Redevelopment Commission Meeting 02/04/2020

The Charlestown Redevelopment Commission met for a regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, February 4, 2020 at 7:00 PM. You can access a live video recording of the meeting at this link: Redevelopment Meeting 02/04/2020

The agenda for this meeting included the following items:

  • Call to Order/Pledge of Allegiance
  • Determination of a Quorum and Roll Call
  • Approval of Minutes: January 7, 2020
  • Claims and Payroll
  • Fund Report
  • Appropriation Report
  • Public Comment – none
  • Resolutions – none
  • Presentation
    • Renaissance I – Jason Sams, arc
  • Consultant Reports
    • The Wheatley Group
  • Old Business
    1. JTL Engineering Services Contract
  • New Business
    • The Wheatley Group Services Contract
    • Springville Manor
    • Discussion
  • Adjournment

Following are documents produced for this meeting. NOTE – all documents were created in DRAFT form and are not official until they have been voted on, approved, and signed by the appropriate city agents:

Redevelopment Fund 02.04.2020

Redevelopment Minutes 01.07.2020

Springville Lot 12 & 18 02.04.2020

Common Council Meeting 12/02/2019

City-NEws-e1455073509249The Charlestown Common Council met for a regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, December 2, 2019 at 6:30 PM. Following is a summary of the meeting with full audio available at the end: 

  1. Call to order/Pledge of Allegiance led by Mike Vaughn
  2. Invocation led by Daniel Tucker from the First United Methodist Church
  3. Determination of a Quorum and Roll Call – Members present were Mike Vaughn (District 1), Tina Barnes (District 2), Ted Little (District 3), Brian Hester (District 4), and JT Cox (At Large). Also present were Mayor Bob Hall, Clerk Treasurer Donna Coomer, and city attorney Michael Gillenwater
  4. Approval of Agenda
    • Motion to approve made by Brian Hester
    • Seconded by Ted Little 
    • No Discussion
    • Unanimous approval
  5. Approval of prior meeting’s minutes, current claims, and payroll allowance docket from 11/11/2019 to 11/28/2019 combined into one motion for approval
    • Motion to approve made by Mike Vaughn
    • Seconded by JT Cox
    • No Discussion
    • Unanimous approval
  6. Ordinances and Resolutions
    • Ordinance No. 2019-OR-15 – Additional Appropriation Ordinance
      • Police Chief Keith McDonald addressed the Council and explained that every five years their bullet resistant vests expire. He presented a quote for the purchase of new vests. They were awarded nearly $7,400 of a grant and he asked the council to approve the purchase of 26 vests for full time and reserve vests. 
      • Motion to approve made by Ted Little
      • Seconded by Brian Hester
      • No Discussion
      • Unanimous approval 
      • Mayor Hall entertained a motion to suspend the rules in anticipation of approving this ordinance on its second reading
        • Motion to approve made by Mike Vaughn
        • Seconded by Ted Little
        • No Discussion
        • Unanimous approval 
      • Motion to approve ordinance on second and final reading made by JT Cox
      • Seconded by Mike Vaughn
      • No Discussion
      • Unanimous approval 
    • Ordinance No. 2019-OR-16 – An Ordinance Amending 2019-OR-14 An Ordinance Establishing Salaries for Elected Officials of the City of Charlestown, Indiana for the Year 2020
      • Motion to approve made by Brian Hester
      • Seconded by Ted Little 
      • During discussion Mayor Hall noted there were no changes in the elected officials’ salaries
      • Unanimous approval
      • Mayor Hall entertained a motion to suspend the rules in anticipation of approving this ordinance on its second reading
        • Motion to approve made by JT Cox
        • Seconded by Mike Vaughn
        • No Discussion
        • Unanimous approval 
      • Motion to approve ordinance on second and final reading made by Brian Hester
      • Seconded by JT Cox
      • No Discussion
      • Unanimous approval 
    • Ordinance No. 2019-OR-17 – An Ordinance Establishing Sanitary Board
      • Council Member Brian Hester addressed this ordinance before a vote was called he said that the Board of Public Works has said that our sewer plant is in need of replacement. He said that there has been information put out that he wanted to refute. First he clarified that Bob Hall has never been considered for this new board. Second he clarified that this new board is not being set up to sell the utility. Third he said that claims of sewer rates being increased are untrue. He said he spoke to our mayor-elect who requested that this ordinance be postponed until the new council takes office and she assumes office. He agrees it is important to wait to consider this ordinance until the new year. He made a motion to table the ordinance. 
      • Mayor Bob Hall asked Brian Hester to address the origin of the ordinance and that he had never been involved in discussions about this ordinance. Mayor Hall said this is not his idea and he did not come up with a sewer board. He said that it’s his understanding that the new council is the group that came up with the idea. He said he wasn’t aware it would be on the agenda tonight. He said the new council will be the one to consider this and that they are not planning major expenses. He said we will have one more council meeting and one more Board of Public Works and Redevelopment meeting. 
      • Motion to table seconded by Mike Vaughn
      • No Discussion
      • Unanimous approval 
    • Ordinance No. 2019-OR-19 – An Ordinance Providing for the Transfer of Appropriations for Departments of the City of Charlestown, Indiana for the Year 2019 as Requested by the Mayor and Forwarded to the Common Council for their Action and Passage Pursuant to IC 6-1-1-18-6
      • Motion to approve made by Ted Little
      • Seconded by Brian Hester
      • No Discussion
      • Unanimous approval 
      • Mayor Hall entertained a motion to suspend the rules in anticipation of approving this ordinance on its second reading
        • Motion to approve made by Brian Hester
        • Seconded by Mike Vaughn 
        • No Discussion
        • Unanimous approval 
      • Motion to approve ordinance on second and final reading made by Ted Little
      • Seconded by Brian Hester
      • No Discussion
      • Unanimous approval 
    • Resolution No. 2019-R-18 – A Resolution Accepting Transfer of Real Estate (IC 36-1-11-8
      • Mayor Hall said the Board of Public Works wants to close out the transfer and payment for land purchased from Clark and Brenda Nickles. He said they owe them $250,000 and he wants to present a payoff resolution to them at the next board meeting. Tonight’s resolution transfers the property and doesn’t mention the payoff but he will bring that part back to them.
      • Motion to approve made by JT Cox
      • Seconded by Mike Vaughn
      • No Discussion
      • Unanimous approval 
  7. Adjournment
    • Motion to adjourn made by JT Cox
    • Seconded by Mike Vaughn
    • Unanimous approval

Audio here:

Common Council Meeting 11/11/2019

City-NEws-e1455073509249The Charlestown Common Council met for a rescheduled meeting on Monday, November 11, 2019 at 6:30 PM (to make up for the skipped meeting from 11/04 due to it being the night before the municipal election). Following is a summary of the meeting with audio (4:59).

  1. Call to order/Pledge of Allegiance led by Ben Ledbetter
  2. Determination of a quorum and roll call: Members present were Mike Vaughn (District 1), Tina Barnes (District 2), Ted Little (District 3), Brian Hester (District 4), and JT Cox (At Large). Also in attendance were Mayor Bob Hall, Clerk Treasurer Donna Coomer, and city attorney Michael Gillenwater
  3. Approval of Agenda
    • Motion to approve made by Brian Hester
    • Seconded by JT Cox
    • No Discussion
    • Unanimous Approval
  4. Prior meeting’s minutes, current claims, and payroll allowance docket from 10/07/2019 to 11/10/2019 combined into one motion
    • Motion to approve made by Ted Little
    • Seconded by Brian Hester
    • No Discussion
    • Unanimous Approval
  5. Ordinance No 2019-OR-18 – An Ordinance Sustaining Plan Commission Recommendation for an Amendment to the Zoning Maps of the City of Charleston, Indiana for the Skippers Ridge Planned Unit Development
    • Motion to approve made by Mike Vaughn
    • Seconded by Brian Hester
    • No Discussion
    • Unanimous approval
    • Mayor Hall entertained a motion to suspend the rules in anticipation of passing the ordinance on a second and final reading
      • Motion to approve made by JT Cox
      • Seconded by Mike Vaughn
      • No Discussion
      • Unanimous approval
    • Mayor Hall called for the second and final reading of Ordinance No 2019-OR-18
      • Motion to approve made by Ted Little
      • Seconded by Mike Vaughn
      • No Discussion
      • Unanimous approval
  6. Resolution 2019-R-19 A Resolution Approving Funding for Necessary and Appropriate Enhancements for the Quality of Life of the Citizens of the City of Charlestown
    • Motion to approve made by Ted Little
    • Seconded by Brian Hester
    • No Discussion
    • Mike Vaughn, Ted Little, Brian Hester, and JT Cox voted in favor. Tina Barnes voted against.
  7. Adjournment
    • Motion to adjourn made by JT Cox
    • Seconded by Ted Little
    • Unanimous approval

Board of Public Works 10/21/2019

image1-27The Charlestown Board of Public Works met for a regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, October 21, 2019 at 9:00 am. Following is a summary of the meeting with full audio (14:40):

  1. Call to order/Pledge of Allegiance led by Eric Vaughn
  2. Determination of a Quorum and Roll Call: Members in attendance were Ted Little, Ben Ledbetter, and Mayor Bob Hall. Also in attendance were Deputy Clerk Treasurer Nancy Rogers and City attorney Michael Gillenwater.
  3. Approval of prior meeting’s minutes, current claims, and payroll allowance docket from 10/07/2019 to 10/10/2019 combined into one motion for approval
    • Motion to approve made by Ben Ledbetter
    • Seconded by Ted Little
    • No Discussion
    • Unanimous approval
  4. Public Comment
    • David Reed – His comments concerned the Luckett & Farley design contract approved by this board in June. He said there was no discussion at that meeting about what the contract entailed. He said the contract has a completion date of August 2019 and based on public documents available the contract is not complete as of today. The only thing he has seen is renderings of the proposed sports park. He wanted to know who is administering this contract. He said the contract lists other deliverables but none have been made public by the city. He’s concerned that we will spend or have spent $36,000 for pictures only. He said it appears the contract is in default because deliverables have not been received in the timeline listed in the contract and no contract changes have been publicly approved. Mr. Reed was cut off by the City Attorney who told him his three minute allotment ended.
    • Mayor Hall commented and said the city continues to meet with Luckett & Farley and that this is an open contract and Kristen Cox is in charge of the meetings. He said this is not a simple project. They did deliver renderings which he said have been received well by the community. He mentioned that River Ridge gave the city 120 acres, which helps with this project. He said he has been contacted about it by national and regional organizations. He said there is a lot of design work that still needs to be done.
    • Mr. Reed asked if he could add comment following the Mayor’s statement and Mayor Hall said no.
  5. Saegesser Engineering Claim Approval 
    • Taylor Friesz presented change order/pay order #4 to Wingham Paving which included an increase of $17,504.50 in the contracted amount for additional roads being paved. He said with this change order they remain under the original estimated total project cost. The current pay order is $160,295.09
    • Ted Little expressed satisfaction with the paving project.
    • Motion to approve change order and payment made by Ted Little
    • Seconded by Ben Ledbetter
    • No Discussion
    • Unanimous Approval
  6. Eric Vaughn, Economic Development Director, Claim Approval
    • Presented the final draw on the construction of the police station in the amount of $177,761.98
    • Motion to approve payment made by Ben Ledbetter
    • Seconded by Ted Little
    • No additional discussion
    • Unanimous Approval
  7. Mayor Hall made a comment about discussion in public meetings. He said that board members receive their information packets several days before the meetings and have time to review them and ask questions. He said the board makes decisions and they have the information. If they have discussion, particularly in the City Council, they will say so. He said the lack of discussion does not mean that they don’t understand what they’re voting on because they’ve had their packets before the meeting to be able to review them. On public comment he said the policy is that people have three minutes to say what they want to say and that it’s not a question and answer session but they try to respond but not get into it, particularly in a campaign season when this happens more.
  8. Approval of Contracts
    • BMS Contract
      • Heather Mick presented this contract. BMS has a high deductible plan so this contract allows them to cost-share. She said that although Clark Memorial is a participating in-network hospital, the emergency room doctors are not. She said that Humana is billing employees for the difference in treatment. They’ve asked for an addition to the BMS contract to help cover this gap. The employees would go through an appeal process first but failing success there would be reimbursed up to $2,250 of uncovered medical expenses. BMS has agreed to post-date their contract to June 1st.
      • Motion to approve made by Ben Ledbetter
      • Seconded by Ted Little
      • No Discussion
      • Unanimous approval
  9.  Adjournment
    • Motion to adjourn made by Ben Ledbetter
    • Seconded by Ted Little
    • Unanimous approval

Redevelopment Commission 10/08/2019

Redevelopment Agenda 10.08.2019The Charlestown Redevelopment Commission met for a regularly scheduled meeting (they now meet on Tuesdays instead of Thursdays) on Tuesday, October 8th at 9:00am. Following is a summary of the meeting with full audio available at the end. 

  1. Call to Order/Pledge of Allegiance led by Ted Little
  2. Determination of a Quorum and Roll Call – Members present were Mayor Bob Hall, Ted Little, Pat Glotzbach, Eric Vaughn, and George Roberts. Also in attendance were city attorney Michael Gillenwater and Deputy Clerk Treasurer Nancy Rogers
  3. Approval of prior meeting’s minutes, current claims, and payroll allowance docket from 09/07/2019 to 10/06/2019 combined into one motion for consideration.
    • Motion to approve made by Ted Little
    • Seconded by George Roberts
    • No Discussion
    • Unanimous approval
  4. Request for Proposals for the 62 Renaissance Project – Paul Wheatley
    • Mr. Wheatley explained that they have drafted a Request for Proposals (RFP) that will combine the properties previously owned by LM Bag Company, Nickles, and MacDaddy. They would like to get this RFP out as quickly as possible. They are still waiting for a survey from the city engineer and a revised appraisal. They want to have this out by the end of the month. They would like to recommend mixed-use. This RFP will allow the city to accept responses from potential developers. This puts no obligation on the city to accept what is offered. Mr. Wheatley asked for approval of the RFP once the survey and appraisals are offered.
    • Ted Little asked about the prior appraisals that they already ordered on the properties. Michael Gillenwater said by law they must get updated appraisals. Mayor Hall said the new appraisals will likely decrease based on purchase price.
    • Motion to approve RFP under condition that survey and appraisals are finished made by Eric Vaughn
    • Seconded by George Roberts
    • No additional discussion
    • Unanimous approval
  5. Paul Wheatley introduced Jill Saegesser who has joined their staff. He said that she will bring good experience to Charlestown’s projects. Ms. Saegesser said she has worked with Charlestown before and is happy to be a part of development here again.
  6. Mayor Hall update – he told the board that the City Council approved the annexation for the proposed Skippers Ridge subdivision last night.
  7. Adjournment
    • Motion to adjourn made by Eric Vaughn
    • Seconded by George Roberts
    • Unanimous approval

Audio here:

Common Council Meeting 10/07/2019

City-NEws-e1455073509249The Charlestown Common Council met for a regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, October 7 at 6:30 pm. Following is a summary of the meeting with full audio available at the end. 

  1. Call to Order/Pledge of Allegiance – led by CHS Girls Cross Country Team, who have won several championships this year.
  2. Invocation – led by Daniel Tucker from Charlestown First United Methodist Church
  3. Determination of a Quorum and Roll Call: Members present were Michael Vaughn (District 1), Tina Barnes (District 2), Ted Little (District 3), Brian Hester (District 4), and JT Cox (At Large). Also in attendance were Mayor Bob Hall, city attorney Michael Gillenwater, and Deputy Clerk Treasurer Heather Mick
  4. Approval of Agenda
    • Motion to approve made by Brian Hester
    • Seconded by JT Cox
    • No Discussion
    • Unanimous approval
  5. Approval of prior meeting’s Minutes, current claims and payroll allowance docket from 09/15/2019 to 10/06/2019 combined into one motion for consideration
    • Motion to approve made by Ted Little
    • Seconded by Brian Hester
    • No Discussion
    • Unanimous approval                               
  6. Ordinances and Resolutions:
    • Resolution No. 2019-R-16 – A Resolution Approving Statement of Benefits and Waiving Non-Compliance with Filing of Notice of Compliance for Real Estate Tax Abatement (3M Properties LLC)
      • Michael Gillenwater explained that last year the council approved a statement of benefits so that 3M Properties, LLC would qualify for a tax abatement. The owners did not file a compliance form. This resolution allows the compliance statement to be filed late so that the owners will qualify for a tax abatement. Ted Little asked if anyone from the company was in attendance and Mr. Gillenwater said they were not but that he has spoken to a representative about the issue. He said he did not tell them they needed to be in attendance.
      • Motion to approve made by Ted Little, who further recommended that there might be an effort to follow up on future abatements within 90 days of approval.
      • Seconded by Brian Hester
      • No Discussion
      • Unanimous approval
    • Resolution No. 2019-R-17 – A Resolution Amending the Fiscal Plan Prior to Annexing 271 Acres Contiguous with the City of Charlestown
      • Mr. Gillenwater said that he passed out a map to the council tonight. He said they are discussing the Mongold annexation on Highway 62. He said the council has previously passed an ordinance on this annexation on first reading. Following that approval representatives from Indiana DNR expressed concern about the amount of the state park included in the proposed annexation. The map distributed tonight represents a modified annexation plan with less land of the park included. He said that DNR does not wish to stop the annexation but would like to minimize its effects. He said the resolution amends the already approved fiscal plan. He said this does not equate to a major change but since the amount of territory is changing they wanted the fiscal plan to be in agreement with the annexation ordinance. Mayor Hall explained that DNR was worried about maintenance and drainage fees.
      • Motion to approve made by Ted Little
      • Seconded by Michael Vaughn.
      • During discussion Brian Hester asked if DNR approves of the modification. Mr. Gillenwater said that they seemed appreciative in an email.
      • Unanimous approval
    • Ordinance No. 2019-OR-7  –  An Ordinance Annexing Territory Contiguous to the City of Charlestown 
      • Mr. Gillenwater said that this legal description has been changed from the original annexation plan to reflect the reduction of impact on the state park
      • Motion to approve made by JT Cox
      • Seconded by Ted Little
      • No Discussion
      • Unanimous approval
  7. New Business: 2020 Budget Adoption Ordinance 2019-OR-12
    • Motion to approve made by Mike Vaughn
    • Seconded by Ted Little
    • No Discussion
    • Unanimous approval
  8. Mayor Hall said the next scheduled meeting is on Monday, November 4th. He proposed moving the date to the Monday following, on November 11th.
    • Motion to approve made by Mike Vaughn
    • Seconded by Ted Little
    • No Discussion
    • Unanimous approval
  9.  Adjournment:
    • Motion to adjourn made by JT Cox
    • Seconded by Ted Little
    • Unanimous approval

Audio:

 

Redevelopment Commission Meeting 08/08/2019

City-NEws-e1455073509249The Charlestown Redevelopment Commission met for a regularly scheduled meeting and advertised public information session on Thursday, August 8 at 9:00 am. Following is a summary with full audio (16:05) of the meeting:

  1. Call to order/Pledge of Allegiance led by Donna Coomer
  2. Determination of a Quorum and Roll Call: Members present were Ted Little, George Roberts, Eric Vaughn, and Mayor Bob Hall. Pat Glotzbach was absent. Also in attendance were Clerk Treasurer Donna Coomer and City Attorney Michael Gillenwater
  3. Prior Meeting’s minutes, current claims, and payroll allowance docket from 07/21/2019 to 08/03/2019 combined into one motion for consideration
    • Motion to approve made by Ted Little
    • Seconded by George Roberts
    • No Discussion
    • Unanimous approval
  4. Partial release of Mortgages in Springville Manor
    • Release of Mortgage – Alberta Christine Belcher ($20,000 forgivable portion only due to death of owner)
    • Release of Mortgage – Patricia A. Smith ($20,000 forgivable portion only due to death of owner)
    • Partial Release for new purchase (Releases Springville Manor, LLC and transfers mortgage to new owner)
      • Motion to approve all made by Ted Little
      • Seconded by George Roberts
      • No Discussion
      • Unanimous Approval
    • Requested authorization for Michael Gillenwater to open an estate on the Smith property
      • Motion to approve made by Ted Little
      • Seconded by George Roberts
      • No Discussion
      • Unanimous Approval
  5. Public Information Meeting: Mongold Annexation
    • Kevin Young, developer on behalf of the Mongold family, addressed the Commission. He delivered a visual presentation of the total annexation plan. (This was the same presentation provided in the City Council meeting on Monday, August 5th). This Planned Unit Development includes mixed use housing and a small commercial space fronting Highway 62. The development includes neighborhood parks and green space (39 acres – total area is 130 acres).
      • Utility services
        • Two different electric company opportunities (REMC and Duke)
        • Sanitary Sewers – the manhole on Monroe St. has the capacity for this development. A new pump station would be built in the center of the property and a forced main would move it to the Monroe St. manhole.
        • Water services can be provided by either Otisco, Marysville, Nabb Water or IAW.
    • Public Comment:
      • Mike Owen addressed the council. Mr. Owen lives downhill from this proposed project. He is concerned about runoff from the property. His property and his neighbor’s property already suffer from flooding. He is also concerned about the increase in traffic on Highway 62 at this location. He said he wants to see Charlestown grow, but does not see how this particular project will work out. He said he does not see the market for this kind of thing. He is also concerned about the wildlife in the area and deer population. He mentioned possible light pollution from the development.
      • Ted Little mentioned that he assumes the city engineer will address runoff issues and such. Mayor Hall confirmed and said that the state will also regulate traffic control features on Highway 62. Michael Gillenwater said that the city’s existing drainage ordinance mandates that drainage must be improved along with the development.
  6. Adjournment
    • Motion to adjourn made by Eric Vaughn
    • Seconded by George Roberts
    • Unanimous approval

 

Audio available here: (16:05)

Common Council Meeting 08/05/2019

City-NEws-e1455073509249The Charlestown Common Council met for a regularly scheduled meeting and advertised public hearing on Monday, August 5, 2019 at 6:30 PM. Following is a summary of the meeting with full audio (39:22) available at the end: 

  1. Call to Order/Pledge of Allegiance led by Lauren Elizabeth Crowe, a 2019 Ivy Tech graduate and CHS cross country and track coach.
  2. Invocation led by Neyland McClellan from North 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 Clerk Treasurer Donna Coomer and City Attorney Michael Gillenwater
  4. Approval of Agenda:
    • Motion to Approve made by Brian Hester
    • Seconded by JT Cox
    • During discussion Michael Gillenwater mentioned that 2019-OR-07 which annexes land on highway 62 was introduced but not adopted at the last meeting. He asked to add that item to the agenda for consideration in anticipation of passing on its first reading.
      • Motion to approve change made by Ted Little
      • Seconded by Mike Vaughn
      • No Discussion
      • Unanimous Approval
    • Motion to approve amended agenda made by JT Cox
    • Seconded by Brian Hester
    • No Discussion
    • Unanimous Approval
  5. Approval of prior meeting’s minutes, current claims, and payroll allowance docket from 06/24/2019 to 07/28/2019 combined into one motion for approval
    • Motion to approve made by Mike Vaughn
    • Seconded by JT Cox
    • No Discussion
    • Unanimous approval
  6. Public Hearing: Annexation of 67.545 acres
    • Attorney Michael Gillenwater directed attention to a map that shows the territory in question for annexation. He provided the following summary and information: This is “the old Balmer farm” adjacent to Danbury Oaks subdivision. The developer interested in purchasing it wants to subdivide the vacant property. This is a 100% voluntary annexation and for that reason things can happen more quickly if the council adopts the resolution. Currently water service is adjacent through IAW and wastewater available for extension off of the city’s existing service. Storm water and drainage will be designed and improved by the developer. The developer will pay for construction of the streets. No additional city services or personnel will be required with this annexation. As the property is developed the growth in tax revenue should cover any needed extension of services. Ordinance 2019-R-10 covers this annexation. The public has an opportunity to make comment on this annexation. Each person is allotted two minutes. This is an opportunity to make a statement but not ask questions of the council. No person elected to comment.
      • Council member Tina Barnes asked if access to the section will go through Danbury Oaks and Mayor Hall confirmed that it will.
      • Mr. Gillenwater said that this section does not currently have a planned subdivision but if one develops it will be a planned unit development zoned R-1. The property would come into the city on January 1.
      • Mayor Hall closed the public hearing on this issue
  7. After a period of confusion Mayor Hall called for a motion to approve Ordinance No. 2019-OR-9 – An Ordinance Annexing Territory Contiguous to the City of Charlestown
    • Motion to approve made by Brian Hester
    • Seconded by Ted Little
    • No additional discussion
    • Unanimous approval
  8. Mayor hall called for a motion to approve Resolution No. 2019-R-10 – A Resolution Adopting a Fiscal Plan Prior to Annexing 67.545 Acres Contiguous with the City of Charlestown
    • Motion to approve made by Brian Hester
    • Seconded by Mike Vaughn
    • No Discussion
    • Unanimous approval
  9. Ordinance No. 2019-OR-7 Concerning the annexation of the property on Highway 62 across from the state park
    • City Attorney Michael Gillenwater explained to the council that much of the area belongs to the state park, the city, and River Ridge. The proposed annexation area comprises 1,808 acres. They do not anticipate objection from River Ridge or the State of Indiana. The presenters are the only tax payers in the area.
    • Kevin Young, land planner spoke on behalf of the owners who wish to develop Skipper’s Ridge Subdivision
      • Expected fiscal impact to city = none
      • Total of 16 parcels to annex
      • City Council district 4
      • 1,808 acres
      • The property borders a platted subdivision to the north.
      • Details of the subdivision were explained in a visual presentation
        • Multitude of housing styles planned
        • 2 acre proposed commercial facilities on Highway 62 to serve the neighborhood
        • Incorporates greenspace and pocket parks in 39 acres of open space
        • Total of 336 lots developed in a phased development
      • Utilities
        • Two different electric providers: Duke and Clark Co REMC
        • Sanitary sewers: proposed pump station in the center and would pump to existing manhole on Monroe Street
        • Water: Options are IAW and Marysville, Otisco, Nabb water company
      • Emergency Services: Both fire department and police department have provided letters confirming their ability to serve the development
    • Mayor Hall called for a motion to approve the ordinance 2019-OR-7 for annexation of the discussed property
      • Before the motion was made JT Cox asked attorney Michael Gillenwater to explain how the public hearing prior to this meeting relates to this particular annexation. Mr. Gillenwater said that before an annexation can be adopted on its final reading it must have a public hearing. This particular annexation requires different steps because it is not 100% voluntary due to the other property owners. The prior annexation ordinance was 100% voluntary.
      • Motion to approve made by Mike Vaughn
      • Seconded by Ted Little
      • No further discussion
      • Unanimous approval
  10. Ordinance No. 2019-OR-10 – An Ordinance Amending the City’s Capital Improvement Plan of the City of Charlestown, Indiana
    • Motion to approve made by Ted Little
    • Seconded by JT Cox
    • No Discussion
    • Little, Hester, Vaughn, and Cox voted yes, Barnes voted no.
  11. Mayor Hall commented on the construction around town and advised people to be patient with school starting. He praised the new pocket parks, and the new police station.
  12. Adjournment:
    • Motion to Adjourn made by JT Cox
    • Seconded by Brian Hester
    • Unanimous approval

Audio here:

Board of Public Works Meeting 06/17/2019

7ab1a11b-853b-474b-97c1-1815c11e4bdaThe Charlestown Board of Public Works met for a regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, June 17, 2019 at 9:00 am. Following is a summary of the meeting with full audio (6:47) available at the end:

  1. Call to Order/Pledge of Allegiance led by Ben Ledbetter
  2. Determination of a Quorum and Roll Call: Members present were Ted Little, Ben Ledbetter, and Mayor Bob Hall. Also in attendance were Clerk Treasurer Donna Coomer and city attorney Michael Gillenwater.
  3. Approval of prior meeting’s minutes, current claims, and payroll allowance docket 06/02/2019 to 06/16/2019 combined into one motion for approval.
    • Motion to approve made by Ben Ledbetter
    • Seconded by Ted Little
    • No discussion
    • Unanimous approval
  4. Redevelopment Director’s Update – Eric Vaughn
    • Mr. Vaughn sought the Board’s advice on an opportunity for another neighborhood park in Saddleback on Bates Drive.
      • Mayor Hall said that the city owns a lot there where there is a pump station and Eric has designed a park and is asking for the Board’s approval to build it.
      • Motion to approve made by Ben Ledbetter
      • Seconded by Ted Little
      • No Discussion
      • Unanimous approval
    • Mr. Vaughn presented a request for purchase approval of a lot in Woodford Farms (section 2, lot 27) for $10,000. This will be the location of another pocket park.
      • Motion to approve made by Ted Little
      • Seconded by Ben Ledbetter
      • No Discussion
      • Unanimous Approval
    • Mr. Vaughn presented an invoice for the picnic structure at Ashley Springs in the amount of $5,018.92. Palmetto Investment Consultants, LLC.
      • Motion to approve made by Ted Little
      • Seconded by Ben Ledbetter
      • No Discussion
      • Unanimous Approval
    • Mayor Hall said they have four parks (Heritage, Ashley Springs, Woodford Farms, and Saddleback) being built with two more coming and once they are finished these six parks will put every citizen in Charlestown within walking distance to a park.
  5. Shane Spicer, City Engineer, said that pre-construction will begin on the Community Crossings paving project. Indiana American has been contacted to be at the meeting.
  6.  Adjournment
    • Motion to adjourn made by Ben Ledbetter
    • Seconded by Ted Little
    • Unanimous approval

Audio available here:

‘Delay of Game’ – Road Trip to Westfield

On September 16th Mayor Bob Hall attended the grand opening VIP tour of the Game On facility in Westfield, Indiana. Game On is a “world-class esports and educational concept whose mission is to entertain, educate and inspire” with its “80 state-of-the-art, high-speed computers” that allow it “to host esports leagues, tournaments and individuals.”[1] The Mayor posted a video of the grand opening and tagged it “Coming to Charlestown soon.” Response to the video was instant. Many folks expressed their excitement over such a facility, some folks expressed their reservations.

My initial comment on the thread was:

“Looks like an exciting facility for the right location. I was under the impression we are in the “study” phase. You make it sound like this is a done deal. Are we sure such a facility and the burden to tax payers will be worth the risk for Charlestown? I’d like to see city leaders slow down a little and think very carefully about this type of project while seeking feedback from those of us who live in Charlestown, not just the firm that makes the promises.”

On August 22, the City Council agreed to pay Klipsch-Card, the developer of the Fieldhouse at Grand Park, $60,000 to perform a feasibility study for Charlestown. Prior to the vote, Andy Card and Mike Klipsch offered their sales pitch and named the Fieldhouse as an example of their work that could be mirrored in Charlestown. They also mentioned the soon-to-come sports complex they are developing in conjunction with Noblesville, Indiana.

Klipsch-Card is good at what they do. The sports complexes they build are indeed impressive. But not everyone is as eager as the Mayor and Council to see them in Charlestown. What troubles some people is not new business growth. Let me remove that argument from the table. Folks who are concerned about this facility are NOT against growth and change.

What they worry about is a lack of transparency and what appears to be excessive and wasteful spending of city resources.

I entered the Facebook conversation about the Game On facility at the Fieldhouse on September 16th because I want more information. When Mr. Klipsch and Mr. Card made their presentation to the council in August, no “tough” questions were asked. Instead, several city representatives talked about how they, too, had visited the site and found it impressive and worth an investment. Every effort I have made to get more details from people in Charlestown has been answered with something akin to:

“Well I’ve been there and it’s great!”

“If you went you’d see too!”

“You can’t be against it if you haven’t seen it.”

And they had a point. I had not seen it. The only financial numbers I had about Grand Park came from a news article published in June 2016. So, since no one in town could update those numbers for me or provide substantive information, I arranged a visit to Westfield myself.

On Tuesday, September 26, I went to Westfield to see Grand Park and the Fieldhouse for myself. My meeting was not an impromptu affair. I had arranged a meeting with Mayor Andy Cook and had been promised a tour of the Fieldhouse and Game On facility by Rick Barretto and Andy Cook. Here are the results of my meetings:

  • Andy Cook is a mayor who knows how to welcome people to his town. He was warm, kind, open, and did not dodge any of my questions about Grand Park. What is most important is that Grand Park and the Fieldhouse at Grand Park are two separate entities. The city of Westfield built and funded Grand Park by themselves, with no private partnerships. The park was the brain child of a committee of city representatives and citizen volunteers. It was never intended to generate a profit and it operates in a revenue-neutral status. Currently the funds used to build the park are paid by income tax revenue but, since the park is in a TIF district, as new buildings arrive, the TIF money will take over that repayment (by 2021). Mayor Cook admitted it was a major project and that it will not work in every city, but said that every city has something unique they can offer to folks, they just have to determine what that is. Since the city built the park, they do not have to provide tax deductions or incentives to private developers who come on board…enter Klipsch-Card. (See Grand Park here: http://grandpark.org)
  • The Fieldhouse was built on private land adjacent to Grand Park and operates on its own budget. (See the Fieldhouse here: https://grandparkfh.comThe city does not manage the Fieldhouse and Game On. Since it is a private development, the facility pays taxes to the city. 

 

I cannot give you more information about the Fieldhouse because I was stood up by Andy Card and Rick Berretto. When I entered the building at 4:15 on that Tuesday, there were 12 cars in the parking lot and nobody playing in the building. There was no receptionist or greeter so I walked around the basketball facility looking for Mr. Card who was supposed to lead my tour. When I couldn’t find anyone I went into the Game On room. The room was empty except for two children playing on computers in the back. A staff member approached me and asked my name. I told him, and explained that I had a tour scheduled. He said that was not possible because the facility was closed for repairs, the room was dangerous because of loose wires, and I should leave. When my husband (who went along as well) pointed out the two children playing games, the staff member explained that they were the “owner’s children” and he was babysitting them. I asked for Rick’s phone number and was told again I had to leave.

image1-4
Source: https://goesportscenter.com/open-play/

And so I did. And on my way out I noted that I was there during standard business hours and there was no note of closure on the door.

And there you have it. I admit I don’t have all the information about the Fieldhouse at Grand Park. And this is precisely what should worry us in Charlestown. From what I’ve been able to determine, the only people who DO have all the information are the people selling the product.

In a few weeks Klipsch-Card will submit their proposal to the City. The City then needs to make this proposal in its entirety available to the people of Charlestown. We need to be informed and we need to have a voice in this investment. Is it right for us? It’s hard to tell when details are hidden under a shroud of secrecy. In the mean time, if you have any questions about my trip feel free to ask me!

 

[1] Mary Rachel Redman, “’Game On’ at Grand Park,” in Inside Indiana Business, September 18, 2017, http://www.insideindianabusiness.com/story/36394565/game-on-at-grand-park.