July 20, 2020 City Council Meeting Update:
The City Council meeting is on my 50th Birthday!
The very first Community Update from the Fishers Health Department will take place on Monday, July 20 at 5:45pm. Attendees will include members of the Fishers City Council and the HSE Schools’ Board of Trustees. The meeting will take place at City Hall.
You can livestream this meeting and watch remotely.
The Community Update is open for the public to observe. If you attend the meeting in-person, I recommend wearing a mask and social distancing as it is possible.
Because this meeting is a Work Session of the Fishers City Council, I expect that attendees can observe only and there will not be an opportunity for public questions. I hope I am wrong because it would be very good for the new Health Department to directly answer Fishers residents’ questions and concerns about public health and COVID-19.
Immediately afterwards, the July Fishers City Council Meeting will be held on Monday, July 20 at 7pm. Here’s a summary for your information and I encourage you to participate.
On March 16, Governor Holcomb signed an Executive Order 20-02 that limits public meetings and Indiana’s Open Door Laws. This order was extended to August 3, 2020.
Each City Council member was provided the option to conduct this meeting in person or remotely. This time, I chose to participate in the July 20 meeting in person. I will wear my mask and social distance as much as possible. Mask Tip: Place a little piece of fashion tape under your chin to hold your mask in place and it won’t creep up into your eyes!
- A video of the meeting will be broadcast live starting at 7pm on Monday, July 20, 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 July Public Comment Form is live on the website right now. Please submit your comments as soon as possible, before noon on Monday, June 20 is ideal.
- “Community Comment” at the end of each City Council meeting is always open for your comment on any Fishers topic.
- There are two items on this meeting agenda which include a Public Hearing. A public hearing means that any resident is invited to comment on this particular topic. A public hearing is the only opportunity to make a comment and address the City Council on this specific action item before a final decision is made.
- Meeting agendas and past meeting minutes can be found here, under City Council tab.
- Past City Council meeting videos can be found here. The meeting videos are supposed to be posted within 48 hours of the meeting. Sometimes, you can find the videos here, in the Agenda Center, under the “Media” column.
City Council Meeting Agenda
The July City Council Meeting agenda is 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.
- Finance Committee Report.
This committee met last on July 15. Usually, the Finance Committee meets and discusses the Budget/Financial items before these items appear on the City Council agenda. The July 15 Finance Committee meeting minutes are available to review. I listened in on this meeting and Mayor Fadness stated multiple times that he plans to propose no tax rate increase for residents in 2021.
- Consent Agenda.
There are two items on the Consent Agenda. 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.
a. The June City Council Meeting Minutes. The last several pages of the meeting minutes include the public comments that were submitted electronically last month from residents about the proposed Health Department. As an attachment, these public comments are included in the official meeting record.
b. Transfer of Funds. This action transfers a total of A transfer of funds within the city budget 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.
7&8. Genezen Laboratories –9900 Westpoint at Crosspoint Business Park. Genezen is a gene therapy company that started in 2008 and has been a Launch Fishers member for a few years. The have their lab at an Indianapolis hospital. Their new Fishers location would allow them to bring their office and lab under one roof.
Genezen is committing to retaining 3 employees and hiring 36 more at an average salary of $77,000. Genezen is investing $7.8 million in the lab and equipment. The City is providing a 5-year, 100% personal property tax abatement that has an estimated value of $358,470.
In April, the City Council created the economic development agreement with Genezen and authorized the 5-year tax abatement (tax deduction) for their new office. Since their office is in an Economic Revitalization Area (ERA), they have to file a Statement of Benefits form (SB-1).
This council action approves the SB-1. There will be a Public Hearing for this agenda item, which allows the public to speak on this matter. This is a “Confirmatory resolution” which means a resolution adopted by the City Council, following a public hearing, that confirms the City Council’s declaratory resolution in April.
- Knowledge Services has purchased the former Marsh Headquarters building on I-69, north of 96th Street. They currently employ 400 at their current Castleton office and will now be relocating to 9800 Crosspoint Blvd in Fishers. The company had purchased land on USA Parkway, north of 106th three years ago and planned to construct a new HQ there.
Knowledge Services is committing to employing not less than 400 full-time employees (FTEs) at the Site by October 21, 2023, and invest not less than $4 million improving the site and acquiring personal property to be used at the site. The City is providing a 10-year, real property tax abatement and 10-year personal property tax abatement that has a total estimated value of $1.3 million.
In April, the City Council created the economic development agreement with and authorized the tax abatement (tax deduction) for Knowledge Services. Since their office is in an Economic Revitalization Area (ERA), they have to file a Statement of Benefits form (SB-1).
There will be a Public Hearing for this agenda item, which allows the public to speak on this matter. This is a “Confirmatory resolution” which means a resolution adopted by the City Council, following a public hearing, that confirms the City Council’s declaratory resolution in April.
Although Knowledge Services does not add new jobs to Fishers today, I understand that the Indiana Economic Development Corporation has an agreement with Knowledge Services to create 400 additional jobs by 2021.
- Tax Abatement Compliance 2019 CF-1s. Genezen’s Economic Development Agreement (EDA) and Knowledge Service’s Economic Development Agreement (EDA) includes “clawbacks” which require a payback of the tax abatements if the investment/employment commitments are not met by the company. The CF-1 form is used by the company to annually report the company’s compliance with their commitments.
Each year, companies like Genezen and Knowledge Services that have been provided tax abatements (deductions) by the City must submit a Compliance with Statement of Benefits Forms (CF-1) related to each of their respective abatements. The City is required to annually review each company’s CF-1 to determine whether each has substantially complied with its respective Statement of Benefits and, if it has not, whether the failure to substantially comply was caused by factors beyond the control of the company. Thirteen companies’ CF-1 form has been reviewed by the City Economic Development Director and found to be in compliance. One company is out of compliance. These CF-1 forms for each company is public record.
- Fishers Health Department Ordinance. The City if Fishers Municipal Code (City Laws) now needs to be updated to include governance of the new Fishers Health Department. The drafts available for this meeting include the Ordinance with sections on Retail Food Establishments, Pools & Spas, Sewage Systems, Communicable Disease, and Fees Charged for Services. This is second reading (step 2 of 3) and additional sections and revisions are expected as the documents are thoroughly reviewed. I am currently reviewing these drafts against other Indiana health departments’ codes.
- Salary Ordinance- Fishers Health Department. This ordinance adds the new Fishers Health Department positions to the list of city employee positions and salary schedule. City employee titles and salaries are public.
- Geist Park Improvement Project. This is first reading to consider authorizing a $16 million bond (loan) to pay for the phase 1 of the creation of the new Geist Waterfront Park. This is an amazing project that includes a public beach. I was enthusiastic about this project in February. But now, with the complete financial effects of COVID-19 still unimaginable, the timing seems quite wrong to me.
- Unfinished/New Business.
- Community Comment. The first 10 people to sign up before the meeting begins have the opportunity to speak for three minutes each on any city matter. In addition, Fishers residents are welcomed to submit public comments electronically prior to the meeting instead. All comments received before the meeting will be included in the official meeting record. The July Public Comment Form is live on the website right now. Please submit your comments as soon as possible, before noon on Monday, July 20 is ideal.
Meeting adjourned! I’m going to enjoy some birthday cake!
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.