SOUTH BEND COMMON COUNCIL NOTES FOR JANUARY 14, 2019 (EXPANDED WATER RATE EXPLANATION)
#59-18 -> 1405 & 1505 East Howard Street - Century Builders wants to change this from "Single Family Dwelling" to "Multiple Family Dwelling". The back of these properties is adjacent to Frederickson Park. This is extrememly dense housing with 17 units on these two lots. They have trapped and removed amimals from the property. Area Plan supports this project.
#67-18 -> Removing Certain Restrictions on Tattoo Businesses - Sections 13-126 and 13-127 of Chapter 13, Article 11 - It will allow someone with a felony or who has drug/alcohol violations to do Tattoos.
VOTES: Unanimously in FAVOR
#68-18 -> Approving Update to ADA Transition Plan of 2013 (Ord # 10219-13), Title VI Plan covers Environmental Justice under the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Exhibit A, Pages 3 through 10 City Attorney Aladean DeRose outlined the City's efforts to come into compliance as funds become available.
Those with Disabilities can get special on street parking and get a waiver from shoveling snow. Volunteers are offering to assist those unable to shovel it.
NOTE: Roundabouts have no way of completely stopping traffic, so those who need extra time to cross may not always be able to do so safely. Those with disabilities and children cannot be seen well in advance to slow down to allow safe passage.
These are especially critical near the hospital and elementary school. Even with ground lighting (which is covered with snow) and flashing lights, there are only a few seconds for a driver to see them and react, especially with the high brick wall in the center. The roundabout by the hospital has over 25K cars per day.
#18-73 -> Special Zoning Exception for 1718 S. Marine Street - BH Investments wants to make this a two family dwelling.
NOTE: This item was removed by the petitioner.
#61-18 -> Article 14 - Establishing Interim Storm Water Utility Rates - Fund 667 (Storm Sewer Fund) has been created. They want to start billing June 2019. The fee adds $24 per year to residential water bills, and $60 per year for businesses. This will be in effect for at least two years and will be available for increases although it can be increased any time the Council determines more money is needed. This means adding liens to properties.
There will be late payment penalties per Ind Code 8-1.5-5-29, 8-1.5-5-30 at a rate of 10%. "If penalties are not paid when due, they shall be collected in the same manner that other delinquent fees and penalties are charged and assessed consistent with Indiana Law." (This means adding leans to properties.) There is already a strain on many trying to pay other utilities. This will raise the rent since landlords are responsible for paying the water bills first and then collecting them from their tennants.
This will bring in approximately $1.2M a year, but a $600K software upgrade will be necessary to handle these new fee charges on the water bills. (Eric Horvath, Public Works Director)
This software was approved last year for the 2019 budget and will not be ready until June 2019.
"Life Line Rates" will be available for those who meet income guidelines. Seniors not making over a certain amount may also receive the lower rates.
This will raise the rent since landlords are responsible for paying the water bills first and then collecting them from their tennants tenants.
Before the Vote, Oliver Davis suggested a motion to defeat, but there was no second. Regina Williams-Preston moved to vote on it later in May (after the Primary Election).
VOTES: Tim Scott, John Voorde, Jake Teshka, Gavin Ferlic and Jo Broden voted in FAVOR of it so it passed. Oliver Davis, Regina Williams-Preston, Sharon McBride and Karen White voted AGAINST it.
NOTE: CSO (Combined Sewer Overflow) funding has been a concern for over a decade. It needs to be adequatedly funded. TIF Funding could have been applied since funding infrastructure is the main reason TIF was created.
$150M has already been spent on CSO according to Eric Horvath, Public Works Director.
Free downspout disconnection ended on Dec 31, 2018. There was $100K in the budget to help homeowners with this, but $130K is needed. It is $65 per disconnect and this is done by an outside vendor. Those who find the cost prohibitive, may be granted a waiver.
** SUMMARY OF STORMWATER PRESENTATION MADE TO COUNCIL ON NOV 26, 2018 **
Aging infrastructure stressors - Flooding, pressure on sanitary / combined sewers, new sewers needed, failing sewer lines, MS-4 Compliance
The Storm Sewer System - Includes sewers, storm inlets, catch basins, manholes, curbs, gutters, ditches, swales, retention ponds and dams
Suggested Storm Utility Fee - $2 / month for residences and $5 / Month for non-residential Customers, Exempt properties are unimproved lots and public right-of-way
National Average for residential is $5 / month Source: 2016 Stormwater Utility Survey: A Black and Veatch Report
Fees needed for - Regulatory compliance, flood control, community expectations, safety and reliability, critical emergency resiliance, waterway & habitat restoration, grants and incentives
2019 STORMWATER NEEDS:
Professional Services - Riverbank Stabilization = $200K, Downspout Disconnection Plan = $100K (Now expected to be an additional $30K)
Capital Improvement Projects - Drainage Projects = $800K, Riverbank Stabilization = $150K, South Bend Dam = $500K, Flood Mitigation = $500K, Western Ave Phase 3 Storm Sewer = $400K, Michigan Street Separation = $250K
Operations & Maintenance - To be determined
Total Expenses = $2,900,000
2019 PROPOSED BUDGET:
Professional Services = $200K
Capital Improvement Projects = $350K, South Bend Dam = $150K, Flood Mitigation = $100K, Storm Sewer Separations $400K
Operations & Maintenanace - To be determined
Total Expenses = $1,200,000
Downspout Disconnection - Dec. 2018 = 2K downspouts x $65 each, Drainage improvements = $180K, Western Ave Phase 3 = $280K, St. Joseph River Bank = $40K
TOTAL EXPENSES: $600K
"Due to extraordinary estimated costs to implement the LTCP (Long Term Control Plan) mandated by the EPA and teh IDEM, all buildings, residences, sump pumps and parking lots which currently direct their storm water into the sanitary of combined sewers shall disconnect by December 31, 2020."
Project Locations include: St. Joseph River Bank, Bendix Road & Ford Street Inlets, Laurel Woods Subdivision (Lindenwood), Poland Street Mill & Fill Repairs, Miami (Ridgedale to Chippewa) Curb installation, Royal Oaks & other Basin Dredging, Locust Road & Huey Street, Western Avenue & Brookfield Street, Bryan Street Mill & Fill, Oliver Circle, etc.
Western Ave Phase 3 will be from Falcon Street to Dundee Street will include a new storm sewer to separate from sanitary sewers.
IDNR LARE Grant was received to repair the river bank from Yukon Street and Riverside Drive.
2020 Project List - Misc Drainage Repairs, Trail under Colfax Bridge at East Race, West Race Maintenance, Fish Ladder, Hydro, Dam & River (DSSMR), East Race Maintenance, West Abutment Repairs, Downstream Channel, Right Bank Painting, Upstream Dam Buoy Replacements, River Bank Stabilization Northshore & Iroquis = $1,190,000
INCOME THIS NEW INCREASE WILL BRING IN:
415,250 Homes x $2/month = $830,000
40,732 Businesses x $5/month = $203,660
ESTIMATED REVENUE = $1,034,160
SOURCE: Department of Public Works, City of South Bend
#19-02 -> Resolution calling for the enactment of legistration to address Hate Crimes was sponsored by Jo Broden and John Voorde. Indiana is one of only five states that does not have a hate crime. A group plans to go to the lobbying in Indianapolis.
NOTE: These types of Resolutions are not legally binding. They are a suggestion.
#01-19 -> Vacation of an alley 130' from Bryan Street
#02-19 -> Amending the Property at 2307 Edison Road
#03-19 -> Amending Chapter 6 of the Municipal code adding Article 14, "Rental Verification Program"
NOTE: There will be a public meeting about this on 1/30/19 with the Health & Public Safety Meeting. There was a meeting held at the LaSalle Library on Tuesday, Jan 15 at 6pm, by the Community Forum for Economic Justice to discuss this issue further.
#19-01 -> Zoning Appeal for 3602 W. Sample Street
NEW BUSINESS: Oliver Davis wants an update on where the CSO (Combined Sewer Overflow) Project is currently.
PRIVILEGE OF THE FLOOR:
Jennifer Robinson - She noted the "Base Delivery Rate" for water/sewer in South Bend is higher than some of the surrounding communities.
Chicago is $29.49 / month
Niles is $12.30 / month
Buchanan is $26.08 / month
Osceola is $ 32.00 / month
Mishawaka is $6.83 / month
Sharon Banicki - She noted this is one of many rate hikes the Council continues to approve.
In 2014, sewer rates increased 5% for the next 3 years.
In 2015, they asked for a trash rate increase.
On 1/1/16 there was a $1 increase on trash.
on 1/1/17 there was another $1 increase.
In 2017, $6.40 more a month for water.
On March 7, 2018, there was a 42% increase in water rates for a $4.74 monthly increase.
"So between trash, water and sewer $12 per month ($144 a year) increase and now there will be an additional $2 per month ($24 a year) added to that."
Sue Kesim - Over $150M has been spent on CSO. Why didn't this solve some of the sewer issues already?
TIF was originally intended to fund infrastructure like sewers. TIF monies need to fund infrastructure for the community FIRST.
43% of our South Bend residents are considered "Struggling" in terms of income, so added fees only adds to their financial stress.
Consider how long someone at minimum wage or waiting tables has to work to make that extra $24.
The Mayor and Council need to put CITIZENS FIRST as a funding priority.
Jason Banicki-Critchlow - (Paraphrased) The City needs better spending priorities. The City continues to selectively raise the salaries of select employees while continuing to raise fees on the average person.
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Citizens attending community events to inform other Citizens.