The January Fishers City Council Meeting will be held at 7pm on Tuesday, January 17, 2023.  I warmly encourage you to participate. IMPORTANT LOCATION CHANGE: All City Council meetings will now be held at Launch Fishers, 12175 Visionary Way. Launch Fishers is located in the tech park, just north of Super Target.

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.
  • A video of the meeting will be broadcast live at http://tinyurl.com/CityOfFishers starting at 7pm on Tuesday so you can watch from home. This is the way to observe the meeting remotely.
  • In-person attendees are welcomed to address the City Council during any Public Hearings during the meeting – and during Community Comment, which is held at the end of every meeting.
  • Fishers residents are also welcomed to submit public comments electronically prior to the meeting. In order to submit a comment, you need to designate the date of the meeting that you want to comment on. Look at the public meeting calendar. Then, complete the online Public Comment Form.  Select “City Council” and that will open a comment box for you to type in. Submit your comments by NOON on the day of 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.
  • 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 10 Fishers residents to address the City Council for up to three minutes each. The council members are not required to resolve or respond to your comments at that moment. Usually, pathways are identified for follow-up and additional dialogue.
  • 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. You can find the videos in the City of Fishers YouTube channel.

CITY COUNCIL MEETING
The City Council Meeting agendas are available here, under the City Council header. Each agenda has items on it that appear in blue. These are links to open the supporting documents. Here’s a rundown of this meeting’s agenda items and my interpretation of them.

5. Council Committee Reports.
Finance Committee Report. The Finance Committee is charged with advising the City Council on matters concerning the general financial operations of the City. The City Council is responsible for fiscal oversight and final approval of the municipal budget. Typically, the Finance Committee report is reflected in action items for the City Council that are reflected in the “Budget/Financial” part of the meeting agenda. The Finance Committee meeting was cancelled for this month.

Rules Committee Report. The Rules Committee was created in January 2022 by City Council. One of the committee’s responsibilities is to make recommendations for 2023 appointments to Boards and Commissions. These appointments must be finalized every January. The Rules Committee met last week for the very first time this year. There was no agenda. According to the Rules Committee Report, this meeting was only 5 minutes long! Thankfully, the Rules Committee reconvened for a second meeting this morning.

6. Department Reports.
The monthly Fishers Health Department Report is usually made available to residents every month about our city’s vaccine status, COVID community risk status, and other important public health info. The FHD 2021 annual report is available.

7. Selection of Council Leadership and Appointments to Boards & Commissions. No information was made available. Exhibit A has not been presented to me and the public. I was dismayed at the last City Council meeting that the election of council leadership was held December as a surprise, instead of in January as our Rules dictate. The timing of the vote wasn’t crucial, really. The problem is that our City Council Rules of Procedure detail how meetings are supposed to be conducted. There was no reason for these Rules to be disregarded and a troubling precedent has been set.

At this January meeting, the Council appointment of citizens to serve on city boards & commissions are to be finalized. I have raised the issue for two years now about how these appointments to bodies that make big city decisions lack transparency. The Republican majority on City Council continues to make these appointments behind closed doors as a way to retain control. However, the appointment recommendations are the responsibility of the bipartisan Rules Committee. You can read more about this on my blog and from Larry In Fishers.

8. Consent Agenda.
There are two items on the Consent Agenda.
Item a. is approval of last month’s City Council meeting minutes.

Item b. transfers 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.

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

Economic Development
9. Appropriate Additional Funds for a new Community Center. The City is requesting approval of $1.8 million from cash reserves to pay for design and scope of the new Community Center. The plan is that the $1.8 million fronts these expenses but will be enveloped in a loan (bond) and reimbursed to the city’s cash reserves. The concern I have is that no financial plans have been shared with me about the city’s cost to build this new amenity. I have requested this information from the Mayor’s office but haven’t received it. This agenda item will welcome public comments in a Public Hearing format.

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. Fishers residents are welcomed to submit comments for the public hearing on this matter electronically prior to the meeting. All comments received by noon on Monday on the day of the meeting should be presented during this part of the meeting and will be part of the meeting’s official minutes. The Public Comment Form is live on the website right now.

If you do 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.

10. Amending Ordinance for Taxable Economic Development Revenue Bond Anticipation Note. A Bond Anticipation Note (BAN) is temporary debt issued when a municipality needs to finance a project in advance of the Bond Bank’s next scheduled sale. BANs are also issued when a municipality needs financing for a project in stages, but wants to issue the permanent financing once. This amendment concerns a BAN that was issued in 2019 for but is inadequate for the bond interest payment that is due on Feb 1, 2023. The original 2019 bond for $31.5 million was to finance the acquisition and construction of a parking garage, mixed use buildings, and other infrastructure and property rehabilitation, with respect to the development located on the north side of 116th Street in the City’s Nickel Plate District. This was finalized at the May 2019 City Council meeting.

11. Council Committees. This item proposes to do away with the Non Profit Committee. This is the committee that I and two other city councilors serve on to select and award city-funded grants to local non-profit organizations that serve our community. There is $250,000 available for non-profit grants this year. I have advocated for substantial changes in the application, review, selection and reporting processes for these grants. I fully support devoting this amount of city funding to grants for non-profits that serve our community and citizens. I have some ideas to achieve this. FIRST READING. A first reading is the first consideration of a matter and no vote is taken.

Planning/Zoning

12. and 13. Voluntary annexation of 14050 Allisonville Rd.

14. and 15. Voluntary annexation of 13880 E 116th St.

16. and 17. Voluntary annexation of 11444 Timberlane Dr.

A voluntary annexation is when a property owner wants to incorporate into the City of Fishers and receive city benefits, i.e., access to city utilities and city services like road maintenance and snow plowing. The annexed property will start paying city property tax to cover these benefits. Sometimes, annexations are a first step for a property being sold for development. Annexation Procedures can be found here.

Miscellaneous

18. Rezone. This final action would rezone 41 acres located just north of Britton Falls on Cyntheanne for a proposed development of a 61-unit residential subdivision.

19. Amendments to the Unified Development Ordinance. The UDO are the development standards of our city. These revisions are miscellaneous updates.

20. Voluntary annexation of 11359 Cumberland Road. FIRST READING.
A first reading is the first consideration of a matter and no vote is taken. This agenda item will welcome public comments in a Public Hearing format.

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. Fishers residents are welcomed to submit comments for the public hearing on this matter electronically prior to the meeting. All comments received by noon on Monday on the day of the meeting should be presented during this part of the meeting and will be part of the meeting’s official minutes. The Public Comment Form is live on the website right now.

If you do 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.

21. Update to 2040 Plan/Housing & Neighborhoods section, as recommended in the January 2022 Housing Study. The Study articulated these four strategies the City of Fishers should prioritize.

In addition, the State of Indiana released a report from the Indiana Housing Task Force in October 2022 which included 16 findings and recommendations. For example, one recommendation is for city government to adjust local zoning regulations to encourage lower cost housing. FIRST READING. A first reading is the first consideration of a matter and no vote is taken.

Unfinished/New Business.

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 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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