City Council notes – 2/2/2010

The Fort Wayne City Council

Notes from this evening’s Fort Wayne City Council meeting.

All Council persons present, except for Mitch Harper.

Councilman Tim Pape’s presentation on the City-County Space Utilization Task Force meetings.

County Councilman Paul Moss has just entered the room.

A new building for the FWPD and a new building for the Allen County Sheriff would cost an estimated $24.9 million.  Councilman Pape feels the Renaissance building is the “best deal” at $58 per square foot.  This would be in comparison to $220 per s.f. for a new FWPD building.  The building for the FW-AC Health Department on New Haven is approximately $150 per square foot.  This building had been considered for the Sheriff at one point.

Combination means FWPD in 200 E Berry, Sheriff in CCB and backfill the rest.

(I’ll have audio later this evening…)

Councilman Pape is saying all “we” need to do is sell the six buildings the County wouldn’t need.  He has now asked the other two Council task force members for their comments.  Both Councilmen Smith and Harper said they would defer until they’d heard from some of their colleagues.

Councilman Tom Didier is stating he’s on board with co-location and the purchase of the building.  Councilman Pape is asking if money should be spent on drilling deeper into the numbers?  Councilman Didier is stating we need to look a the bigger picture and future.

Councilman Glynn Hines says it makes sense to spend a bit more money to investigate the amounts.  Hines is saying the Council needs to be prepared for either way the decision could go.

Council President Bender is asking the matter be deferred until after the rest of Council business has been completed so those waiting can work their way through.

S-10-01-23 – going to a new meter.  An existing supplier tripled their costs.  This should lower maintenance costs.  Councilwoman Karen Goldner is asking if an inventory is kept, or ordered as needed – response is small inventory is kept.  Passed, all in favor.

S-10-01-24 – Cindy Joyner is in front of Council.  $41 down to $19 on board-ups.  Clean-ups reduced around 50%.  Used to bid two together, now separated.  She is asking to reduce the amount to $125,000 since it would be more reasonable.

Councilman Harper is asking what is recovered from property owners.  Joyner is responding they have to give 30 days for them to pay, then a lien or assessment is placed on the property.  Close to 70% is recovered.  He is now asking where the recovered money goes…  It is not retained by the department.  Joyner is stating they should be moving toward being self-sufficient.

All in favor, 9-0.

S-10-01-25 – The original contracts anticipate extending the contracts a year without having to rebid.  They will have to be rebid next year.  Councilman Didier is asking why we’re not rebidding with it being so competitive?  Learning curve, cost in 2009 was less than previous two years.  Price of gas has gone up this year compared to last.

Councilman Hines is asking how we recoup costs from properties cleaned up for the County.  Joyner responded, we don’t.  In 2009, 5-700 properties will be reverting back to the County.  They do not have the money.  The constituents don’t care who owns the properties, they just want it done.  If it doesn’t get done, they look toward the City.  There had been an agreement that the City would pick up the mowing responsibilities in an effort to stabilize the community and surrounding neighborhoods.

Councilwoman Goldner is saying this was agreed to in the early 90s.  County only owns the properties because the taxes weren’t paid.  Our responsibility is to our citizens and neighborhoods to take care of it.

Councilwoman Liz Brown is clarifying that the County isn’t billed or behind in payments.  Talking about pursuing legislation that adjacent owners could take over ownership of the properties.  State Representative Phil GiaQuinta does have a bill before the Indiana General Assembly to do this.

Passed, all in favor.  9-0

S-10-01-26 – Continuation of earlier work.  Up for bid in August, 2010.  They will be going under the railroad overpass which will need to be coordinated with Clinton Street projects and railroad.  Letting will be next year.  Starts just north of Ewing and Wayne, runs up to St. Mary’s River near Superior Street for a new outlet.

Councilman Harper is asking this was an RFQ.  Sent to over 100; 24 responded.

Passed, 9-0.

S-10-01-27 – four firms submitted proposals.  Councilman Harper voted against, passed 8-1.

End of the Committee Session.

Council President Bender is turning it back over to Pape for 20 minutes.

Councilman John Shoaff is asking about the market for the six buildings Councilman Pape was saying the County could sell.  Pape is responding he doesn’t know.  He thinks the numbers are conservative and could be done.  He is saying there is money available to cover the costs for the County.  Councilman Shoaff is stating the buildings might not sell right away.

Councilman Shoaff is stating some sort of contingency planning is needed in case the buildings wouldn’t sell.  Couldn’t money be saved by banking 20,000 square feet, which would save over $1 million?  Councilman Pape is asking if it would be a better alignment to sell the six buildings?  Shoaff is reminding of the costs of the bonding and interest.  Councilman Pape is bringing up the County’s rainy day fund of over $14 million.

Councilwoman Karen Goldner is talking about the Court House’s construction.  It was built for the long term.  She is saying let’s do the study now.  Spending money on Paul Moss’ plan would be a waste of money.  Why would you go to this trouble only to have the Sheriff and Police on opposite sides of the street?  If we’re going to do that, then we should just move into 200 East Berry and be done with it.

Councilman Harper is pointing out we really don’t know what the costs will be.  This is necessary information.  Two concerns – how we ultimately finance the project.  He proposed the beverage tax from the Capital Improvements Board.  Changes may occur in government and how services will be delivered.  These changes can not be anticipated.  A mechanism needs to be in place so that there is a way to solve shifting space needs in the future.  Possibly a building authority, although he doesn’t think that is needed.  How they are resolved, however, needs to be addressed right now. He also feels all members of the task force have done their due diligence.

Councilman Smith is saying he hopes we need less space in the future.  Hopefully Friday, a direction will be arrived at and numbers can be drilled down a bit further.  It will cost more than originally anticipated.  Goal is to keep it as low as possible.  Real work will begin after Friday.

Councilwoman Brown – the co-location we have now is not great.  Councilwoman is talking about the County’s awareness of the City’s needs.  She’d like to see what the County’s plans are.  She wants to know exactly what they will be charged to do.  I cannot believe how much more square footage the County has than the City.  The numbers for the City to move out have not changed.  She is advocating for co-location of the development teams.  Having to go back and forth between buildings now is symptomatic of the larger picture.  If we’re going to do it, it has to be a great system – the County has to pony up.

Councilman Pape – haven’t been able to get to the point of what goes where.  Councilwoman Hughes said the other day she’d be willing to consider up to additional $1.5 million more.  The public wonders why we’re spending $20 million now?  Because it’s a cost the community is facing now or down the road at some point.

It is fair to report to the task force there is a consensus to move ahead with further exploration of the costs.

Related Images:


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here