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City Council approves $500,000 for downtown projects

Funding is now in place for the initial phase of Mayor Tom DeBaun's downtown redevelopment plan.


The Shelbyville Common Council has voted 6-1 to let the mayor spend up to $500,000, “for the design and due diligence,” of the three projects in the proposal.


Councilman Brad Ridgeway (R-4th Ward) cast the “no” vote. Ridgeway has questioned the cost of the project, saying it will take funding away from other areas of the city that need help.


During the council's premeeting in City Hall, 44 W. Washington St., on Monday, the mayor explained his request to the council.


“Right now we have a construction estimate. This gets us down to an actual budget. If you'll recall, we budgeted $200,000 in EDIT, $500,000 in racino; there's some question on whether or not that money is already available for spending. Today, I've asked you to prepare a resolution to come and give formal, specific permission,” DeBaun said.


EDIT is the Economic Development Income Tax that everyone employed in the city pays. Racino money comes from taxes on gaming at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino.


The construction estimate that the mayor mentioned is what the developers of the three downtown projects have asked the city to contribute - $22.4 million.


About $5.9 million of that public funding would be used to pay for infrastructure to support upscale housing developments at the old Major Hospital site on West Washington Street and in the Methodist Building on the Public Square, including a parking garage behind the building (pictured rendering).


Three-quarters of that money, some $16.5 million, would go toward a total makeover of the Public Square itself and nearby streets, according to the development proposal.


The $500,000 approved by the council is to allow the developer, Genesis Property Group, to seek actual bids for the work and get a firm cost for the overall project.


During the City Council's regular meeting on Monday, Councilman David Phares (R-At Large) asked Tom Davis of Genesis Property about the company.


“I know very little about Genesis, and I've got a little concern that if you guys are taking care of all the, Genesis is taking care of all the vendor service, my only concern is the checks and make sure brother-in-law doesn't own the design company,” he said.


Davis replied that he'd be the project manager, and he has 30 years experience and has worked with Runnebohm Construction on projects for 25 years.


“We have the skill set as far as the management part of it, to manage the road, to manage the garage and manage all of the underground project. We've got extensive experience with that. And we're hiring good experts,” he said.


Council members will have a lot of input in the design phase of the project and be able to see the bids Genesis puts out and receives, Davis said.


If the council decides not to go ahead with the project, the city will own the design information gathered, such as topographs of the streets, for future use, he added.


Genesis' proposed schedule for the downtown redevelopment goes from preliminary design this summer to completion in July 2021.


In other matters, the City Council approved 12 compliance statements for tax abatements received by seven companies:


  • Addison Real Estate (1)

  • Brazeway LLC (5)

  • Freudenburg-NOK (1)

  • Hendricks Pointe Apartments LP (1)

  • Kimura Foundry America Inc. (2)

  • North Harrison Senior Apartments LP (1)

  • Plymate Inc. (1)


The council tabled approval of a compliance statement from Nippon Steel & Sumikin Cold Heading Wire Indiana Inc. after questions on how it was filled out.


Also the City Council approved a request by Major Health Partners to rezone a 5-acre parcel on North State Road 9 at Intelliplex Park. to use the land as the site for a YMCA and related services.


And the council amended the city's salary ordinance so the Water Resource Recovery Facility could hire an intern.


Council committee OKs funds for Timber Creek


Following the Common Council meeting, the council's Finance Committee approved recommending to the full council a request by the developer of Timber Creek Village for $14,950 to extend a water line to the development site. Timber Creek is an assisted living facility to be located at 990 Progress Pkwy.