The December Fishers City Council Meeting will be held on Monday, December 21, starting with a Work Session at 6:15pm. I warmly encourage you to participate. There are two separate meetings on Monday evening and both will be conducted electronically, due to COVID concerns. The first meeting is a Work Session at 6:15pm. No action is taken at a Work Session. It is a gathering of the city council members to gather information about a specific topic. Work Sessions are always open to the public.
The City Council Meeting is open to the public and it begins at 7pm, immediately after the Work Session.
View and Participate in the Work Session and City Council Meeting
- A video of the meeting will be broadcast live starting at 6:15pm on Monday so you can watch from home.
- Fishers residents are welcomed to submit public comments electronically prior to the meeting. All comments received before the meeting will be presented at the meeting and will be part of the meeting’s Community Comment. The Public Comment Form is live on the website right now. Please submit your comments as soon as possible, before noon on Monday is ideal.
- “Community Comment” at the end of each City Council meeting is always open for your comment on any Fishers topic. This is an “open mic” opportunity for any Fishers resident to address the City Council for three minutes. Since the meeting will be virtual due to COVID concerns, the City Hall auditorium will have limited capacity for residents to attend in-person. Residents are encouraged to submit their comments via the Public Comment Form.
- Meeting agendas and past meeting minutes can be found here, under City Council tab.
- Past meeting videos are supposed to be posted within 48 hours of the meeting. Sometimes, you can find the videos here, in the Agenda Center, the TV icon under the “Media” column. Sometimes, City Council meeting videos are to be posted here.
The December Work Session and City Council Meeting agendas are available here. As always, the agenda has items that appear in blue that are links to open the supporting documents. Here’s my rundown of the meeting agenda items and my interpretation of them.
“Residential Program.” I have no idea what this is about.
Here’s my recurring concern…
Without any information provided beforehand, I am not prepared to ask questions in this meeting and the public is discouraged from participating. Unfortunately, we’ve experienced this situation frequently. Items appear on a city council meeting agenda just a few days prior to the meeting, without any background information or warning. I am determined to change this practice that leaves us in the dark.
Most importantly, this city council meeting does NOT include a community COVID-19 update from the Fishers Health Department. There is no other issue in Fishers that is more important than this. Our community’s current Percent Positivity is over 20% and Case Incidence Rate is over 103. As a point of reference, the definition of Severe Level 4 Red, the highest level on the Community Risk Chart, is Percent Positivity over 10% and Case Incidence Rate over 25! I don’t know what new actions are being taken to help our city during this crisis right now.
CITY COUNCIL MEETING
- Consent Agenda.
There are four items on the Consent Agenda.
Items b., c., and d. transfer funds. These actions transfer funds within the city budget, which is needed periodically. The transfers do not adjust the bottom line at all. This is a transfer of dollars from one budget category to another to avoid a negative balance in a category.
It is important to note that Item b would authorize the City Controller to execute additional transfers (not to exceed $2.5 million) before Dec 31 to close out the city budget. These additional transfers executed in the next two weeks would be ratified by the City Council at January meeting.
The Consent Agenda is a grouping of routine reports that should be approved in one swift action, instead of approving each one separately. I believe that all items included on the Consent Agenda should be approved as presented and approved unanimously. If not, the item that requires a revision, abstention, or other action needs to be removed from the Consent Agenda and considered as a separate voting item.
- INCOG (formerly known as COG Biopharma Services). This is the last of two steps to create an Economic Revitalization Area (ERA), which is a necessary step to grant a tax abatement.PUBLIC HEARING. Fishers residents are invited to provide feedback on this item. You can either participate in-person at the meeting held at the City Hall auditorium or submit comments on the online Public Comment Form. Please submit your comments as soon as possible, before noon on Monday is ideal.
The tax abatement is part of the economic development agreement between the city and this new start-up company.
At the October City Council meeting, the economic development agreement with INCOG was approved. INCOG will receive a 100% 13-year tax abatement on personal property (equipment) and a 100% 1-year tax abatement on real property (the building/land). This means the company doesn’t pay these taxes at all during these years. Tax abatements are common tools used by local government to attract investment and job creation.
INCOG was founded by two former executives of Cook Group and will provide manufacturing to biopharma companies. INCOG will invest $60 million to open a large headquarters to open in 2022 at Exit 5 Parkway and Cumberland Road in Fishers. INCOG plans to hire 150 high-income, full time employees by 2024. The Indiana Economic Development Corporation is providing $2.5 million of tax credits to INCOG, when they fulfill their hiring commitment. Fishers is proposing a 100% 13-year tax abatement on personal property (equipment) and a 100% 1-year tax abatement on real property (the building/land). This means the company doesn’t pay these taxes at all during these years. Tax abatements are common tools used by local government to attract investment and job creation.
For more info on INCOG Biopharma, check out this recent Hamilton County Reporter article in the blue box on page 1.
- Amendment to the Economic Development Agreement with Strongbox
- Approval of a new Economic Development Agreement with Memory Ventures
This is regarding a new use for the vacant Marsh Supermarket site at 96th and Lantern Road.
In 2019, a plan was approved by the City Council for Strongbox, a commercial developer, to demolish the Marsh building with the city waiving fees. Now, these two agenda items propose a new and improved plan. The new proposal is for the building to remain in place and be rehabilitated into the new headquarters for Memory Ventures, a Fishers company since the city is offering a tax abatement to Memory Ventures, who is planning a $1 million investment into the building. In return, Memory Ventures would not pay any property taxes on the building for 10 years.
Memory Ventures came to Fishers in 2015 from California, receiving incentives to do so from Indiana Economic Development Corp. Their current HQ is located off Crosspoint Blvd, south of 106th Street.
10. Amendment to City of Fishers Employee Salary Ordinance.
This adds two new positions to City Staff: Director of Business Solutions Group and Director of Employee & Customer Success.
11. Additional Appropriation of Sewer Funds.
12. Additional Appropriation of Stormwater Funds.
Moving $50,000 out of general fund to balance the sewer fund and moving $30,000 out of general fund to balance the stormwater fund to cover additional professional services costs in 2020.
13. Appropriate 2020C and 2020D Bond Proceeds.
Authorizes spending the proceeds of the General Obligation bond for planned road projects. Maximum amount is $4.6 million and $2.9 million.
Planning & Zoning
14.Pre-Annexation Agreement. 11110 E 106th Street is located in an unincorporated area. The property owners are building a single-family home on the property. The City will annex the property into the City and is providing a partial property tax abatement for 2021-2023.
- Grantham. These properties are located at Southeastern Parkway and 113thStreet, approximately 16065 Southeastern Pkwy, near Hamilton Southeastern Intermediate/Jr High School. Development of a housing subdivision of 200 lots is being proposed. The developer wants to receive approval to create a Planned Unit Development, which allows for alterations in the current zoning requirements for this area. This is a new proposal after the original proposal was not approved by the City Council in September. There are still numerous concerns from neighbors and other Fishers residents about the negative impact that this development could have on the serene character of this unique area, traffic, safety, school capacity, etc.
This proposal offers some amenities but increases the density that the current zoning standards allow. Under current zoning, only 134 lots are allowed. I believe that the City of Fishers current zoning standards are strong and the question is if this PUD offers enough benefit to offset an erosion of the density standards.
- Cumberland Cottages. A proposal of a rental community of 11 single units located at 13995 Cumberland Road, the SW corner of 141st and Cumberland Road. I’ve been a supporter of HAND for a few years now and their good work in Hamilton County to create affordable housing opportunities. This is HAND’s first affordable housing proposal in Fishers. Their concept is a small development of pleasing cottages that are perfect for single-parent households. They plan to apply for a Federal HOME Program Grant. And, if successful, they will be able to help fill a well-known shortcoming in our city’s housing stock.
- Amendments to Unified Development Ordinance. The UDO is the development and construction standards for our city. One of the proposed revisions is to permit a telecommunications tower in an Agricultural Area (AG).
Four voluntary annexations. When a property owner located in an unincorporated area would like to be annexed into the City of Fishers, a public hearing is held at a city council meeting to discuss. Many times, a property owner wants to improve the property and/or start receiving city services. Fishers has so many unannexed parcels that our incorporated city map is sometimes called “swiss cheese.” In general, an annexation is a positive action for both the city and the property owner.
- Voluntary Annexation. Two lots of almost 5 acres total, located at 13097 and 13031 Cyntheanne Road, across the street from the main entrance of Del Webb’s Britton Falls neighborhood. A PUBLIC HEARING will be held at this city council meeting to learn neighbors’ feedback.
- Voluntary Annexation. Two lots of 1.2 acres total, located at 11240 and 11280 E 106th Street, near 106th and Hoosier Road. A PUBLIC HEARING will be held at this city council meeting to learn neighbors’ feedback.
- Voluntary Annexation. Two lots of 1.65 acres total, located at 10765 E 121st St, near 121st St and Hoosier Road. A PUBLIC HEARING will be held at this city council meeting to learn neighbors’ feedback.
- Voluntary Annexation. One 2-acre lot, located at 13485 Howe Rd, between 131st and 141st A PUBLIC HEARING will be held at this city council meeting to learn neighbors’ feedback.
- Amendment to Vermillion PUD. The Woods at Vermillion is a located at 10561 Vermillion Dr, east of Cyntheanne Rd on Connecticut Ave. The proposed revision would allow seven lots to have a shorter front yard setback, 20 feet instead of the PUD standard of 30 feet. This subdivision is currently being constructed by Lannar.
- Unfinished/New Business.
- Community Comment. I don’t believe that in-person comments from the public will be available at this meeting, since the meeting is virtual. All comments submitted through the online form that are received before the meeting will be provided to the city council members before the meeting and will be part of the meeting’s record. The Public Comment Form is live on the website right now. Please submit your comments as soon as possible, before noon on Monday is ideal.
If you have any comments or questions, please send them my way. Email is a good way to get a hold of me. If you would like to leave a voicemail, please ring me at 888-518-7117.