The November Fishers City Council Meeting will be held on Monday, November 16, starting with a Work Session at 6:30pm. I warmly encourage you to participate.
There are two separate meetings on Monday evening and both will be virtual. I don’t believe that the meetings are open to in-person attendance because of COVID concerns.
The first meeting is a Work Session at 6:30pm. No action is taken at a Work Session. It is a gathering of the city council members to gather information about a specific topic. Work Sessions are open to the public. The City Council Meeting is open to the public and it begins at 7pm, immediately after the Work Session.
View and Participate in the Work Session and City Council Meeting
- A video of the meeting will be broadcast live starting at 6:30pm on Monday 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 Public Comment Form is live on the website right now. Please submit your comments as soon as possible, before noon on Monday is ideal.
- “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 any Fishers resident to address the City Council for three minutes. Since the meeting will be virtual, residents are asked to submit their comments via the Public Comment Form.
- 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. Sometimes, you can find the videos here, in the Agenda Center, the TV icon under the “Media” column. Sometimes, City Council meeting videos are to be posted here.
The November Work Session and City Council Meeting agendas are 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.
State Road 37 update. Since the City Council hasn’t received a complete update about the State Road 37 construction project yet this year, I am looking forward to this meeting. We do know that the construction project, which is a partnership between INDOT, Hamilton County and the City of Fishers, is years from completion and is $42 Million over budget so far.
CITY COUNCIL MEETING
- COVID 19 Update.
The last time the City Council received an update from the Fishers Health Department was a July 20 Work Session with the HSE School Board. I am looking forward to this update now, especially because COVID-19 cases are skyrocketing in Fishers during the past several weeks and new community guidance has been presented by the Governor and the Fishers Health Department.
- Consent Agenda.
There is one item on the Consent Agenda.
Transfer of Funds. This action transfers 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.
- Spark Garage. The parking garage in Spark Apartments, located on North Street across the street from Four Day Ray in downtown Fishers, is the subject of a 2016 agreement between the City, the Fishers Town Hall Building Corporation and HG Envoy. This resolution amends the agreement to accurately state how the garage is actually operating and its expenses.
- INCOG (formerly known as COG Biopharma Services). This is the first of two steps to create an Economic Revitalization Area (ERA), which is a necessary step to grant a tax abatement. The tax abatement is part of the economic development agreement between the city and this new start-up company.
At the October City Council meeting, the economic development agreement with INCOG was approved. INCOG will receive a 100% 13-year tax abatement on personal property (equipment) and a 100% 1-year tax abatement on real property (the building/land). This means the company doesn’t pay these taxes at all during these years. Tax abatements are common tools used by local government to attract investment and job creation.
The second step is a public hearing about the ERA designation and grant of the abatement.
INCOG was founded by two former executives of Cook Group and will provide manufacturing to biopharma companies. INCOG will invest $60 million to open a large headquarters to open in 2022 at Exit 5 Parkway and Cumberland Road in Fishers. INCOG plans to hire 150 high-income, full time employees by 2024. The Indiana Economic Development Corporation is providing $2.5 million of tax credits to INCOG, when they fulfill their hiring commitment. Fishers is proposing a 100% 13-year tax abatement on personal property (equipment) and a 100% 1-year tax abatement on real property (the building/land). This means the company doesn’t pay these taxes at all during these years. Tax abatements are common tools used by local government to attract investment and job creation.
For more info on INCOG Biopharma, check out this recent Hamilton County Reporter article in the blue box on page 1.
- SPF15 (First Internet Bank). This is the new 6-story building on the southside of 116th Street, across from the former site of Nickel Plate Grill. The project agreement originally stated that the construction would be substantially completed by September 2021. Due to COVID, the developer, SPF15, is asking to extend this deadline to June 30, 2022. The hotel part of the project had already been delayed a few months ago from the original date of December 30, 2020 to June 30, 2022. The hotel site is adjacent to the Nickel Plate Trail tunnel under 116th Street that will be constructed. This proposed amendment also transfers property to the City that is needed for the tunnel project.
10. State Road 37 Project. This resolution is for a loan (a bond) to be taken out by the city to fund Phase II of the State Road 37 project. The bond would have a principal amount of $6.8 million to fund the improvements on SR 37 at 131st St, 135th St, 141st St and 146th St. The bond would be funded by a lease of city-owned property located at Allisonville Road (Sunblest Road to 146th St) from the Fishers Redevelopment Authority (the landlord) to the Fishers Redevelopment Commission (the tenant). I need to hear more about this.
11.Consolidated Fishers /I-69 Economic Development Area. A proposed amendment to remove some residential parcels from the Downtown Allocation Area and add new parcels in. Maps of the parcels can be found within this document.
12. Olio Road/I-69 Economic Development Area. Removes a parcel at 131st St and Olio from the established economic development area because it is tax-exempt.
Planning & Zoning
- Rezone for US Foods expansion. This facility is located at 126th and Cumberland Road. The proposal would change the zoning to Industrial. There are a few homes nearby and neighborhoods across 126th The 2040 Comprehensive Plan doesn’t provide insight, this area is designated a Special Study Area.
- These properties are located at Southeastern Parkway and 113thStreet, approximately 16065 Southeastern Pkwy, near Hamilton Southeastern Intermediate/Jr High School. Development of a housing subdivision of 200 lots is being proposed. The developer wants to receive approval to create a Planned Unit Development, which allows for alterations in the current zoning requirements for this area. This is a new proposal after the original proposal was not approved by the City Council in September. There are still numerous concerns from neighbors and other Fishers residents about the negative impact that this development could have on the serene character of this unique area, traffic, safety, school capacity, etc. However, this new proposal is smaller than the original one that was more acreage and had 290 lots.
- Amendments to Unified Development Ordinance. The UDO is the development and construction standards for our city. One of the proposed revisions is to permit a telecommunications tower in an Agricultural Area (AG).
- Fishers Health Department. When Fishers’ new health department was formed, this ordinance was passed to establish its scope. Now, the ordinance proposed revision would allow a fine of up to $500 for a violation of a public health order. You can review the current language about the health department in the Fishers Code of Ordinances (Chapter 173). This ordinance revision would be a way to enforce the local health orders that are designed to slow the spread of COVID in a unified way across the community.
- Unfinished/New Business.
- Community Comment. I don’t believe that in-person comments from the public will be available at this meeting, since the meeting is virtual. All comments submitted through the online form that are received before the meeting will be provided to the city council members before the meeting and will be part of the meeting’s record. The Public Comment Form is live on the website right now. Please submit your comments as soon as possible, before noon on Monday is ideal.
- 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. If you would like to leave a voicemail, please ring me at 888-518-7117.