The March City Council meeting will be held on Monday, March 23 at 7pm at Fishers City Hall – with some new modifications. First, I’ll explain the modifications and how you can participate in the meeting. Then, I’ll walk through the meeting agenda.
Your city government is still open and working for you. However, meetings can’t be held the way that we are used to, due to CoronaVirus concerns and physical distancing requirements. Fishers City Council meetings will adhere to the Governor’s orders. On March 16, Governor Holcomb signed an Executive Order that limits public meetings and Indiana’s Open Door Laws. (#5)
Here are the ways that City Council Meetings will be modified for March and probably for future meetings, too:
- The meeting agenda will be limited to essential matters only.
- Only one member of the City Council must attend in-person. The other members may participate electronically instead.
- Make efforts to allow the public to participate in the meeting electronically.
- For more information, please review the City Council page of the City of Fishers website and this announcement.
For my part, I will be participating in this meeting via phone, as I was given the option to do. I will follow the guidelines issued by the CDC, Governor Holcomb and Mayor Fadness to limit non-essential travel and to practice physical distancing from others. I am confident that I can participate in this meeting fully and be effective as your representative remotely.
The meeting is still open to the public. However, it is recommended that you participate in the meeting remotely instead.
- A video of the meeting will be broadcast live starting at 7pm on Monday, March 23, 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 official minutes. The March Public Comment Form is live on the website right now. Please submit your comments as soon as possible, before noon on Monday, March 23 is ideal.
- There are two items on the meeting agenda which the public can submit a comment on specifically – items #3 and #4. Information on these two agenda items are below.
- In addition, “Community Comment” at the end of each City Council meeting is always open for your comment on any
The March City Council Meeting Agenda is now available. As always, the agenda has items that appear in blue that are links to open the supporting documents. Here’s my rundown of the March meeting agenda items and my interpretation of them.
- Consent Agenda. This 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.
If you would like a sneak preview of future projects in Fishers, find a comfy chair and read through the February 10, 2020 City Council Retreat Minutes. This was a three-hour meeting that presented nuts & bolts of Fishers upcoming projects to the City Council. For a quick read, Larry In Fishers provides a good summary of the retreat.
1. and 2. CoronaVirus Pandemic.
These are two separate actions that the Mayor initiated last week in response to the CoronaVirus pandemic. These two resolutions reflect Governor Holcomb’s March 6, 2020 Executive Order and March 16, 2020 Executive Order. The City Council now can enact these two resolutions.
- Resolution R032320B – City Council approval of this resolution extends Mayor Fadness’ actions through April 5, 2020. These actions are defined in Mayor Fadness’ Executive Order #1 and Executive Order #2. These Executive Orders effectively declared a travel advisory “watch” that limits all non-essential travel, encourages teleworking, and suspends all door-to-door solicitations.
- Resolution R032320 – City Council approval of this resolution authorizes Mayor Fadness’ actions through April 5, 2020 to delay residents’ stormwater payment deadline for 60 days and allow temporary signs so that restaurants can promote that they are open for carry-out orders.
The actions taken by Mayor Fadness to protect Fishers residents have moved quickly in a few short days. To review the Community Action Plan, FAQs, daily briefings and more, please visit and bookmark the City of Fishers’ COVID-19 webpage.
3. Re-establishment of Cumulative Capital Development Fund – PUBLIC HEARING
This is not a new tax nor is it a tax increase. This is a request to renew the collection of a property tax that is already in place.
The Cumulative Capital Development Fund has been in existence for many years in Fishers. It raises funds each year for capital projects and infrastructure improvements in the city.
This agenda item is necessary for this March meeting because of state deadlines and procedures.
The proposal to collect this tax from residents must be filed with the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance by the City of Fishers no later than April 30 the year prior of the tax collection. If not, the tax rate is automatically reduced.
The final vote on this matter must be taken at the April City Council Meeting. The vote must occur at the next month’s meeting after a public hearing. This March meeting is the public hearing.
This action doesn’t set the exact rate. It re-establishes the fund which protects the current tax rate. The actual rate will be determined later this year during the 2021 budget planning process, but it can’t exceed the current tax rate of $0.05 per $100 of the assessed value of your property.
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.
Due to the meeting modifications to maximize physical distancing, Fishers residents are welcomed to submit public comments on this matter electronically prior to the meeting. All comments received before the meeting will be presented during this part of the meeting and will be part of the meeting’s official minutes. The March Public Comment Form is live on the website right now. Please submit your comments as soon as possible, before noon on Monday, March 23 is ideal.
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.
4., 5. and 6. Re-funding Bonds
Re-funding is different than a refund! A refund is when you get your money back when you return something that you are not satisfied with. This is not what we are talking about here. These three agenda items involve the act of “re-funding.”
A re-funding is new borrowing that pays off an old borrowing, to achieve debt savings, restructure debt service, or free up existing funds. It is similar to refinancing a mortgage to obtain a better interest rate or to restructure payment amounts and dates for budget flexibility.
As of February 2020, there are three bonds that have enough estimated savings to refund:
- General Obligation Bonds of 2010, Series A – Savings of $477,542 after re-funding
- Redevelopment Authority Lease Rental Revenue Bonds of 2009 –Savings of $529,652 after re-funding
- Redevelopment District Bonds, Series 2011 (SR 37 Project) – Savings of $884,369 after re-funding
The City will use the estimated savings from the three above-referenced bonds and issue a new general obligation bond whose proceeds will be used to construct the roundabout at 126th and Ford Drive. The new general obligation bond should not impact the City of Fishers tax, according to the City Controller.
Agenda Item #4 – The General Obligation Bonds of 2010, Series A – includes 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. The March Public Comment Form is live on the website right now. Please submit your comments as soon as possible, before noon on Monday, March 23 is ideal.
If you do attend the City Council meeting in-person, you may comment on this matter during this part of the meeting.
- Community Comment
At the end of each City Council meeting, the floor is open for your comment on any topic. If you attend the meeting in person, you sign up before the meeting begins for your chance to speak. At this part of the meeting, the City Council President will call each person up to the microphone to speak for no more than three minutes, on any subject. The Council is not required to respond to your comment. All comments made by the public are entered into the minutes of the meeting.
At the March City Council meeting, residents are encouraged instead to participate in the meeting remotely. Submit your comments for “Community Comment” electronically instead of in-person. The March Public Comment Form is live on the website right now. Please submit your comments as soon as possible, before noon on Monday, March 23 is ideal.