Council Delays Redevelopment Authority Vote

(posted Apr 29)

The Speedway Town Council rescinded its motion to create a redevelopment authority at its April 28 meeting because of the lack of understanding of exactly what the authority is.

President Gary Raikes attempted to explain the governmental entity to Councilor Lu Hillmer, but he stopped short of saying that the authority has the power to issue bonds and would be the future owner of the realigned 16th Street as explained by Attorney Jim Gutting at previous Redevelopment Commission and Town Council meetings. The authority has the ability to bond for projects beyond the two percent cap of the net assessed valuation.

Hillmer asked why the community development corporation could not assume the functions. Raikes said the entity is not the same as the not-for-profit community development corporation. One of the CDC's goals is to raise grant money to help with town facade improvements. Councilor Eileen Fisher also had difficulty discerning the difference between a CDC and a redevelopment authority.

Hillmer said she did not have a grasp on the concept but was willing to pass it saying she has voted on sewer projects that she did not understand. She stated she did not think the authority was a bad thing.

Raikes thought it would be better to delay the vote so the attorney could provide more information about the authority's function. Legal counsel was not present at the meeting to explain the details. The ordinance passed first reading at the April 14 meeting without any discussions other than the Speedway Navigator asking about its function under Indiana Code.

The council also opened the following five bids submitted for repainting of the water storage tank on10th Street.:

Superior Industrial Maintenance - $418,407
George Kountoupes - $235,100
Diversified Coatings - $186,400
Caldwell Tanks - $421,600
Classic Protective Coatings - $390,794

The council will forward the bids to a review committee for a final recommendation.

The council used its power to suspend a time lapse between first and second readings for Ordinance 1110  to immediately institute pay raises to cover the promotion in ranks at the police department. Captain Chuck Upchurch was promoted to Major and Lt. Jason Dierdorf to Captain. The pay increases also covered the newly hired dispatcher.

The council also passed resolutions to borrow $500,000 each from the waste water and Cumulative Capital Development funds to cover cash flow problems from the lack of tax distributions. Clerk-Treasurer Sharon Zishka expects the final 2007 tax distributions to arrive in July.

Speedway resident Don Katterhenry requested the council save 4900 W. 16th Street from demolition. The century old house is on the Speedway Redevelopment Commission's acquisition list in order to construct the roundabout as part of the 16th Street realignment project.

President Gary Raikes said he was personally in favor of saving the building if it is financially and structurally feasible to do so. Hillmer requested building inspector Bill Fox examine the building for structural integrity.

The Speedway Solid Waste Commission received praises from the council for its successful day with heavy day collection at the street department. Commissioner Christie Manion said cars were lined up for about three blocks waiting to drop off the trash.