The May Fishers City Council Meeting will be held on Monday, May 16, 2022. I warmly encourage you to participate.
How to Observe and Participate in the City Council Meeting at City Hall
- The meeting will be held in-person and will be open to in-person attendees.
- A video of the meeting will be broadcast live at http://tinyurl.com/CityOfFishers starting at 7pm on Monday so you can watch from home. This is a way to observe the meeting only.
- In-person attendees are welcomed to address the City Council during any Public Hearings during the meeting – and during Community Comment, which is held at the end of every meeting.
- Fishers residents are also welcomed to submit public comments electronically prior to the meeting. In order to submit a comment, you need to designate the date of the meeting that you want to comment on. Look at the public meeting calendar. Then, complete the online Public Comment Form. Select “City Council” and that will open a comment box for you to type in. Submit your comments by NOON on Monday, the day of the meeting. All comments submitted before the meeting will be presented to City Council members. These comments are not read aloud but become part of the official meeting minutes.
- Community Comment at the end of each City Council meeting is always open for your comment on any Fishers topic. This is an “open mic” opportunity for 10 Fishers residents to address the City Council for up to three minutes each. The council members are not required to resolve or respond to your comments at that moment. Usually, pathways are identified for follow-up and additional dialogue.
- Meeting agendas and past meeting minutes can be found here, under City Council tab.
- Past meeting videos are supposed to be posted within 48 hours of the meeting. You can find the videos in the City of Fishers YouTube channel.
CITY COUNCIL MEETING
The City Council Meeting agendas are available here, under the City Council header. Each agenda has items on it that appear in blue. These are links to open the supporting documents.
Here’s a rundown of this meeting’s agenda items and my interpretation of them.
5. Council Committee Report.
Finance Committee Report. The Finance Committee is charged with advising the City Council on matters concerning the general financial operations of the City. Since City Council is responsible for fiscal oversight, this monthly report is very important. Typically, the report is reflected in action items for the City Council that are reflected in the “Budget/Financial” part of the meeting agenda.
NonProfit Committee Report. The NonProfit Committee is charged with advising the City Council on the award of $120,000 in grants to local non-profit organizations. The committee approved the grant application and the selection criteria. The application is now open and the deadline to submit is June 1 at 1pm. All the information and the application can be found here.
6. Health Department update. This agenda item will include a Fishers Health Department report about our city’s vaccine status, COVID community risk status, and other important public health info. The vaccination clinic at the old 116th/Brooks School Road Marsh building has closed permanently. The new clinic location is now open at 8937 Technology Drive (behind Target). To schedule your vaccine, (2nd boosters for 50+!) visit https://www.coronavirus.in.gov/vaccine/ and click on the red bar. The City of Fishers’ COVID community level continues to stay LOW! This is welcome news! Please get vaccinated and boosted to keep Fishers healthy.
7. Consent Agenda.
There are two items on the Consent Agenda.
Item a. is approval of last month’s City Council meeting minutes.
Item b. transfers funds. These actions transfer funds within the city budget, which is needed periodically. The transfers do not adjust the bottom line at all. This is a transfer of dollars from one budget category to another to avoid a negative balance in a category.
The Consent Agenda is a grouping of routine reports that should be approved in one swift action, instead of approving each one separately. I believe that all items included on the Consent Agenda should be approved as presented and approved unanimously. If not, the item that requires a revision, abstention, or other action needs to be removed from the Consent Agenda and considered as a separate voting item.
8. Funding for Arts Complex/City Hall Project. I am very uncomfortable with the lack of transparency and new complications about this project’s funding. This is a $24.5 million city project. This should be nothing less than precise and transparent.
Since last month’s presentation to the city’s Finance Committee, there has been a big change proposed for how this project will be funded. See original April 13 funding plan here (pages 4-10)
The total cost of the project is $24,545,000. A bond will be used to pay for $17,445,000. And the municipal general fund (city budget) is paying for $7.1 million. Last month, the original funding plan was that $6.3 million ARPA (American Rescue Plan) funds were supposed to pay for part of the City Hall project. Now, that portion of the project will be paid out of the general fund. ARPA funds will now be used instead to pay for something that was originally coming out of the general fund.
I understand that this funding plan change in the past month is necessary because the city wants to have a Build Operate Transfer (BOT) Agreement with the developer of the Arts Complex/City Hall project. BOT agreements are not allowed to be paid for by ARPA funds.
BOT Agreements are approved by the city’s Board of Public Works and Safety and are common. I think what is most notable about BOT Agreements is that is does not require the city to open vendor bids to compete for the project nor does it require the city to select the lowest bid. Essentially, the BOT Agreement can be beneficial and more flexible in theory, but it can sacrifice transparency and open bidding.
In addition, this action also approves the city’s 2022 Capital Plan – the list of $ invested in equipment or brick and mortar projects. This plan now includes the City Hall project.
9. Amending Sewage Works Revenue. The loan that was taken out to purchase Hamilton Southeastern Utilities was more $ than was actually required. This action allows the remaining funds to be devoted to other sewage-related expenses.
10. Amending North By North Revenue. The loan that was taken out to fund the North By North project was more $ than was actually required. This action allows the remaining funds to be devoted to Nickel Plate Trail expenses. The North By North project is the retail/apartment building across the street from Four Day Ray, at North Street and Lantern Road. The developer of this project is Envoy, State Senator Scott Baldwin is Envoy’s CEO.
I have asked the city how much has been invested in the Nickel Plate Trail so far. This Nickel Plate Trail cost information was last shared in this October 2021 update. In addition, Fishers resident, Brad Jones, provides a good summary of that 2021 recent Nickel Plate Trail financial update as well.
11. Neighborhood Matching Grant. This action allows $34,000 additional funding to be used for the Neighborhood Matching Grant because there were more good applicants than the original funding allotment. This agenda item will be opened for a Public Hearing.
A PUBLIC HEARING means that any resident is invited to comment on this topic. This is the only opportunity to make a comment and address the City Council on this specific matter. Fishers residents are welcomed to submit comments for the public hearing on this matter electronically prior to the meeting. All comments received by noon on Monday on the day of the meeting should be presented during this part of the meeting and will be part of the meeting’s official minutes. The Public Comment Form is live on the website right now.
If you do attend the City Council meeting in-person, you may comment on this matter during this part of the meeting. The City Council President will open the public hearing by asking if anyone would like to speak. If no one indicates that they want to speak, the public hearing can be closed quickly. So, please indicate immediately that you have something to say when the public hearing is opened. Otherwise, you may miss your chance.
12. and 13. Ordinance for City to become a member in Central Indiana Regional Development Authority and Resolution adopting the preliminary strategic economic development plan. The Central Indiana Regional Development Authority will be the new entity to implement the White River Opportunity Initiative and the usage of the $20 million READI grant. Here is the plan submitted in Sept 2021 to improve and develop the White River. Not all of this plan was funded. I look forward to learning which elements of this collaborative, regional plan will be executed. The City of Noblesville passed this resolution a few days ago and here is Current in Noblesville’s good summary about that.
14. City Employee Salary Ordinance. The Fishers Health Department is adding a new position – Community Health Advocate. This position shall be grant funded for one year and not impact the department payroll budget.
Planning & Zoning
15. and 16. Burns Property, 15348 Southeastern Parkway
19. And 20. Whitcraft Estates Property, 12354 Hoosier Road
21. And 22. Hurst Property, 10450 Mollenkopf Road
23. And 24. McMullan Property, 12825 Lantern Road
25. Text Amendment to Unified Development Ordinance. The proposed amendment is adding the following to the type of signs that are prohibited. Off-premise signs meaning signs that display a message directing attention to a business, product, service, profession, commodity, event, person, institution, or commercial activity, which is generally conducted, sold, manufactured, produced, offered, or occurs elsewhere than on the premises where the sign is located.”
The following two agenda items are voluntary annexations that will be opened for a Public Hearing.
26. Milford Park. Annexation of 60 acres at 11810 Florida Road, located on the far east side of Fishers – north of Florida Road and 113th Street, near Whelchel Springs and Thorpe Creek neighborhoods. Millford Park is a proposed development by Lennar of 121 homes.
27. Lehman. Annexation of 15 acres for 35 single-family homes by Pulte. Property is at 8115 E 126th Street, located on the south side of 126th St, between Allisonville Rd and Lantern Rd.
Community Comment. All comments submitted through the online are supposed to be provided to the city council members before the meeting and become a part of the meeting’s official record. The Public Comment Form is live on the website right now. Select “City Council Meeting” and that will open a comment box for you to type in. Submit your comments by noon on Monday, the day of the meeting, so they can be distributed before the meeting.
If you have any comments or questions, please send them my way. Email is a good way to get a hold of me.
Thank you for reading all of this! 🙂