TOPIC: Dog Park, Abatements, Budget, 100 Year Anniversary, Home Downspouts, Train Quiet Zones
October 9, 2017, County-City Building, 4th Floor
Present - All Council Members
100 YEAR ANNIVERSARY
Celebrate and honor the first African-American Church in South Bend @ 310 W. Monroe Street, SB
48-17 Chapter 2, Article 6 on TAX ABATEMENT REQUIREMENTS
This requires those businesses getting a Tax Abatement to have wages equal to or above the minimum wage the City offers with increases of 2% every year. The minimum City wage is currently $10.10/hour. This is done to increase the number of higher paying jobs in the City.
17-60 MASTERBILT PERSONAL PROPERTY ABATEMENT
They are investing in a new piece of $575K equipment which will result in hiring 2 more people at $18/hr so the City is giving them $16,292 off their taxes.
17-62 / 17-66 TRIPAC INC
They got a 7 Yr Abatement on their taxes for moving from Michigan to 3333 N. Kenmore St. They promise to add 60 new jobs in the next 3 years that pay $18 - $33/hr and bring $5M in business
Their Abatement was listed at $83,911 + $17,237 = $101,228 Total off their taxes
17-68 GREAT LAKES CAPITAL SPEC BLDG II
9 Yr Tax Abatement for a new building and 10 new jobs. Given $1,107,260 off their taxes
NOTES: (Not exact quotes)
Gavin Ferlic likes to use "Aggressing Tax Abatements". He is the Chairperson of the Community Investment Committee and works with Elevate Ventures, an Investment Firm. He said large Tax Abatements are less risk to the City than TIFs and other financing of private businesses.
Jo Broden would like the Redevelopment Committee to meet at a later time in the day so more Citizens can attend these meetings and for there to be a Public Portion. Currently the Public is not allowed any input.
Dr. Dave Varner noted SB has been handing out Tax Abatements for over 20+ years and Community Investment needs to come up with another way of attracting business.
John Voorde noted the Abatement process is much more open than it used to be since years ago one person decided the property taxes--the Assessor. He held that position at one time.
Regina Williams-Preston noted her constituents would prefer funding of peace building with a Citizen Review Board for Policing, Lead programs, more curbs and sidewalks and funding to help revitalize homes of those with low incomes, not just businesses.
Karen L. White expressed an interest in greater funding for early childhood education.
Marty Wolfson of the Forum for Economic Justice said he would like more spending and emphasis on neighborhoods, lead programs, low cost housing and more public input into Redevelopment.
Audience - Would you be interested in a post detailing how much Tax Income has been given away in the last 10 years in the form of Abatements?
66-17 DISCONNECTING DOWNSPOUTS
Chapter 17, Article 1, Section 17-4
In an effort to reduce water into sewers, the City requires all homes to be disconnected from the sewers. There are currently 1,400 - 1,500 left that are not in compliance.
Businesses are allowed to continue to dump into the sewers if they pay a one time fee based on the square footage of their roofs. They said it is too much of a hardship to ask businesses to disconnect.
51-17 / 52-17 DEFRAYING EXPENSES of DEPARTMENTS - Council voted in Favor to pass this.
Oliver Davis, Jr. asked for this to be continued and objected to the closing of public input.
NOTE: There were an extensive number of accounts, but $ AMOUNTS WERE NOT DISCLOSED.
59-17 CITY CLERK received a 2% pay increase
60-17 COUNCIL receieved a 2% pay increase to $19,411
61-17 MAYOR receieved a 2% pay increase to $108,710
62- 17 NON-BARGAINING EMPLOYEES - Continued
NOTE: Although they are only supposed to receive a 2% increase there have been some cases where the job title has been changed with a substantial increase.
In the case of Police Department Techs that do fingerprinting and other crime analysis, the salaries were raised to be competitive in the industry and keep them here in SB.
Dr. Dave Varner remarked that in the past, people making under $50K would get 2% increase and those over would only receive a flat $500 to reduce a pay gap since 2% of a higher salary was much higher. John Voorde concurred this was the case in the past.
63-17 TEAMSTER EMPLOYEES - Wages were set for 2017-2020
64-17 POLICE DEPARTMENT EMPLOYEES - Barganing was accepted for 2018
65-17 FIRE DEPARTMENT EMPLOYEES - Continued since they are still in negotiation
17-64 CHANGE IN THE RIVER WEST DEVELOPMENT AREA
The Council voted to move the City Cemetary, Leeper Park, Studebaker Museum and the History Museum into this TIF district to make funding available to them.
NOTE: Different areas of the City are part of different TIF Disctricts and they have different $ amounts available to spend on civic projects or private businesses. By adjusting these boundaries, more or less $ becomes available in that area.
17-65 STUDY OF RAILROAD CROSSINGS
There are two different railroads that run through the City. One has 90 trains a day and the other has 16 a day, which can result in a lot of horns. This study would look at what it would take to make more of the City "Quiet Zones" to improve the quality of life.
FIRST READINGS - There were 12 of them. This was a 7 page Agenda. Only two will be highlighted here.
72-17 Chapter 21, Article 3 - PAY ATTENTION TO THIS ONE It changes Setback provisions, outdoor seating, changes landscaping requirements and parking.
NOTE: Why? It is NOT OKAY to allow cafe seating that completely blocks sidewalks and expects people to use bike lanes to walk around these cafes. ADA requires 5' of sidewalk for anyone to pass through. Tuesday the Public Board of Works ONCE AGAIN approved a permit which is voilation. The City claims to be "Pedestrian Friendly" but does not seem to care if those with disabilities can easily walk through an area.
This has been granted to Aloft, Fiddler's Hearth and others.
76-17 APPROPRIATING ADDITIONAL FUNDS
Included in this is $396,500 more for "Smart Streets". The previous Controller, John Murphy, estimates the REAL cost to be around $41M.
TOTAL 2018 BUDGET = $387,352,221 Still time this week to contact your Council Person to express what YOU want tax $ spent on. See list on the "Weekly Meetings Posts" when there is a Council Meeting.
DOG PARK ANNOUNCEMENT
10:00 am at Rum Village on Wednesday, October 11th, $25K approved by Public Board of Works for Designs
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Citizens attending community events to inform other Citizens.