SOUTH BEND COMMON COUNCIL MEETING
County-City Building 4th Floor
ANNUAL BOARD OF FINANCE MEETING
Election of Officers
CITY OFFICES REPORT - Mayor
* Killing of two teens this month
1. Needs to stop
2. Need info shared with authorities
3. Need to break cycle of violence
* Praised the street outreach of those at Goodwill
* Call 311 with location of pot holes
* FUSE Project has 20 people now
* City employees now have parental leave available to them
* New airline routes mean 93K more seats available
* Study on Armore/South Shore is nearing completion and waiting on "Economic Impact" part of it
Councilman Oliver Davis asked for advance notice and information on this
* City purchased $773K from Minority Businesses and $1.2M from Women Owned Businesses in 2017
* PSAP (911 Call Center) has a new Director and things are going well
* Lime Bike - 10K rides in December
ANNUAL FINANCIAL REPORT
City Investments overall - return was 0.82% on 107 Funds, TIF receiving the most interest income
Bill # 02-18 AUTHORIZING THE ISSUANCE OF GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS
For construction of the New Fire Station #9 and an additional classroom on the Taylor Street Fire Training Center
Bonds in $5K denominations, not exceeding 6%
Fire Station #9 has a historical designation and was built in 1926
FAVORABLE - Unanimous
Bill # 03-18 APPROPRIATING of BONDS Series 2018 for $5,430,000
$500K will be for the new fire station with an estimated cost of $330 per sq ft
The new classroom will be a pre-fab construction to keep costs low and cost about $110 per sq ft
FAVORABLE - Unanimous
Bill #18-02 Rescinding Resolution #4663-17
Indiana Task Force One MOA (Memorandum of Agreement) Approval
Between City of SB and Indianapolis, urban search and rescue task force within the National Urban Search and Rescue Response System
Indianapolis dissolved their end of this because they eliminated their "Public Safety Department". The new/same agreement was reached with the Indianapolis City directly.
FAVORABLE - Unanimous
Bill #89-17 Mixed Use District Zoning Text Amendments - See Charts on Michiana Observer Post on FB Nov 27, 2017
They were asked to ammend and put in specific language making it clear all businesses need to leave the required 5-6' access, but don't feel it is necessary.
Further, this bill allows Community Development to take up more of private owned property without input, recourse or review by the Council. Citizens will have no rights.
NOTE: The public is able to attend Redevelopment Meetings but no public input is allowed.
This was TABLED
Bill #01-18 Transfer of Zoning Related Responsibilities
This transfers the South Bend City Building Department into the County Area Planning Department (Consolidation and transfer of power)
FAVORABLE - Unanimous
Bill #06-18 (First Reading) Street Vacation Western Ave from Frances Street East 241' to Parry Street, the first North/South Alley East of Frances Street, Between Western Ave on the North to the first East/West Alley South of Western Ave
FAVORABLE - Unanimous
PRIVILEGE OF THE FLOOR
Jesse Davis - Brought to the Council's attention some people with city connections get priviledged treatment even though they march for equal rights and treatment. He referenced people brought in for the same offense of OWI got different results. One had to pay a $500 bond and the other was released on recognizance.
* Asked the Council to increase the funding for the "Transitions Program" the city has with WorkOne. The City put in $100K but it runs out too quickly. The program is for residents needing funds for training to improve their careers.
* Asked the Council to keep an eye on when HeadStart waiting lists go unfunded and to use community influence to get the funding for them.
* Went to the Neighborhood Watch meeting - There are 200 Block Captains and the police would like 1,200 so Citizens can help lower crime in the City. She suggested the Council reach out to their constituents.
* Expressed dismay there were over 100 shootings and 16 gun related deaths in 2017 and the year is beginning with the death of two teens.
1. Asked if Anger Management classes are still being taught in the schools
2. Suggested teaching Violence De-escalation workshops in the neighborhoods
3. Suggested putting together a local TV documentary program that shows what happens when someone is shot--ER, what happens to the body, PD Case management, Court, Family/Friends/Acquaintenances (close to 300 people are affected) to help people understand the real impact of just one death.
4. Start training the community on how to treat gunshot wounds since last year there were 100 shootings. She said a person can bleed out in under 3 minutes so those close need to know how to reduce bleeding until medics arrive. She said we teach the community CPR an how to help with strokes and this needs to be the new training.
(Only 3 minutes is allowed for a Citizen to express ideas or concerns, so her last 3 points were not heard.)
Councilwoman Karen White made the announcement there will be a meeting on February 22, from 6-8 pm by Memorial Hospital about the Opiod Crisis in South Bend.
For more articles/meetings: #MichianaObserver
Civil Rights Heritage Center, 6:00 pm, January 17, 2018
Moderator: Dr. Darryl Heller, Director of the Center
Ms. Linda Wolfson, Community Forum for Economic Justice
Dr. James Mueller, Executive Director, Department of Community Investment, City of South Bend
Ms. Christina Brooks, Diversity Inclusion Officer, City of South Bend
This is part of a series of meetings being held about the economic disparity for those in the African American Community which by the City's own study shows South Bend's African American Community which totals 27% of the population, makes 50% less than whites and has two times the unemployment.
Ms. Linda Wolfson:
She maintains not much has changed in how the City of South Bend distributes its economic monies.
(TIF - Tax Incremental Financing which are tax dollars that go to private businesses and projects in the hopes they will boost business and improve life for the community and
TAX ABATEMENTS - which allows the City to help their cash flow by not paying any increased property taxes for a specific period of years)
She cited an article in the South Bend Tribune from August 15, 2006 where instead of the City boosting and developing the Portage area, the TIF monies went towards Blackthorn. The City expanded the TIF boundaries South so the City could spend the monies someplace other than where economic development was needed most.
Holladay Corporation was given $2.1M in TIFs and granted $4,530,027 in tax forgiveness. She says, these Tax Abatements are not necessary and the average citizen property owner has to make-up the shortfall in taxes while not getting much benefit and does not benefit those who need the economic boost the most.
She maintains the City continues to ignore the areas that most need attention while concentrating the funds in the downtown area.
NOTE: There is a new project in the works for the Portage area that is a "Spec Building" which means there is not a firm commitment from a business to occupy it. This warehouse would require TIF and be given major property tax abatements. According to the developer, it would be a highly automated warehouse and only need 6-10 workers.
It would not address the need to bring in many jobs for the community for the amount of money they are being given as incentives. The City often argues these Abatements bring in needed jobs.
Dr. James Mueller:
He says their policies of restrciting traffic in the downtown is a wise economic choice so traffic doesn't flow through it like a highway is beneficial and that developing the downtown area first will eventually expand out to the neighborhoods.
He maintains working on the neighborhoods first just doesn't give the local economic boost needed. Revitalizing areas with aging housing stock doesn't give a good return on investment the way concentrated downtown homes will.
Ms. Christina Brooks:
She gave a personal account of her life in South Bend, definitions of racial inequities and a history of racial disparities.
She highlighted parts of the "Racial Wealth Dividein South Bend" September 2017 report the commissioned from "Prospertiy Now" which is available to the public as a download.
"More data analysis is needed" before the City can take action.
Ms. Lisa DeBerry says in the meantime, the "1,000 Houses in 1,000 Days" project took out many houses and the area has not received the needed funds to rebuild it and fix the remaining homes which are often valued at below $50,000. Those funds have gone to build expensive homes/condos in the downtown area.
Dr. Mueller replied that 60% of the homes were saved.
Ms. DeBerry asked what if anything had been done to help those homeowners repair those homes, further noting that instead of helping, the City is handing out Code Violations instead, which puts the homeowners further in debt and does not address the problem.
Mr. Jas Alexander, VP of Local 84809, asked about requiring those receiving TIF/Abatments to be required to have hiring requirements around minorities and local residents to boost the income of those already living here.
Dr. Mueller replied there needs to be further study and data on the issue. He also stated there might be lawsuits if the City made these types of requirements so at this time the City will not make any labor requirements on these developers.
Mr. Alexander continued to say that on many local development projects, workers from outside South Bend are brought in instead of utilizing locals who need the jobs and income.
He also asked what is being done to train local workers to boost their ability to fill jobs and raise their income.
Ms. Brooks says there are programs through St. Mary's (SPARK), SCORE for startups and WorkOne where the City allocated $100K Trainings Connection Program which pays for training for people to upgrade their skills.
NOTE: That $100K rapidly runs out which means it is being utilized. It goes directly towards those residents wanting to advance their careers. Funding this program more agressively may boost the economy more than giving Abatements since it raises people's skills and income directly.It also gives employers a more skilled workforce.
Other Audience Comments: Gentrification continues to be a concern and people are not convinced the "trickle down" of downtown money spent and property tax dollars given away will reach neighborhoods will work since the neglect has made things worse in the meantime. They are tired of more "conversations" and less "action".
Redevelopment Commission meetings are held on the 13th floor of the County-City Building two Thursday mornings a month. They are open to the public to attend, but no comments or input from the public is allowed.
According to the Brookings Institution, "States and localities spend $50 to $80 billion on tax breaks and incentives each year in the name of economic development despite a mountain of evidence showing that tax incentives produce mostly marginal returns. These traditional approaches to economic development by local governments have not benefited all populations — and, in many cases, the policies and programs have particularly neglected or even shortchanged people of color, immigrants and low-income communities"
-- Matt Zone, President of the National League of Cities
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The Short 2018 Session has started and a variety of laws are being introduced for schools, wages, taxes, animals, crimes, voting, healthcare and more. Here is a QUICK LIST of what is being discussed. Like it? Don't like it? Now is the time to start letting your State Legislators know what you think! Please Like/Share Thanks! #MichianaObserver
Thursday, January 11, 2018
9:30 am, 13th Floor County-City Building
All Members present
Ben Dougherty, Dave Relos, Marcia Jones, Councilman Dr. Dave Varner, Coucilman Gavin Ferlic, Kintae Lark
1. Resolution 3419 - Approve Meeting Schedule for 2018
2. Resolution 3421 - Procedures for Property Related Services - Updated Employee Names and Responsibility Levels
3. Resolution 3422 - Authority for Administrative Acts - Pertains to Closing, Tax Appeals, Rezoning
NOTE: Michiana Observer Post on 11/28/2017 has Chart of new actions they can perform without Council consent, public hearing or public input.
4. Resolution 3423 - Procedures for Temporary Use Agreements
NOTE: They can grant variances without public input or dissent.
RIVER WEST TIF DEVELOPMENT AREA
1. Resolution 3420 - Consenting to the Assignment of the Real Estate Purchase Agreement to "333 Western Associates, LLC" from Cressy & Everett (VA Building)
2. Resolution 3424 - Consenting to the Assignment of the Real Estate Purchase Agreement to "Michigan Street Shops LLC" from Cressy Everett
DISCUSSION: Councilman Dr. David Varner asked if transferring these from Cressy & Everett would include the City requirements for meeting TIF/Abatement Rules that are in place.
Legal Council Ben Dougherty said they were part of the transfer.
NOTE: Moving these contracts from a larger developer with considerable assets to a smaller independent company will limit their liability since failure would be contained to this new corporation.
This could mean if the project fails, a bankruptcy would leave the City without recourse.
For the Development Corporations it will make it easier for them to parcel it off as a sale to another entitiy, file that business as a "small business" and operate under different tax rules.
STATISTICALLY it will showup as if the City suddenly has a "Small Business Growth Increase" downtown when in reality it is a large corporation parceling out each development deal. It will also help meet small business goals.
3. Second Amendment to the JMS Development, LLC: There was $87,000 left over on this TIF that could have been redirected or put back in the account. Instead Community Investment elected to spend it on upgrading the asphault, installing a fence and an electric gate for JMS parking lot.
All of the above items were voted FAVORABLE Unanimously.
A. Tax Abatements - There was a new parcel annexed into the City for a warehouse project out by the Airport.
B. Common Council - No update
C. Other - None
Next Meeting: Thursday, Jan 25th, 9:30 am, 13th Floor County-City Building
(Public can attend but no comments or questions are allowed at these meetings.)
6:45 pm, South Bend Police Department
Presenter Ptl. James Burns
NOTE: See attached pictures of slides for details
* Recap of statistics on the slides. Info on these slides is also available for the public on www. crimereports .com
* There are approximately 2,000 Block Captains and the SBPD would like 12,000 to be more effective
If you are interested please call: Ms. Pinkey at 574-235-9577
* Annual Fallen Officer Memorial will be held in the evening of May 18th at the SBPD
* Handouts for prevention were handed out
* Nuisance Abatement Vehicle "continues to be effective" and they are working on trying to get a second one
For more articles and meetings: #MichianaObserver
Citizens attending community events to inform other Citizens.