Redevelopment Commission Meeting 01/10/2019

The Charlestown Redevelopment Commission met for a regularly scheduled meeting and advertised public hearing on Thursday, January 10 at 9:00 am. Following is a summary of the meeting with full audio (16:41) available at the end: 

  1. Call to Order/Pledge of Allegiance
  2. Determination of a Quorum and Roll Call: Members present were John Spencer, Ted Little, Mayor Bob Hall, and George Roberts. Member Eric Vaughn was absent. Also in attendance were city attorney Michael Gillenwater and Clerk Treasurer Donna Coomer.
  3. Approval of prior meeting’s minutes, current claims, and payroll allowance docket from 12/10/2018 to 01/06/2018 combined into one motion for approval.
    • Motion to approve made by George Roberts
    • Seconded by John Spencer 
    • No Discussion
    • Unanimous Approval
  4. Ordinances and Resolutions:
    • Resolution No. 2019-R-1 “Resolution Confirming The Resolution of the Charlestown Redevelopment Commission Modifying the Charlestown Economic Development Area and Modifying the Allocation Area for Purposes of Tax Increment Financing”
      • During the public hearing portion of the meeting regarding this resolution Treva Hodges (1136 Main Street) signed up for public comment and began by asking if the purpose of this resolution is to remove the property from the existing TIF area so that it can be reassessed and placed back into a TIF?
      • City attorney Mr Gillenwater said that the purpose of the public hearing on this issue is “to allow people to make comments or to express opinions, not necessarily to have a question and answer session.” 
      • Mayor Hall said that in general, Ms. Hodges’s question is a “fair statement.” 
      • Ms. Hodges stopped asking questions and expressed her concern about the impact of this resolution on other taxing units because once the assessment is lowered after the property is removed from the existing TIF then it is placed back in a TIF it decreases the amount of tax revenue available to other taxing units over time. She said she’s concerned about the lower amount of funding available for schools, library, and fire protection since the city will be able to capture a greater increment of this TIF area.
      • Mr. Gillenwater said that the property should have been reassessed to zero last year if the county has done its job correctly.
      • Mayor Hall closed public comment.
      • Mayor Hall entertained a motion to pass Resolution 2019-R-1
        • Motion to pass made by Ted Little
        • Seconded by John Spencer
        • No Discussion
        • Unanimous approval 
    • Resolution 2019-R-2 “Declaratory Resolution Creating the Renaissance Economic Development Area and Allocation Area, and Approving an Economic Development Plan for Said Renaissance Project Economic Development Area”
      • Motion to approve made by John Spencer
      • Seconded by George Roberts
      • No Discussion
      • Unanimous Approval 
  5. Mayor’s Updates
    • Renaissance Project 
      • George Roberts asked when the project will begin.
      • Mayor Hall said that they are still working to finalize the agreement with ARC and that they might have something next week. He asked the members to be available next week for a special meeting to approve the agreement if it is finalized. He said they still want to move forward on the Renaissance II project as well. 
    • Water Sale
      • Mayor Hall said that the he is pleased that the Appellate Court has upheld the sale of the water and that the IURC and the court have raised no issues with that sale. He said they plan to close on the sale by March 1. He noted that NOW, Inc. has the opportunity to request that the Indiana Supreme Court hear the case but the city attorneys believe that the court will not agree to hear the case. Mayor Hall said that, at this point, if NOW continues to oppose the sale they will be doing so “for the point of delay and obstruction,” but noted it is their right to do so. He said that the city could have closed the deal with IAW after the IURC hearing and there was nothing legally that would have stopped them from doing so. He said that they are going through closing documents and Donna Coomer is working with IAW to transition. He is looking forward to working with IAW to repair the water but noted that there is no “quick fix.”
      • Ted Little said that he wanted it on record that, when it closes and the contracts are available for public access, it will reflect exactly what has been passed in the Redevelopment Commission and the Common Council. He referenced purchase price, repairs that have been stipulated in under a five year period, how much money it will cost, and “other matters that are self explanatory” in the original contract that the he had privy to see. He said it will close out rumors that have been heard in the past two years. He also said that, in regard to the process of documentation between the Redevelopment Commission and Common Council, the finalized documents always reveal what they work on. 
      • Mayor Hall said that the logic behind NOW’s actions on the water sale confuses him. He said NOW argued that the city did not follow the rules of notification, but the IURC and court both agreed that they complied with the law. He also said that NOW’s appeal recommended $2 million less for the sale than what was agreed. 
      • Ted Little said this represents what he was talking about. He pointed out that the contract clarifies these things. 
      • Mayor Hall noted that there were two appraisals and they reached a single figure.
      • Ted Little said this was all made clear to those who were involved in the negotiations. 
  6. Donna Coomer swore in the members for their 2019 service year
  7. Adjournment 
    • Motion to adjourn made by John Spencer
    • Seconded by George Roberts. 
    • unanimous approval 

Full audio available here:

City-NEws-e1455073509249

Author: Treva Hodges

Resident of Charlestown, Indiana. Advocate.

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