The October Fishers City Council Meeting will be held at 7pm on Monday, October 9, 2023. I warmly encourage you to participate.
All City Council meetings are 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 onMonday 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 Monday, 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 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 Report included the debt review and cash reserves strategy that I had requested. Debt has increased rapidly and the city’s credit rating has fallen slightly. This really concerns me.
6. Department Reports.
Item a. 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 2022 Annual Report is available.
Item b. There is no Engineering Report for some reason.
Here are some important Engineering Dept reports from earlier this year:
Commercial Private Roadways Report is an update on private roads near SR37 and Barrett Law implementation.
The State Road 37 Progress Report alerts residents about the status of the 141st St Roundabout plans. The date to rebid the 141st Roundabout has been set for Spring 2024 and the actual completion date is late 2024/spring 2025. Completing this interchange means converting the 141st St/SR 37 Right-In/Right-Out intersection that was constructed in January 2023 to a Roundabout.
Most recent State Road 37 article from The Indianapolis Star.
Most recent update to residents from the City of Fishers.
7. 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.
9. 2024 Budget. Mayor Fadness will present the 2024 Budget and the City Council will take its final vote to approve. This is the third and final monthly review of the Mayor’s proposed budget.
Why is the municipal budget important to residents?
Take a look at this blog post from Larry In Fishers. He does a great job explaining “What Budget Time Means To You.”
How can you learn about what is in the proposed budget?
https://fishers.in.us/776/Municipal-Budgets This page on the City website includes topline information and past year’s budgets.
If you review nothing else, I recommend these three powerpoint decks.
Overall, I am pleased with the level of detail and transparency the Mayor and Administration have provided now. I requested several additions to the information that the city originally provided. All these requests have been fulfilled now. I am confident that the 2024 budget information available to citizens now provides a complete picture of the city’s finances and Mayor’s proposal for 2024. You can access that information at https://fishers.in.us/776/Municipal-Budgets
The proposed property tax rate has ticked down a little, but the city still anticipates generating more tax revenue than last year. (Tax payers who don’t reach the tax cap will be paying more in property tax, it is anticipated.)
The budget priorities are not big flashy projects as they have typically been. They are nuts & bolts city necessity that I have heard citizens requesting. I fully support this approach.
I do have concerns about the debt that Fishers has committed to and how much that has increased so quickly. In addition, our city’s bond rating (credit rating) has recently fallen slightly. This means that we may have to pay more to borrow.
City of Fishers total debt outstanding
The Cash Reserves strategy is not carved in stone but I was glad to see a plan articulated. This is what I have been asking for.
I see a striking disconnect between the Mayor’s careful cash reserves strategy and a more reckless approach to incurring debt.
Debt Review and Cash Reserves Strategy (start on page 3)
9. 2024 Salary Ordinance. Every year, the salaries for all of the city employees and elected officials have to be approved by the City Council. The proposed salaries for next year include a 5% pay increase for all positions, INCLUDING ELECTED OFFICIALS, i.e., CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS. This document shows the proposed position and bi-weekly salary. Elected positions are on the last page. The City Attorney, Deputy Mayor, Economic & Community Development Director, City Controller, Fire Chief, Police Chief, Public Health Director, Engineering Director, and Recreation & Wellness Director are the highest paid positions.
If you want to look at the 2023 salary ordinance to compare, please note that in the 2023 document the elected positions are found on page 1. FINAL APPROVAL.
10. General Obligation Bond Issuance. Authorizing a loan in the amount of $12M to pay for Fleet, Road Projects and Trail Development. FIRST READING. First Reading is the first consideration of the matter and no vote is taken.
11. & 12. Financing for District South.
11. is the consideration of the funding. FIRST READING. First Reading is the first consideration of the matter and no vote is taken.
12. is the resolution that articulates the structure of the funding. TIF is used to pay debt service. At the Sept 2023 City Council meeting, the allocation area for this project was approved to capture TIF revenues. FINAL APPROVAL.
The District South project itself was approved in June 2023. It is located on the just south of 116th St, on the south side of South Street between Lantern Road and the Nickel Plate Trail, transforming six vacant, blighted properties into a village comprised of a four-story mixed-use building, seven small business retail units, 38 exclusive loft residences, 44 multi-family units a fitness center, café lounge, shared conference room, and civic plaza and courtyard. Additionally, the village will include with modern finishes. District South is slated for completion in early 2025.
There are plans to extend the Cheeney Creek Trail along the west side of the development, and possibly an elevated crosswalk to the north side of South Street, providing pedestrians immediate and safe access to the Nickel Plate Trail. Financing is a city-backed $9.4 million bond.
13. Agreement with Delaware Township to construct a trail along south side of 131st St between Lantern Road and the Nickel Plate Trail.
Planning & Zoning
14. Flat Fork PUD. This is two new proposed developments that is 109 acres to become 225 single-family homes on the north side of 96th Street between Georgia and Cyntheanne, as two different neighborhoods.
According to Larry In Fishers, “The 96th Street and Georgia Road development will consist of ranch homes with a projected sales price of $450,000 to $550,000. The 96th Street and Cyntheanne Road part of the project will contain 130 two-story residences with prices starting at $600,000 and go up from that price point.”
This proposed development was first heard by City Council in May 2023. At that time, it was designed for 220 single-family homes on the north side of 96th Street between Georgia and Cyntheanne and a commercial area at the NE corner of 96th and Georgia. FINAL APPROVAL. Also see agenda items 16, 17, 18, 19.
15. Vacation of a Sanitary Easement for Marketplace Towns. Lennar is currently in the process of developing the area north of 13650 Bent Grass lane into a townhome development. As part of this project the existing sanitary easement needs to be vacated. An easement vacation is when a city abandons the public use of a road or easement so that the area can be developed. FINAL APPROVAL.
Flat Fork PUD
16. and 18. are Fiscal Plan approvals.
17. And 19. are voluntary annexations. FINAL READING.
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 or prepared for development. Annexation Procedures can be found here.
20 and 21. Magnolia Grove Salon. Property is located at 13484 E 116th St. Fiscal plan approval and voluntary annexation. FINAL READING.
22. Community Center Voluntary Annexation. FIRST READING. First Reading is the first consideration of the matter and no vote is taken. 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 or prepared for development. Annexation Procedures can be found here.
Community Comment. At the end of each City Council meeting is an opportunity for your comment on any Fishers topic. This is an “open mic” opportunity for 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. The topic you comment on does not have to be on the agenda, it can be anything that is on your mind!
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.