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Carmel may be number one

Carmel Indiana is not the home of any former U.S. President, nor the birthplace of any great invention, or the site of a famous civil war battlefield, but it is, none the less, a very special place for a very special reason.  Carmel Indiana just may be one of the best places in the country to live.

Consider this, between 2000 and 2010, the United States Census reports that the population in Carmel, Indiana rose by 42,000 to its current population of just over 79,000 residents.  Forbes Magazine named Carmel Indiana the number one place in the United States to raise a family.  In 2010, CNN Magazine voted it the 14th best place to live in the United States.  The U.S. Conference of Mayors even awarded Carmel with its Climate Protection Award for its development of 80 roundabouts, which replaced 78 stop lights and made a huge step forward in making this Midwestern city a greener place to live.

So, many have spoken in one way or another and cast their vote in favor of Carmel as one of the best places to live in America.  Carmel has become a model city and Mayors around the country are sitting up and taking notice as they try and immulate the success of this amazing little corn fed city.  The chorus of praise is almost overwhelming.

Carmel began its existence as a small farming community.  It sits about 10 miles south west of Noblesville, the county seat, so it has never factored prominently in its own county from a governmental point of view.  It has, however, factored in prominently because of its ever expanding property tax base fed by its ever expanding development.  The growth began in earnest in the early 1970's when new unscale neighborhoods were developed south of 116th street and east of Keystone Avenue.  Sales of these new homes were robust and enthusiastic.  More development followed, which built on that early success.  Carmel was fast becoming the place to be for affluent executives who desired a suburban family lifestyle in contrast to their urban management work life.

As Carmel grew in popularity and notoriety, Carmel's Mayor and city council began to build on this success.  They began by encouraging development of the City's assets and expanding city services.  As the City's assets and services developed, more residential developers entered the game.  Residential and City development seemed to be competing for honors and both seemed to be winning.

As of 2012, Carmel has grown into an amazing place to live.  It has a 24.5 million dollar water park and fitness center, a 300 million dollar state  of the art concernt hall with more than 2300 seats, an art and design district, a centralized bicycle and pedestrian trail connecting it to neighboring communities, world class golf courses, one of the best public eductation systems in the state, a rebuilt downtown shoppintg district designed with a neoclassical influence and populated with quaint shops, boutiquess and restaurants, all of which combine to give the place a unique spot on the map of classic Americana.

Crime rates are low, the population is diverse and affluent, the cost of living reasonable and if that isn't enough, the residents of this little slice of American Pie need only drive a few miles south to Indianapolis to find even more world class amenties.   Professional sports, world class auto racing, incredible restaurants, exciting nightlife and entertainment.  The list goes on.

So with all this, you might be surprised to learn there are some critics of this grand experiment.  Most criticisms have focused on the ever growing budget of city govenrment.  As Carmel's city leaders move forward on more ambitious projects, the residents feel the pinch in their wallets.  Others have complained that the city, in its effort to create some utopian world, have overstepped their bounds on local codes and ordinances, making the city much too restrictive for anyone to have any real since of freedome.  In the final analysis, however, those detractors are a quiet minority drowned out by the overwhelming hoopla of those who send up an enthusiastic cheer for this all American city.  By most accounts, Carmel Indiana may be the best place in the countyr to live, if not the world.

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