Q: Who/what is preparing the Plan?
A: The City of Greenfield, Town of Cumberland, Town of New Palestine, Town of McCordsville, Town of Fortville, Town of Shirley, and Town of Wilkinson, in conjunction with Hancock County, came together to manage and fund the development of a county-wide trails plan to connect their communities.

They contracted with the firm of Butler, Fairman, and Seufert, which subcontracted Health By Design, to help facilitate the master planning process.

Butler, Fairman, and Seufert is a premier full-service civil engineering firm with over 150 employees including Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, Landscape Architects, Architecture Historians and technical support teams. Their Trails and Parks Department has been planning and designing trails, parks and recreational amenities since 1993.

Health by Design works at the intersection of the built environment and public health, collaborating across sectors and disciplines to ensure Indiana communities have neighborhoods, public spaces and transportation infrastructure that promote active living for all.

Q: How is the Plan funded? Taxpayer money, public money, private contributions?
A: This planning process, which was contracted at $90,000.00, has been funded through a combination of private and public investments. Each local community provided some funding, as did other key community stakeholders, including the Hancock County Community Foundation, Hancock County Tourism Commission, Hancock Economic Development Council and Hancock Health. In addition, several local businesses and individuals made contributions to the process.

Plan Sponsors:

 City of Greenfield Hancock Health
 Town of Cumberland Brand & Morelock
 Town of Fortville Gregg Morelock
 Town of McCordsville Hancock Flat 50
 Town of New Palestine Mt Vernon School
 Town of Shirley Ron & Peggy Pritzke
 Town of Wilkinson Thomas P Miller & Associates
 Hancock County Community Foundation Tom & Marciann Miller
 Hancock County Tourism Commission Union Savings and Loan
 Hancock Economic Development Council Vectren Foundation
  Wilkinson Insurance

Q: What is (or will be) the process for Plan preparation and adoption?
A: The planning process kicked-off in December 2017 with a meeting of the steering committee, consisting of county, city and town representatives, as well as other key community stakeholders. Planning for the inventory phase of the project, which included initial public involvement and the collection of data and information related to natural and cultural features, began at that time.

In February of 2018, the public survey was launched, and the first public meetings were scheduled and promoted. Open Houses were held on 2/19 in Wilkinson; 2/21 in Fortville; 2/27 in New Palestine; and 3/1 in Greenfield. At those open houses, discussion included topics such as desired pedestrian and biking routes, existing problem locations, and policies and programs that would encourage citizens to have a more active lifestyle.

After all of that information is gathered, the analysis phase of the planning process will begin, and last through mid-April. There will be additional opportunities for public input and involvement during that time.

Next, the plan will be drafted and reviewed internally by the Steering Committee. The public will then have a chance to review the draft plan, attend one or more additional public meeting(s), and provide further input. After that, the plan will be finalized and presented to the Plan Commission for adoption, which is expected to occur in late August 2018.

Q: Will there be any property acquired as part of this Trails Plan?
A: No paths or trails will be acquired or constructed as part of this planning process.

Q: How long will it take to build the trail system?
A: It will take many years, perhaps even decades, to build out the trail system that will be proposed through this planning process. At this time, there are no specific plans for construction.

Q: Where/how to be more involved in the process

A: To be added to the email list for the planning process, please contact Kate Riordan, Health by Design (kriordan@hbdin.org).

A: Questions, comments and concerns may be directed to representatives from the county and each community or to the Butler, Fairman, and Seufert and Health By Design teams. Contact information is listed below.

 Hancock County:
Mike Dale, Executive Director
Hancock County Area Plan Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals
  New Palestine:
David Book, New Palestine Town Manager
Christine Owens, Cumberland Plan Director
Teresa Hester, Shirley Town Clerk
Adam Zaklikowski, Fortville Planning Administrator
317-485-4044 x 105
Janette Young, Wilkinson Clerk-Treasurer
Joanie Fitzwater, Greenfield Planning Director
  Butler, Fairman, and Seufert:
Jason Griffin
Project Manager
Tonya Galbraith, McCordsville Town Manager
   Health by Design:
Kate Riordan
Active Living Program Manager