August 22, 2017 at 5:30 pm County-City Building Rm 411
NOTE: This meeting included Transfers between accounts, Appropriations, Review of Land Use and an in-depth discussion about the County Hotel-Motel Tax and its uses. The last item was interesting because by the end of next year they expect we will have 5,000 hotel rooms in our area and they are discussing ways to increase tourism to fill them. One suggestion is a new indoor sports complex.
BILL #72-17 Transfers:
* County Surveyor, Dept 0022 needs a transfer of $122,358.16 to accomodate Drain Ditch payments twice a year in Jan/Aug
* County Health, Dept 0055 needs a transfer of $9,250 for "Smart Temps" that monitor the temperature in their Firg/Freezers and 2 computer tablets for staff
* County Health, Dept 0055 needs a transfer of $1,055 to cover a grant
* Public Defender, Dept 0036 needs a transfer of $50,000 to cover contract work since there has been an increase in the number of Trials and Misdemeanor Trials. They are estimating in the future they will need over $300K to cover a Death Penalty Appeal Case.
BILL #72-17 Appropriations:
* Portage Manor, Dept 0030 was awarded a $5,000 Community Foundation Grant for notebook computers at the nursing stations
LAND USE PLANNING:
* #51-17 Rezoning for 50602 Michigan Street from Residential to Commercial. All these years they thought it was, but the paperwork had not been filed. They have been in business there since 1996.
* #52-17 Rezoning for Nasco Auto Pool, LLC at 25631 SR 2 and to change landscaping requirements by the fences since the property is surrounded by wetlands
* #67-17 Land Vacation - Richard LaFree to remove the cost of payng $400/year to cross the railroad tracks to get to his property
BILL #54-17 Human Rights Ordinance
This allows people to have their cases heard by the City of South Bend Human Rights Commission instead of having to drive all the way to Indy. If the case load increases too much, the County will help with partial funding to offset the costs. This will be re-evaluated in April of 2018.
BILL #68-17 Inline veto of the appropriation and transfer monthly bill
PRESENTATION: Hotel/Motel 2018 Budget
* They expect there will be 5,000 hotel rooms in the area by the end of next year
* The Hotel/Motel Taxes are bringing in about $5M per year and they are discussing if there will be a Food & Beverage Tax also
* The new Smart Streets have caused issues getting in and out of the Century Center for events so they are planning to spend $150K changing the entrances so traffic congestion is reduced
* Account # 38259 they are still paying off the Century Center Bonds by $400K a year (Debt Service)
* Account #33032 CVB $1,300,000
* Account #33033 CVB Special Projects $525,000
* Account #33034 CVB Tourism Grants $110,000
* Account #37013 Century Center Lease $221,437
* Account #35101 County Tourism Development Fund $225,000 Currently the County decides how this money is spent and it was proposed a new 7 person board would be appointed to decide instead. One of the people appointing would be the Mayors of SB and Mishawaka. The County did not seem to like this change.
* Account # 39265 Century Center Operations $1,275,000
* Account #42010 Building & Structures $909,000
There is a concern there will be a shortage of visitors to fill the occupancy of 5K rooms, so they are proposing building an 8 court basketball indoor facility to host tournaments from November thru March. It would include other activities and be modeled after facilities in Ft. Wayne and other cities. There was some discussion about the colleges and universities that already host tournaments. The Century Center/Tourism group wants $1.5M to start creating it and want it as a private development.
Discussion on County Budget:
* Real Services is requesting $18,750
* They may outsource food at the County Jail
* County Jail is still hiring and due to shortage of employees they use $613K in overtime in 2016 and have already used $150K to date.
* There is a $900K shortfall in covering for County Employee Insurance Fund
* There are some issues with the Transpo Budget
* They may increase the funding for the Assessors office
Only 5 of the 9 members were present so they decided to hold future Tuesday meetings when hopefully more members can be present.
For more meetings and articles: #MichianaObserver Michiana Observer
Citizens attending community events to inform other Citizens.