10/15 Budget Hearing: Community Development

2010 City Civil Budget

Notes from the Fort Wayne City Council Budget Hearing on October 15, 2009.

This post covers notes from the Community Development budget discussion. The budget for Community Development may be downloaded here.

John Urbahns, Community Development Director.  His presentation will be posted a little later.  He’s going to give an update of projects worked on this year.

Tom Smith – sidewalk planning initiative.  Talking about the pedestrian incident on Lahymeyer (spp?) Road.  Shows the important of this initiative.  John - connectivity is a big issue and you can’t walk along a lot of our collector and arterial streets.

Marty Bender – 5363 was shifting of staff to County.  Document recording – documents are recorded at Neighborhood Code when liens are placed.  Building rent – significant drop.  Potential move into Renaissance Square.

John Shoaff – importance of facade grants and sidewalks.  More on-street parking – Superior Street is needed.  There is coordination between departments.  Has been discussion about on-street on Jefferson.  A trial period of sorts with the closing of the right lane of Jefferson Boulevard being closed for the construction.  Greg Leatherman reports to the Commission and John.

Karen Goldner – really impressive Neighborhood Stabilization Program tour.  Recording needs to be done.  Failure would result in properties to be sold  and bought without liens or with.  Consulting Services – $46,574 – comprised of funds for specialized projects.  One firm is working with them on downtown design guidelines.  Just a number to bring others into line.  Bike Task Force is being handled internally.  Most projects are internal.  On the design guidelines, it had not been planned for and needed specialized work.  Plus legal connectivity issues.

Line 5369 goes to County for 40% of City-County Land Use department.  $8,000 is for GPS or GIS maintenance.

There will be a training session for Community Development Area Plans; what they can and can’t do, what they need to do to change it.

Mitch Harper – part of the fee for the document recording stays inside local government at the County level.  Fines go back into General Fund, not their department.

Tom Smith – travel budget is up about $2,063.  Attributed to GIS migration.  531S – training is going up as well.

Liz Brown – Karen Goldner is sharing the Accela software isn’t working, however, they are progressing on it.

Spend about $500,000 on demolitions.  If we get the $62 m, some of it could be used for demolitions.  Had New Market Tax Credits since last fall.  Talked with several developers, but no one has come through.  One of the problems is that they must have financing in place and close in a short amount of time.

Purchased Renaissance Square, paid for it with CEDIT dollars.  Are you concerned about the loss of those CEDIT dollar availability?  They have talked with Controller’s Office about the concerns.  Will have to keep an eye on the balances to make sure there is enough for projects.  Will the $1.2 million annually affect Community Development projects?  No.

Karen Goldner – Code Enforcement changed the way they bid the work out.  This year, the boardings and clean-up were split up rather than having to bid on both.  This has led to ability to get more work done with the costs being driven down.  Boarding dropped by half, clean-up by a third.  Can do the work until the end of the year, rather than run out of funds by August.

Mitch Harper – are we getting a handle on, in our older neighborhoods, concerns about upper floors having the ability to be boarded up?

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