The August Fishers City Council Meeting will be held on Monday, August 16 at 7pm at City Hall. I warmly encourage you to participate.
CITY COUNCIL MEETING
How to Observe and Participate in the City Council Meeting at City Hall.
- 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 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 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. 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 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 or in the Agenda Center. Click on the TV icon under the “Media” column.
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.
Finance Committee Report. I look forward to the Finance Committee presentation at each month’s City Council meeting. Since City Council is responsible for fiscal oversight, this monthly report is very important but usually brief and informal. The July Finance Committee Meeting was cancelled, so no report is expected.
I try to attend every Finance Committee meeting. At the recent meeting, it was announced that Fishers will receive $6.9 million from the American Rescue Plan. This is the new plan that provides direct relief to citizens, local governments and schools to contain COVID-19 and rescue the economy. The $6.9 million that the City of Fishers will receive must be spent by Dec 2024 on specific things only:
- Reimbursement and expenses related to COVID-19
- Grants to assist small businesses, non-profit organizations and industries impacted by the pandemic
- Water, sewer and broadband projects
I anticipate Mayor Fadness and the City Council working together to determine how the $6.9 million could be best invested for our community.
In addition, planning the 2022 municipal budget is about to begin. The concerns about SR 37 construction overages, the sustainability of the City Hall building, and the interest for a city-constructed/operated community center are sure to be big discussion items in the 2022 budget.
The 2022 budget presentation and citizens’ only opportunity to provide feedback on the budget will be at the City Council Meeting on Sept 20, 2021.
HEALTH DEPARTMENT NOTE: A COVID Community Update is not on the agenda but I have requested a brief Fishers Health Department update to be included in the meeting. I received a positive response to this request last Friday by Mayor Fadness and Monica Heltz, Fishers Health Department’s Public Health Director. I look forward to her brief status update so that we are aware of how our community is doing right now.
Fishers’ current COVID community risk rating has recently been increased back up to Yellow – Level 2 Moderate from Green – Level 1 Low.
The Fishers Health Department’s first Annual Report is available for review.
There are two items on the Consent Agenda.
7. Item a. is approval of last month’s City Council meeting minutes.
8. 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.
9. Stevanato Confirmatory Resolution. The Stevanato Group is an Italian pharmaceutical (syringes/vials) company that plans employ over 200 in the next four years and invest $145 million in their new, 370,000 square-feet US plant located in Fishers at 126th St and Cumberland Road. This resolution offers Stevanato incentives to come to Fishers. These incentives include transferring 33 acres to the company, waiving 100% of their personal property taxes for 15 years and providing a $2.4 million commercial property grant. The Indiana Economic Development Corp is also offering Stevanato tax credits and grants. This resolution is the second in the two-step process of designating the site as an economic revitalization area and granting an abatement.
City of Fishers Press Release
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. Envoy (Highline) Project Agreement. The proposed 10-acre development is six buildings including 280 apartments, 18,600 square feet of 1st floor restaurant/commercial/retail space and an additional 4800 square feet of restaurant space. The location is the south of 106th Street, between Lantern Road and Kincaid Blvd. https://goo.gl/maps/8RWrTXG6P6KEGbRb7
Envoy, the developer, expects to invest $52 milllion into this project. The developer will create a sidewalk (pedestrian trail) around the perimeter of the development and a road that connects Lantern Rd to Kincaid Blvd (Pearl Street). I note that these infrastructure improvements are enhancements to this development area specifically.
The city is going to take out a $10 million loan (bond) to help finance the project. The bond will be paid back over 25 years with the proceeds from the Tax Increment Finance arrangement.
Tax Increment Financing is a commonly used tactic to pay for infrastructure improvements designed to spur economic development in the area. I believe that TIF has to be used very carefully. I always apply the “but for” test. This is evidence that the development would be impossible “but for” the investment of TIF. When TIF is invested in a development, the incremental taxes that the developer would pay once the project is completed are diverted to pay off the bond that paid for the infrastructure improvements.
More about TIF:
What Is a TIF short video – https://www.trilandproperties.com/what-is-a-tif-and-how-does-a-tif-work/
The Use of Tax Increment Finance – https://pcrd.purdue.edu/ruralindianastats/downloads/The-Use-of-Tax-Increment-Finance.pdf
2018 Fiscal Impact of TIF in Fishers – https://www.fishers.in.us/DocumentCenter/View/15803/14818?bidId=
I have several concerns about the use of TIF for this project, especially since it includes residential units. I am not certain how this project passes the “but for” test for an acceptable use of TIF. The 2040 Plan shows that this area is an employment node, not mixed-use with residential/retail. And, I am concerned about the overall transparency and the lack of opportunity to scrutinize this project completely.
11. Authorizing Acquisition of Sewer Works from Hamilton Southeastern Utilities. First Reading is the first, but not final, consideration of a matter. Last month, the City of Fishers announced its intent to purchase the Fishers assets of Hamilton Southeastern Utilities, the sewer utility. This agenda item is consideration of a sewer revenue bond (loan). The city’s purchase of the sewer utility from Hamilton Southeastern Utilities will be paid for by a loan that is paid off by the payments from customers who use the utility. Once purchased by the city, all wastewater collection and treatment will be consolidated and all customers will now have one point of contact for this service. The City of Fishers does not anticipate increasing customer rates to pay for the purchase of the utility.
Current in Fishers article – https://www.youarecurrent.com/2021/07/15/fishers-intends-to-purchase-portion-of-hse-utilities/
City of Fishers website – https://www.fishers.in.us/1348/Hamilton-Southeastern-Utilities-Acquisit
12. Amendment to the I-69 (Metropolitan Airport) Economic Development Area. The area of the Metropolitan Airport that is N of 96th St and W of Hague will be added to the Economic Development Area. The area S of 126th St and W of Cumberland Rd will be removed from the Downtown area and be designated as the 126th and Cumberland Rd Area.
Planning & Zoning
13. Park Impact Fees. First Reading is the first, but not final, consideration of a matter. Every five years, the City is required to evaluate the Park Impact Fees and update them if necessary. The City assesses these fees not from current residents, but from the developers that construct new residences in Fishers. The revenue generated from these fees from developers funds Fishers parks services for the new residents that join our community.
|current fee||proposed new fee|
|Single-family detached home||$1,667||$3,492|
Nearby communities’ current park impact fees for a single-family detached home:
Westfield – $1,427
Noblesville – $1,546
Carmel – $4,882
14 & 15. Rezone for Milford Park and The Cove at Thorpe Creek. There are two proposed new residential developments adjacent to each other located on the far east side of Fishers – north of Florida Road and 113th Street, near Whelchel Springs and Thorpe Creek neighborhoods. In total, these two proposed developments would add over 300 homes to the area.
14. Millford Park is a proposed development by Lennar of 121 homes. FINAL READING.
15. The Cove at Thorpe Creek is a proposed development by Fischer Homes of 192 new homes. The Cove at Thorpe Creek includes both the east side and west side of Florida Road. FINAL READING.
16. Nickel Plate District Code Amendment. This proposed adjustment to the code would require newly constructed residential dwellings to remain residential for at least three years before they could be converted to commercial. FINAL READING.
I have concerns about this amendment because it seems like a reflex reaction to one particular situation and it doesn’t address what the real need is in the Village Center area of the Nickel Plate District. This area of the Nickel Plate District that is across the street from Fishers Elementary School and sometimes referred to as the Lantern Road Corridor, has charm and potential. It is located S of 116th St and W of Lantern Road. New residences have been constructed here along with small businesses in individual house-like buildings. It is beginning to have a village-like feel and new residents here love the walkability and access to businesses nearby. What this area needs from the city is a clear vision and strategy for how it will be developed. I was glad to hear that the city is working on this and will be scheduling input sessions with neighbors, too.
Indy Star article, 7/27/21 – https://www.indystar.com/story/news/local/hamilton-county/fishers/2021/07/27/fishers-indiana-nickel-plate-district-wants-change-business-rule/8045743002/
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.
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. 🙂