Common Council Meeting 01/22/2019

The Charlestown Common Council met on Tuesday, January 22 at 6:30 PM for a regularly scheduled meeting. (This meeting was moved from Monday night due to a holiday.) Following is a summary of the meeting with full audio available at the end (13:51):

  1. Call to Order/Pledge of Allegiance: led by Sophia Adams, a junior and varsity cheerleader at CHS.
  2. Invocation: Led by LC McCawley from the Charlestown Church of God
  3. Determination of a Quorum and Roll Call: Members present were Ted Little, Brian Hester, Mike Vaughn, Tina Barnes, and JT Cox. Also in attendance were Mayor Bob Hall, Clerk Treasurer Donna Coomer and city attorney Michael Gillenwater.
  4. Approval of Agenda (without the prior meeting’s minutes, claims, and payroll, which will be added at the next meeting)
    • Motion to approve made by Brian Hester
    • Seconded by Ted Little
    • No Discussion
    • Unanimous approval
  5. Ordinances and Resolutions
    • Resolution No. 2019-R-3 – “A Resolution of the City of Charlestown Common Council Approving a Resolution of the City of Charlestown Redevelopment Commission Creating the Renaissance Project Economic Development Area and Approving an Economic Development Plan”
      • Motion to approve made by Mike Vaughn
      • Seconded by Ted Little
      • During discussion Mayor Hall noted that this is the same resolution the council has been presented before. He said this resolution has been to the Plan Commission and Redevelopment Commission as well and from the Council it will go back to the Redevelopment Commission for final approval.
        • Brian Hester asked for further clarification of the resolution. Mayor Hall said this resolution creates a new TIF district that will take in the two acres of the Renaissance Project site. He said the site had been removed from the existing TIF because of the new building at the location and this resolution places it back into a TIF that will have a new start date and a life of 25 years. He said this TIF will gain the tax increment over that period of the improved property. Mayor Hall said that TIF is a Tax Increment Finance that is used by many states. He said TIFs are designed to help in redevelopment. He said all Indiana cities have them and they’re used specifically by Redevelopment Commissions.
        • Brian Hester asked if ARC is coming into this area. Mayor Hall said misinformation has been given about that project. He said that ARC is building the project announced on Facebook. He estimates it will be a $4.5 million project, “give or take a few hundred thousand”. Mayor Hall said that the Redevelopment Commission put the project out for a Request for Proposals which asked people to provide a mixed use, residential and commercial development. He said that the RFP opened the project up for anyone to do it. According to the mayor, ARC was the only developer who came forward and said they were interested. He said when ARC completes the building, the city will capture the tax on it. The Redevelopment Commission has agreed to provide $950,000 of incentives for the project. He said they are waiving fees for permits and will do sidewalks and the alleyway. He said there will be a “gap” of about $800,000-850,000. According to the mayor, ARC will pay $80,000-95,000 in taxes on the building. He said that they will take the TIF and secure a bond and let those taxes pay for the bond and called it a “self sustained project” because the developer will pay for the $4.5 million and will repay the $800,000 with his taxes. He said this is not something the city is paying for and it does not raise anyone’s taxes. Mayor Hall estimates that the bond repayment will take 10-12 years and after it is paid off, the city then continues to receive the tax revenue. He said this type of development is new to Charlestown, but it’s not new in other places like Jeffersonville, Clarksville, and New Albany. He said this is how you build up a downtown area. He said that contrary to what’s been said, the city is not financing $5 million because the TIF district is funding it. He said “most of it will be paid and self-sustained by the one project itself and by the developer.” He noted that one of the things they did in the agreement, is agree on the amount that ARC will be taxed on. All of the improvements will be rolled into the assessed value. He said that the City has made no commitment, the Redevelopment Commission has committed only to pledge a bond paid for by the taxes on the property. Mr. Gillenwater said the financing for the city will only be for the incentives. He said much of this is simply waiving fees. Mr. Gillenwater said that with this plan, “we don’t even know how much out of pocket we’ll have to get into that.” Mayor Hall said that site work and plans will be done by April 1. Mr. Gillenwater said once the structure is completed on phase one it will have at least 40 living units and if the people earn the average salary for Charlestown it will produce other tax revenue for the city that’s not even committed to this project. Mayor Hall estimates that it will produce $2 million of income so the city will see another $60,000-80,000 in revenue.
        • Council member Tina Barnes asked for a copy of the Declaratory Resolution and 2019 Economic Development Plan referenced in the Resolution.
      • Mayor Hall called for the vote. Council members Brian Hester, Ted Little, Mike Vaughn, and JT Cox voted to approve. Council member Tina Barnes voted against.
  6.  Adjournment
    • Motion to adjourn made by JT Cox
    • Seconded by Ted Little
    • Unanimous Approval

Full audio here:




Author: Treva Hodges

Resident of Charlestown, Indiana. Advocate.

One thought on “Common Council Meeting 01/22/2019”

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