Local News

Plan Commission OKs parks impact fee on new homes

The Shelbyville Common Council is due to take up a proposal to levy a fee on new residential construction to support the city parks.

On Monday evening, the city's Plan Commission unanimously approved sending the initiative to the City Council.

At the meeting, Chuck Lehman, president of Lehman and Lehman Inc. in Mishawaka, presented to the Plan Commission a study done by his firm.

Assuming a growth rate of 1.11 percent, or 249 new housing units, over the next 10 years, a fee of $1,005 for each new single-family home would be needed to cover the impact those new residents will have on city parks, Lehman said.

Following the meeting, Giant FM asked if current residents who built a new house would also have to pay that fee.

“Yes. It's, basically the statute requires anything that is a new residential building would be assesed this," Lehman said.

Apartment buildings would be assessed a sliding fee depending on the size of each apartment, such as a one, two or three bedroom.

Lehman said the state law allowing communities to levy the parks impact fee requires that a review board be established to hear appeals of the fee.

The Lehman study projected a cost of nearly $1 million for parks needs in Shelbyville in future years, and a current deficit of $146,000.

Four items got a priority “A” ranking in the study:  softball fields; park shelters; multi-use nature pathways; and natural open spaces.

No members of the public attended the Plan Commission meeting or raised questions about the fee.

The City Council may vote on the parks impact fee plan at its next meeting, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on March 4 in City Hall, 44 W. Washington St.

City extends time for East Washington Street bids

The project to remodel Shelbyville's East Washington Street will have to wait a bit longer.


Last week, the Shelbyville Board of Works opened bids from three contractors for the project to redo East Washington for more than two blocks.


Sidewalks are to be reconfigured and landscaping added, and the street redone to include angled parking the entire distance from the Public Square, past the Post Office to the railroad tracks just beyond Noble Street.  City Engineer Matt House put the base-cost estimate for the East Washington project at $2,450,540.


Three companies submitted bids including a base price and up to four alternate options.  The winning bid could have been awarded at the Board of Works meeting this week.  However, Mayor Tom DeBaun said during the board's pre-meeting Tuesday morning that House was seeking clarification from the bidders on a couple of items.


The Board of Works could name the winning bidder as soon as next Tuesday. 


The East Washington Street project is the first phase of the mayor's overall downtown redevelopment of the Public Square and adjoining areas to attract new residents and economic development to the city.


In other matters, the Shelbyville Board of Works voted to have two property owners appear in person regarding the condition of homes at 508 Tom Van Arden Drive and 102 McKinley Street.


The board has the authority to order private properties cleaned up, or direct city workers to do it and bill the property owners.