May 29, 2018, 4 pm, County-City Building, 4th Floor
Absent: Sharon McBride
**IMPORTANT NOTES ON TIF CHANGES BELOW**
Bill #22-18 Alley Vacation - First North/South Alley West of Carroll Street, East of Michigan Street, South of Bronson Street, North of Penn Central Railroad. It's the former Curtis Products building opposite the License Branch. They want it to combine with the lot across from it for a sale.
Ms. Casey Colvin was introduced. She is the new Council PR Intern. This is a full-time position. Council budgeted $36,840 for the position last year.
PARKING ON THE STREETS
Community Investment wants to make more decisions without Council approval. They said it is to "simplify" the process that is "burdensome".
They are wanting to reduce the amount of parking required for Developers and instead move parking to the streets. Developers can count street parking towards their quota and have smaller lots, which forces patrons to park in front of homes on the street.
Director James Mueller suggested if residents want to park in front of their homes they can purchase a parking permit. Jo Broden expressed concern about people parking around park areas where kids might have to cross the streets.
Providing bike racks is part of the new requirements. Ms. Broden asked if this would also include scooters.
If you are interested in the decision of this, plan to attend the June 19th and June 25th meetings.
SUGGESTION: Require new parking lots to use permeable concrete to reduce water runoff issues. Be sure there are special standards for residential areas.
SUBDIVISION ORDINANCE CHANGES
Community Investment also wants to change standards set in 2004 that require since single family homes to have a 40' frontage. They say it conflicts with the 2015 Flood Plain Ordinance. They want to change the Depth to Width ratio changed and have concerns about Retail buying their locations in industrial area and not having frontage.
They asked that these changes be "fast tracked". Tim Scott advised them there would need to be more time to evaluate their request.
NOTE: For the COMPLETE LIST of over 25 changes Community Investment is requesting, see the MICHIANA OBSERVER Post on November 28, 2017.
UPDATE ON POTENTIAL ANNEXATIONS
Presented by Community Investment
* Voluntary (property owner signs, files petition)
* Utilization of City Services (sewer and water)
* Adds to the Tax Base
* Creates a positive fiscal impact to the City budget (i.e. Future development pays for standard City services and capital cost of infrastructure improvements)
STATE LAW CRITERIA
* Boundary of annexation area is at least one-eighth contiguous to existing City limits
* Subject to an adopted fiscal plan
* Able to provide City services (noncapital within 1 year, capital within 3 years)
* Approved more than a year before a decadal Census
NOTE: Community Investment is asking Council to rush some decisions due to this last requirement
Voluntary annexations take about 4 months, in voluntary about 9 months
* Property Owner files the petition
* Council 1st reading
* Area Plan Commission Hearing on Zoning (if not SF1)
* Council 2nd Reading/Public Hearing
* Council Adoption of Fiscal Plan
* Council 3rd Reading/Approval (minimum 14 days after 2nd Reading)
* Legal Advertising
* Annexation takes effect 30 days after advertising
3 NEW ANNEXATIONS BEING CONSIDERED NOW
1. South Bend Chocolate Expansion
2. Southwest Parcel - Industrial - Currently a field near the Bypass and Casino
3. North Twyckenham Drive - Annexing the "Overlook" apartments where they can expand the South Bend tax base
UPDATE ON POTENTIAL TIF AREA ADJUSTMENTS (TIF = Tax Incremental Financing Redevelopment Statute IC 36-7-14 in 1975)
Presented by Community Investment
Policy Goals: Productivity, Inclusion, Placemaking, Sustainability
4 AREAS THEY WANT TO ADJUST
1. River East - to add Eddy Street ROW, Potawatomi Park/Zoo, Mishawaka Avenue Corridor, Lincolnway East/IUSB Connection
119 acres would be added
2. River West North - Add the Baney Property and the South Bend Chocolate Factory
96 acres added and 1,467 acres removed
3. River West Central - 2014 Commitments of City Cemetary, Museum Campus, Leeper Park (adding 67 acres)
Portage Avenue Shops, Mussel Grove Park, Sherman/Harrison Target Area, Leland/Scott Target Area, Riverside Drive, Lincoln Park Area, Northern Cemetary Expansion, Western Cemetary Expansion, Coal Line Phase 3, LaSalle Park and Pulaski Park
This part would add 140 acres
4. River West - South (Option 1: Expand Neighboring TIF area) with the Miami Street Corridor adding 36 acres
River West - South (Option 2: expansion and partial swap) This would involve:
1. Miami Street Corridor (River West)
2. Miami Street Corridor (South Side)
3. TIF Swap (Partial SE Master Plan)
12 acres added to River West, 24 acres added to South Side, 198 acres transferred from River West to South Side TIF
IMPORTANT NOTE: This last notation of moving into South Side TIF is to tap into the South Side funding. South Side people paid into this and they need to keep it for their area.
4. River West - South (Option 3: Full Swap)
1. Miami Street Corridor (South Side only)
2. TIF swap (Full SE Master Plan) where 36 acres is added to the South Side and 551 acres are swapped from River West to South Side
IMPORTANT NOTE: This would move funding away from the South Side to the River West
CITIZEN INPUT: Mr. James Bognar detailed with a spreadsheet and considerable research how the West Washington TIF was not used as intended and full disclosure of TIF Details have not been presented to the public per a Council Resolution.
He noted "best practices" would mean 80% of the TIF's would be for Infrastructure such as curbs, sidewalks, lighting, roads and not private investment properties. He cited an IU study. He further noted Community Investment called the area one with "rampant blight", but that is not where the investments went.
* The 6 Divisions were highlighted
* City received $500K from the Walmart/Google Lifelong Learning Grant
* 311 gets 40 calls a day on Code Enforcement related issues
* In 2017 there were 3,792 calls about County issues
* They are continuing to work on infrastucture issues
* Plan to roll out a new City website this summer
* Reviewing tech options with PSAP (911 Call Center)
NOTE: Data portals for Citizen use have been reduced from 200 to 60. A main one that is no longer available is the "Open Checkbook" where Citizens can see what payments were made by the City.
Ms. Karen White Announcements:
1. Wednesday at 3 pm at the SBPD will be a Budget Kickoff Meeting
2. There will be a meeting about Synthetic Drug use in the Council Informal Chambers at 4 pm on Thursday
Ms. Jo Broden Announcements:
1. FEMA will be at the Leighton Center until July 5th to assist residents
2. FEMA will be at Brown Primary Center on Wednesday at 7 pm to meet with residents
For more articles and meetings: #MichianaObserver #CivicMedia #MySouthBend
May 14, 2018, 4:00 pm Committee Meeting, County-City Building 4th Floor
Absent: Councilwoman Jo Broden and Councilman Gavin Ferlic (Committees)
Eric Horvath updated the Council on roads, curbs, sidewalks and ADA Ramps.
The City is receiving monies from the Gas Tax. That money can be used to plow roads, paving, curbs or sidewalks. It goes into two of the designated City funds.
There is an additional $2M coming in. $1.5M to Motor Vehicle Highway and $500K to the Local Road and Streets.
BY THE NUMBERS:
$100K is the cost to pave 2 lane miles
$600K is going to be done by outside contractors this year, which is about 6 to 8 lane miles.
20 lane miles will be done by City crews this year.
There are approximately 2,200 lane miles in the City.
NOTE: A "lane mile" is only 10' to 11' wide. That means in most cases curb across to the other curb is at least 2 lane miles.
2016 there were 36.5 lane miles done
2017 there were 15 lane miles done
2018 there are 26 lane miles scheduled.
That's only 77.5 lane miles in 3 years out of 2,200.
That's an average of only 25.83 lane miles a year or 1.174% of the total roads in South Bend. At that rate it will be 85.17 years to attend to all the roads.
NOTE: Most roads are not designed to last 85 years. Poor spending priorities will leave most roads in less than ideal condition.
If a Citizen wants to do curbs, sidewalks or an ADA Ramp they may be able to qualify for a the following reimbursements:
$15 per linear foot for curbs
$20 per linear foot for sidewalks
$950 per ADA Ramp
The work has to be done by a contractor licensed by the City.
A brochure detailing it will be out next week.
For information call 574-235-5939 and there will be information soon at: www. southbendin.gov/curbsidewalkprogram
NOTE: There is also a lamp post program and assistance for downspout disconnection.
HOW ROADS ARE CHOSEN:
They go by the condition of the roads using the PARS (Paving Assessment Rating System).
Currently they are training new people to go out and evaluate road conditions.
The preliminary list is done in the Fall, but they do consider roads in the Spring that may have deteriorated over the winter months.
Both Citizens and Council members can ask Public Works to look at a specific road.
Each Council Member is able to choose a small section in their District to be repaved. For the three At-large Council Members, they can chose anywhere in the City.
There's a newer technology that uses a cell phone scan to rate a road. They are looking at 100 miles of the City streets and then they will compare with the current evaluations. If they are similar, the City may use this new technology.
NEW MAP ON WEBSITE:
In about two weeks the City hopes to have a map showing the rating of all the roads. As a Citizen you can disagree and ask for a new rating. This will show paving areas chosen.
STREETS AROUND SCHOOLS:
There is a "Safe Routes" program. Currently streets around Monroe and Studebaker are being worked on. Next will be LaSalle and Marquette. This is grant money.
The City now has a milling machine that can go as deep as 8". Most of the time they remove 2" and then replace those 2". This will help eliminate the problem before where paving covered over curbs and impeded drainage.
In 2017 there was $9.9M in revenue, but there was $11.7M in expenses.
In 2018 $20K is used for "calming", $450K for Drainage, $120K for Train Whistles
Mr. Horvath noted that unlike other cities, we have NO Stormwater Funding, which is why the $450K had to be used for Drainage.
NOTE: The City took over the downtown streets from the State so now these have to be maintained with City funds, adding to the road financing burden.
NOTE: Roads, curbs, sidewalks are all considered Infrastructure, which means they could have been funded with TIF funds (Tax Incremental Financing). Most TIF funds have been given to Developers for private business ventures.
Bill #18-22 Resolution Electing to Paticipate in the PERF (Public Employee's Retirement Fund)
Currently there is a 10 year vesting period for employees. This would give a "My Choice" program that would help employees vest in 5 years with 20% per year.
Those hired after July 1st as full time employees will be able to choose which track they would like after a 60 day waiting period. If they don't make a choice, they will automatically be enrolled into the newer program.
This new program would mean 1% less for employees in exchange for the faster vesting period.
Most City employees work for the City about 10 years.
Indianapolis also uses this program.
Both the County and City are on the PERF program so vesting can go between both. Example, someone could work for the City for 3 years and 7 years for the County and meet the 10 vesting requirement.
This program is for "Civilian" employees. Fire and Police have seperate plans.
PARK UPDATE on Southside Parks by Aaron Perri
There are 50 Neighborhood parks in the City.
RANDOLPH PARK - Citizen committee member John commented this park is in bad condition. He suggested people from the E. Wayne Steet and Sunnymede neighborhood groups do a 2-3 hour citizen clean-up.
It was noted the clean-up will happen by the River Park Neighborhood Association, Miami Neighborhood Association and SOAR.
Parks has a "Neat Crew" that works with Code Enforcement.
Comments were made that both Kelly and Fremont parks are nicer since being adopted by Neighborhood associations.
RAVINA PARK - Sidewalks will be put around it. There is one sidewalk that will go to an overlook.
It will have playgrounds, drinking fountains and some trees will be taken out to make it "lighter".
35th STREET WETLAND - Off Jefferson will get a trail system around it because there is a retention water catch basin in the center of it. Amenities will be put at the South end of this park.
NUNER SCHOOL AREA - The park across from the school is not a City park but is often used by residents.
933 WALKWAY ON SOUTH SIDE OF RIVER - There is an overgrown sidewalk on the southside of the river across from the Farmer's Market, Y and The Brick.
Engineering is suggesting doing a "Road Diet" on that section of the road to give more room for a wider trail along the river. This is listed as a 2019 project. The last 50' towards Twychenham will present some challenges.
SOUTHEAST PARK - This park has a Splash Pad and will be getting ADA restrooms and WiFi
VETERAN'S MEMORIAL PARK - Parks is partnering with IUSB on use of this park. Times it is not being used by IUSB Softball the public will be able to enjoy it.
SEITZ PARK - There will be a new pavillion and new ADA restrooms.
HOWARD PARK - They hope to have construction finished by late summer. There will be an ice skating trail and an ice skating bridge.
CHARLES BLACK CENTER - It is progressing on time and within budget. They are hoping for an opening around Labor Day.
DOG PARK IN RUM VILLAGE - This is scheduled to open in August.
RANDOLPH STREET MINI PARK - This is a dense development area with little green space for a park. It is suggested Sampson be closed at the alley to make it bigger. It will have a pavillion, relocate the playground area, have 1/2 court basketball courts.
It has a water retention basin to the north. They may put wells on this property for additional water overflow.
POTOWATOMI ZOO - The City has a partnership with the Zoo and will be putting up a $5M entrance to it. Negotiations were made to fly a Potowatomi Nation Flag at the Zoo even though they do not own the Zoo.
On the Park website is a "Trust for Public Land Park Access Map". The City is looking at purchasing additional land for more park area.
TRAIL REPORTS - Emergency repairs are being made and are currently at $2.5M in damages.
ADDITIONAL SUGGESTION: View the banks from the river to see what trees might be unstable from the flood. When viewing from Oaken Bucket it is apparent many trees lost half the dirt holding them in.
If you would like to know more, there is a GANT chart about all the projects being done on the www. mySBParksandTrails .com website.
Councilman Tim Scott suggested putting in special structures so there can be steelhead trout in Bowman Creek.
ADDITIONAL SUGGESTION: Purchase flowers from Martin's Greenhouse - a 30 year locally owned greenhouse on the Westside on Western.
ZONING AND ANNEXATION ORGANIZATIONAL MEETING
Councilman Oliver Davis noted 75% of their decisions are not an issue. They have worked to have the opposing parties work to find a resolution on their own to reduce polarization on issues. Council also needs to look at plans that are out-of-date. He also serves on the Area Plan Commission.
Councilwoman Karen White would like to know how many special exceptions they have made in the last two years and the types.
Councilman Tim Scott questioned DCI's role in planning and if they are doing the best fit for the City, endorsed or not. He also noted the Grass Ordinance needs to be updated to include ornamental grasses and landscaping.
NOTE: Rain Gardens may also need to be considered which help with water issues naturally.
Council Attorney Bob Palmer was asked to research why South Bend has an override vote by the Mayor, whereas other Indiana 2nd Class cities do not.
Council is planning another bus trip on May 21st to examine more of the City and meet with residents.
For more meetings and articles: #MichianaObserver #CivicMedia #MySouthBend
SPEAKER: Dr. Elizabeth Bennion
MEETING: League of Women Voters
May 11, 2018, Noon, Chocolate Cafe
Dr. Bennion started off explaining her own political influence in society is wide ranging. As a mother, daughter, engaged citizen, civic educator, political scientist, media host, professor, author and facilitating the American Democracy Project she is helping shape the conversation about politics with those she reaches.
She explained our political socialization comes from many places as we grow up. Our family, school, media, culture, neighborhood, religion, peer groups, social groups, workplace, military and opinion leaders all help shape our political view of the world. In particular, our parents views shape us. When parents disagree politically the person often ends up being an independent voter or identifying with the mother's political preferences.
Three other areas also shape our political viewpoint: demographics, personality and hormones. Demographics include our age, gender, race and sexual orientation. Those with a paranoid or authoritarian personality type have stronger political leanings. The hormones that play a role are seratonin, which makes people more conservative and dopamine which makes people more liberal.
Future studies may show our genes contribute to our self-identified political ideology.
Each person's civic identity includes their partisanship, political ideology and political engagement.
She reflected on her early interest in politics that began in the Carter vs Reagan campaign, the fight for the ERA amendment, going to the polls with her parents, political discussions and her mother's involvement in the League of Women Voters.
As a mother of four children ages 3, 10, 12 and 14, she is mindful to develop their interest in the political process. Like her parents, she takes her children to the polls to vote to encourage them to continue the desire to be part of the election process. Political discussions include her children, they read the paper, attend rallies, parades, enjoy public spaces, learn about history, celebrate significant historical figures and volunteer in the community to better understand changing social issues.
Discussions are civil and teach their children good people don't always politically agree, including her and her husband. What is key she reminds all of us is that, "facts matter". Critical reasoning can cut through rhetoric and bring people to logical and fair conclusions. It's necessary to try to have equal rights for others.
In spite of more efforts to encourage women to run for office, there is still a political ambition gender gap. She is encouraged by the numbers of organizations working on training women how to run for office.
She concluded with, "Memories build trust. Memories build solidarity. Memories build identity."
Dr. Bennion is a professor of political science at Indiana University where her emphasis is on American politics. She is also the founding director of the IUSB American Democracy Project of IU South Bend, Director of Voter Services and Education for the League of Women Voters of the South Bend and the host of WNIT Politically Speaking.
For more meetings and articles: #MichianaObserver #CivicMedia
Citizens attending community events to inform other Citizens.