a great way to accomplish some of the key issues and goals that had come from the public meetings the Town had during the formation of the new comprehensive plan,” Munoz said. “Those goals included, promoting local businesses and attracting new ones to our downtown, promoting Cicero and the town’s attractions for visitors, and creating an organizational tool to help local groups and non-profits promote and attract new events to Cicero and the downtown.”

Once the group decided that Cicero needed a Main Street organization, group members approached the Cicero Town Council with a proposal to hire a grant writer, Tina Mendenhall, to apply for Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) grants that would help fund the start of the organization.

“The EDC along with several business owners have formed a committee to start the framework for the organization and help with the application to OCRA,” Munoz said. “Once the by-laws and board for the organization is formed, they will vote on a president.”

Brett Morrow, owner of 10 West Restaurant, is helping lead the charge for the committee. “There (are) so many amazing gems here in Cicero that do not get the credit they deserve. Our downtown is one of them,” he said. “But this Main Street organization is about rallying all local businesses around making Cicero a better place for visitors and residents.”

The committee has also been working on a name for the organization. Right now, the organization has just been called “Cicero Mainstreet,” which may stick, but in the meantime, Brenda Myers, executive director of Hamilton County Tourism, has been collecting name options to be presented to the committee.

Munoz said while the organization is going to be up and running by the fall, it won’t be fully operational until January 2016. Organizations like Lights Over Morse, Cicero Friends of the Park, Hamilton North Chamber of Commerce and others will also be promoted and represented through the organization.

“Cicero’s downtown has remarkable character and is unique because of the proximity to the Morse Reservoir,” Munoz said. “The Town really wants to work to preserve it as future growth comes to Cicero, making sure any new public improvements and new businesses will enhance the beauty and history of the downtown. Tourism is a strong economic driver for Hamilton County and the Town of Cicero wants to position themselves as a premier destination in Central Indiana.”