Clinic business

Greenwood Council considering optometry clinic tax relief and OK school safety grant

A booming Greenwood optometry clinic is seeking more than $100,000 in tax relief for a new office on State Road 135.

Dr. Chris Browning, co-owner of VisonQuest Eyecare, 1160 N. State Road 135, appeared before City Council Monday evening to seek a property tax abatement of $119,157 over five years to build a new office of about 9,600 square feet in the Swartz Crossing Development, located adjacent to State Road 135 and Stones Crossing Road. The optometry office is expected to invest about $2.8 million in the project, according to city documents.

VisionQuest is expected to add six new jobs with the new office, while retaining 26 currently filled positions, said Amanda Rubadue, vice president of economic development for Aspire Johnson County.

The total project is actually 12,000 square feet in total, with VisionQuest occupying about 9,000 square feet, Browning told the city council.

“I think we’re actually going to occupy another 2,000 (square feet) that we originally planned to rent, but I think we’re going to rent it to ourselves,” he said.

The firm moved from Indianapolis to Greenwood 10 years ago, and since then they have experienced strong growth. Right now the facility has 38 parking spaces, and they’re going to need more, he said.

“I can’t hire more staff. I can’t hire more doctors without having more room,” Browning said. “We’ve considered moving back to Indianapolis, we’ve considered moving to Bargersville, but we’d really like to stay in Greenwood.”

Construction is expected to begin this month with operations beginning in September 2023, documents show.

The abatement was introduced on Monday and will have to go through two more readings in December. The last reading will be the last.

In other cases, city ​​council also unanimously approved an additional $100,000 school safety grant using federal funds.

Federal funds from the American Rescue Plan Act, or ARPA, will be used to create a one-time $100,000 grant to the Central Nine Career Center to fund safety equipment or programs. The ordinance, which is sponsored by council members Drew Foster and Ezra Hill, is the result of a meeting between the mayor’s office and C9, officials said earlier this month.

This is the second use of ARPA funds for school safety grants in as many months. In October, Mayor Mark Myers launched a million-dollar grant program for the city’s three public school districts — Center Grove, Clark-Pleasant and Greenwood — to bolster safety efforts with strict measures. The city council unanimously approved this program.

The previous grant program evenly split the $1 million in ARPA funds among the three school districts. Each district will be reimbursed up to $333,000 in security costs for items such as cameras, system upgrades and physical security structures, according to city officials.

Like the previous grant program, the $100,000 grant would be repayable, officials said. R9 will have to spend the money first, then request a refund from the city.