The April Fishers City Council Meeting will be held on Monday, April 19 at 7pm.  I warmly encourage you to participate.

WORK SESSION
A Work Session will be held at 6:30pm, prior to the City Council Meeting. 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 to observe. I believe the Work Session will be live-streamed.

There are two agenda items for the Work Session:
2040 Comprehensive Plan – Updates have recently been made to the city’s planning document in these areas: Land Use, Housing/Neighborhoods, Transportation, and Parks. The draft is now available for public review and you can register to attend a virtual open house on April 21 or May 6 to provide feedback on the 2040 Plan.
Geist Waterfront Park – I am looking forward to learning about the status of Phase 1 and the financials. The first part of the park is still about three years from opening.

CITY COUNCIL MEETING
How to Observe and Participate in the City Council Meeting

  • The meeting will be held in-person and will be open to in-person attendees, but seating in City Hall is limited to ensure social distancing.
  • A video of the meeting will be broadcast live starting at 7pm on Monday so you can watch from home. This is a way to observe the meeting only.
  • In-person attendees are welcomed to address the City Council during the Public Hearings during the meeting and during Community Comment at the end of the meeting.
  • Fishers residents are also welcomed to submit public comments electronically prior to the meeting. All comments submitted before the meeting will be presented to City Council members. These comments are not read aloud but become part of the official meeting minutes. The Public Comment Form is live on the website right now. Select “City Council Meeting” and that will open a comment box for you to type in. Submit your comments by noon on Monday, the day of the meeting, so they can be distributed before the meeting.
  • “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.
  • 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.

City Council Meeting
The City Council Meeting agendas are available here, under the City Council header. As always, the agenda has items that appear in blue that are links to open the supporting documents. Here’s my rundown of this meeting’s agenda items and my interpretation of them.

  1. Finance Committee Report. Since City Council is responsible for fiscal oversight, this monthly report is very important but usually brief and informal. I look forward to the Finance Committee presentation at each month’s City Council meeting.
  2. Health Department Update. For this month’s update, I anticipate that the new Fishers Health Department’s first annual report be presented to the City Council and to the public for the first time. A health department’s annual report is required by Indiana law to be published by April 1, so I am very eager to receive this. Resolution to establish Fishers Health Department, April 24, 2020, Item I.
  3. Consent Agenda.
    There are two items on the Consent Agenda.
    Item a. is review of last month’s City Council meeting minutes.
    Item b. transfers funds. This particular transfer is cash reserve funds that is being directed to Police Department for diversity training initiatives.
    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.

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.

 

REGULAR AGENDA

  1. Establish a Local Grant Fund. In March 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act, which provides federal assistance to local government. It is estimated that the City of Fishers will receive almost $20 million. Before the City of Fishers receives these monies, a separate fund needs to be established. I think of it like a separate checking account to keep these federal dollars separate and keep expense tracking tidy. It will be called the ARP Fund. According to Larry In Fishers’ reporting, the funds must be spent by the end of 2024 and can only be spent on these certain projects only:
  • reimbursement and expenses related to the coronavirus pandemic
  • grants to assist small businesses, nonprofits and industries impacted by the pandemic
  • water, sewer and broadband projects
  1. Appropriation to Fishers Police Department (Criminal Investigations -Forfeiture- Fund). PUBLIC HEARING. The Fishers Police Department is requesting $25,000 to be appropriated to replace gun racks in police vehicles. Money collected in the Forfeiture Fund (assets seized during criminal investigations) can be partially used as a supplement to the Police Department budget, although this practice is controversial and has restrictions.
    “Indiana has a constitutional provision that requires ‘all forfeiture’ to be paid into the Common School Fund. But law enforcement is permitted to keep the proceeds from seized assets in order to defray incurred expenses.”
    This action required a public notice in Current in Fishers newspaper and will be opened to public comment at the meeting as a Public Hearing.

A PUBLIC HEARING means that any resident is invited to comment on this topic. This is the only opportunity to make a comment and address the City Council on this specific matter.

If you attend the City Council meeting in-person, you may comment on this matter during this part of the meeting. The City Council President will open the public hearing by asking if anyone would like to speak. If no one indicates that they want to speak, the public hearing can be closed quickly. So, please indicate immediately that you have something to say when the public hearing is opened. Otherwise, you may miss your chance.

Fishers residents are also welcomed to submit public comments electronically prior to the meeting. All comments submitted before the meeting will be presented to City Council members. These comments are not read aloud but become part of the official meeting minutes. The Public Comment Form is live on the website right now. Select “City Council Meeting” and that will open a comment box for you to type in. Submit your comments by noon on Monday, the day of the meeting, so they can be distributed before the meeting.

Planning & Zoning

  1. Fiscal Plan and
  2. Voluntary Annexation
    Legacy Bible Church. 13490 Howe Rd on the east side of Howe Rd, north of 131st St.
  3. Utility Easement Vacation of the Airport Authority. PUBLIC HEARING. This is a matter to prepare the 38 acres for the development of a 310,000 square feet distribution center at the Metropolitan Airport by Scannell Properties. The Indianapolis Star reported on this proposed development recently, which helped to notify more nearby residents and provided me additional information, too. Although the City of Fishers has been aggressively pursuing corporate development in this area for a while, “Mayor Scott Fadness had said previously he would prefer not to have large general warehouses move in…” This is the current Metropolitan Airport Master Plan, released in 2016. See also Agenda Item #20
     

A PUBLIC HEARING means that any resident is invited to comment on this topic. This is the only opportunity to make a comment and address the City Council on this specific matter.

If you attend the City Council meeting in-person, you may comment on this matter during this part of the meeting. The City Council President will open the public hearing by asking if anyone would like to speak. If no one indicates that they want to speak, the public hearing can be closed quickly. So, please indicate immediately that you have something to say when the public hearing is opened. Otherwise, you may miss your chance.

Fishers residents are also welcomed to submit public comments electronically prior to the meeting. All comments submitted before the meeting will be presented to City Council members. These comments are not read aloud but become part of the official meeting minutes. The Public Comment Form is live on the website right now. Select “City Council Meeting” and that will open a comment box for you to type in. Submit your comments by noon on Monday, the day of the meeting, so they can be distributed before the meeting.

 

There are several voluntary annexations that are being considered at this meeting. 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. A Fiscal Plan is required to document the estimated costs the city will incur to provide services to the annexed territory, like police, fire, sewage, etc.

  1. Fiscal Plan and
  2. Voluntary Annexation – Summerfield. Five acres at 11137 E 136th Street.
  3. Fiscal Plan and
  4. Voluntary Annexation – Wetherill Estates. Six acres at 10275 Cumberland Road.
  5. Fiscal Plan and
  6. Voluntary Annexation – Sunderman Estates. Five acres at 11110 E 106th

 

  1. Rezone for a Mixed-Used Development on 36 acres east of USA Parkway. Fishers Villas is a proposed development of 250 apartments off of 116th St, just east of I-69. The location is east of Forum Credit Union and south of the new Fishers District.
     

The public infrastructure (green) is a new public road to be a connector from Fishers Villas to The District and IKEA, and also road improvements to USA Parkway, just north of Forum Credit Union. These improvements are construction of a left turn lane and median cut. The City is offering $300,000 grant for the developer to construct these public roads for the city. I believe that the total value of this public infrastructure is $1.2 Million.

The pedestrian trail (red) is a mile-long sidewalk pathway that will extend throughout the apartment development. There will also be three pocket parks. The City is offering $900,000 grant to defray some of the expense the developer will incur to construct this trail and the parks. The trail/park land will be given to the City of Fishers after it is constructed so that it will become an amenity for the entire public to enjoy as a City of Fishers Park. The City will maintain the trail/parks.

Fishers Villas (blue) is 210 paired villas and 40 townhomes that will be rental properties. Estimated rent would be $1400-$3200/month.

Thompson Thrift would pay all of their impact fees to the City. Those would not be waived.

The estimated new property tax collected on this development would be $800,000/year. The City is contributing $1.2 Million as a commercial property grant to pay for a portion of the roads (green) and trail/parks (red).

In addition, the City will pay $5.9 Million to purchase the extra 10 acres that will be held for future development. These 10 acres, located just south of the Villas and labeled as FUTURE DEVELOPMENT on this map, will then become a City asset. City Council will approve the plan for how the extra 10 acres is developed sometime in the future.

Tax Increment Financing (TIF) will be used for the City’s contribution. This is managed by the Redevelopment Commission.

  1. Text Amendment to Municipal Airport District. Variances are being requested for the distribution center. This is the current Metropolitan Airport Master Plan, released in 2016. See also Agenda Item #12.
  2. Unfinished/New Business.
  3. Community Comment. All comments submitted through the online are supposed to be provided to the city council members before the meeting and become a part of the meeting’s official record. The Public Comment Form is live on the website right now. Select “City Council Meeting” and that will open a comment box for you to type in. Submit your comments by noon on Monday, the day of the meeting, so they can be distributed before the meeting.

Meeting adjourned!

If you have any comments or questions, please send them my way. Email is a good way to get a hold of me.

Thank you for reading all of this. 🙂

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