January 23, 2012


The regular meeting of the City of Mishawaka Redevelopment Commission was called to order at 6:30 p.m., Monday, January 23, 2012, in Room 205, City Hall, 600 East Third Street, Mishawaka, Indiana. Commissioners Eberhart, O’Dell, Troiola, Ermeti, and Pingel were present. Commissioner Stillson was absent. In addition to members of the public, the following were also in attendance: Ken Prince, City Planner; John Gourley, Legal Counsel; Kari Myers, Administrative Planner; and Joe Dits of the South Bend Tribune.

Mr. Gourley, Legal Counsel, acting as temporary chairman presided over the election of officers for the year 2012 and entertained nominations. Commissioner O’Dell made a motion to elect Commissioner Eberhart as president for the year 2012. Commissioner Troiola seconded; motion carried.

Commissioner Troiola made a motion to elect Commissioner O’Dell as vice-president for the year 2012. Commissioner Eberhart seconded; motion carried.

Commissioner O’Dell made a motion to elect Commissioner Troiola as secretary for the year 2012. Commissioner Eberhart seconded; motion carried.

Commissioner Troiola moved to approve the minutes of November 28, 2011 and December 19, 2011 meetings. Commissioner O’Dell seconded; motion carried.

Resolution 2012-01, approving the contract with the Department of Law for the year 2012 was considered. Commissioner O’Dell moved for approval of 2012-01. Commissioner Troiola seconded; motion carried.

The contract between the Department of Law and the Redevelopment Department for the year 2012 was presented and considered. Mr. Gourley stated that the hourly rate would remain the same, $90 per hour. Commissioner O’Dell moved to approve the contract. Commissioner Troiola seconded; motion carried.

Church/Main Connector
Mr. Prince said Main Street downtown was essentially complete with some landscaping to be completed in the spring.

North Main Street Improvements
DLZ is working on property acquisition. As information to the Commissioners, Mr. Prince indicated that DLZ approaches the property owners, prepares property appraisal. The Redevelopment Commission grants approval of the overall project and the details are worked out by the Board of Public Works and Safety.

Sewer Upgrade
Mr. Prince said the City has not signed the Consent Decree with the Department of Justice which requires a sewer upgrade of upwards to $160 million dollars. This requires removal of all combined sewer overflow. The City has not waited to start work and the project has been divided up into several phases; Milburn Boulevard project was part of that effort.

The next phase will run from Merrifield to 4th Street, then Center Street to connect with the wastewater plant. This will be a tunneling project and the sidewalks will also be replaced.

Mishawaka River Center Apartments
Most of the demolition is complete and lead paint abatement is in process. Mr. Prince said the exterior is as bad as it will look. Value Engineering is still being worked on and they expect to finalize the numbers in the next few weeks with an expectation of approximately 10% in change orders over the course of the project. It has been recommended that the entire building be re-tuck pointed. Also, the gym floor has been cut up to be used by the Historic Preservation Commission as a fundraiser.

Riverwalk Extension
Property acquisition for the Riverwalk is ongoing. Appraisals for 1004 and 1008 Prospect have been ordered. Both properties have been for sale for quite a long time. One house is vacant.

Mr. Prince said the road along the river in Merrifield Park needs to be moved to the south to allow the Riverwalk to go through. This will impact access to Castle Manor, but the plan is to make it handicap accessible. The City is also looking at rebuilding the boat launch.

Neighborhood Programs
Mr. Prince presented a Purchase Agreement for 513 E. Broadway Street. The City will tear it down and use for the first time homebuyer program. This would give us 18 first time homebuyer lots. This property was purchased using NSP funds and we have to spend the money or lose it. Commissioner O’Dell moved to approve the Purchase Agreement for 513 E. Broadway Street. Commissioner Troiola seconded; motion carried.

Mr. Prince said the City had been working with the Family and Children’s Center to obtain a portion of the back of their group home property (526 Lincolnway East) for the Riverwalk. Due to a change in their funding, the FCC is interested in selling the property. He said he has prepared a buy/sell agreement for $125,000.00, but the property may need to be appraised again and the agreement be revised to reflect the new amount.

Commission members asked how the City planned on using the property. Mr. Prince said the intent is to demolish the home and over time may become a gateway park similar to Kate’s Garden. He said they are also hoping to acquire the sewing shop on the corner. That will be provide access and staging during construction of the Riverwalk. He also said the City isn’t looking to condemn properties. They acquire a property when they have a willing seller. Mr. Prince also said he has spoken to most of the property owners along LWE and they have expressed interest in working with the City on an easement for the Riverwalk.

Commissioner Troiola moved to approve the buy/sell agreement for 526 Lincolnway East. Commissioner O’Dell seconded; motion carried. Commissioner Ermeti abstained from voting.

CDBG Budget
Dave Thomas provided the Commissioners with an update on the CDBG budget. He said we have received the amount for 2012 and it’s about $72,000.00 less than 2011. He said the cut was across the board for everyone.

Downtown Redevelopment Area
Mr. Prince said the MOU’s with the current developers were renewed for six months. He said he wants to have a process for inviting developers to help them understanding what the limitations area. He said at the end of the process the City could re-advertise for developers, wait for the current developers, or accelerate City projects; there are many different ways to go and he would like the Commission’s input on how to proceed.

Mr. Thomas said he has an applicant for 718 W. 7th Street; one of the self-sufficiency houses. He said she isn’t 5 years from owning a home. She lost her home in a divorce. He said she is 70% AMI and has been employed at Brown Mackie College since 2009 and her income is projected to be $29,120 for last year. Mr. Thomas said she would probably qualify for a first time home buyer home, but wants to get into something quickly. Her rent would be just over $500 per month for approximately 2 years and that money goes toward a down payment when she buys the home and we would offer a deferred 2nd mortgage to keep affordable.

Commissioner O’Dell moved to accept the applicant for 718 W. 7th Street. Commissioner Troiola seconded; motion carried.

Mr. Prince thanked Commissioners O’Dell and Troiola for attending the interviews for Redevelopment Director. He said the Mayor is scheduled to meet with the candidates soon and hopes to be able to make an offer.

The next regular meeting of the Redevelopment Commission will be Monday, February 27, 2012, at 6:30 p.m. in room 205.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:17 p.m.


Respectfully submitted: 

Kari Myers, Administrative Planner

Kenneth B. Prince, City Planner

M. Gilbert Eberhart, President

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