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
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Citizens attending community events to inform other Citizens.