News and Tribune

February 24, 2013

Flood control bond issue still on hold

Anticipation note issued on $7.5M bond; Jeffersonville mayor wants more info before giving support

By BRADEN LAMMERS
braden.lammers@newsandtribune.com

JEFFERSONVILLE — Some movement finally took place on a bond being sought by the Jeffersonville-Clarksville Flood Control District.

A bond anticipation note of up to $1 million was unanimously approved for a $7.5 million bond being sought to repair the Cane Run and Mill Creek pump stations. However, there was still no additional action taken on the bond itself.

The joint flood control district has been held up on moving forward on the bond because it is waiting for an approval from the Jeffersonville City Council. The city council has voted to table the resolution to seek the bond five times.

Before the city council would agree to approve the bond, members said they wanted Mayor Mike Moore to come to a council meeting and explain his vote against seeking the bond. Moore was the only vote against the bond at an August flood control district meeting.

After requests were made to attend several meetings, Moore attended Tuesday’s council meeting to answer questions, but they were never asked. Moore left the meeting after the mayor’s comments portion of the agenda when he offered to answer any questions the council might have about his vote on the bond.

However, City Council President Connie Sellers said the bond was an item on the agenda and told Moore to wait until the matter came up on the agenda and then they would address the issue.

By the time the resolution was presented to the council, Moore had left the meeting.

When asked by the News and Tribune why he left the meeting before the item came back up on the agenda Tuesday, he said “I was there to answer questions, they didn’t ask. I’m not going to play their games anymore, I’m tired of playing their games. This is silly, petty stuff.”

When asked if he has contacted the council to explain his previous vote, Moore responded that he had yet to get a phone call or a visit from any of the council members.

“They do not come to the meeting[s] where this issue is addressed and voted on,” he said.

Moore explained that he has reached out to the council and schedules a monthly meeting with the council members, but they have yet to show up to the meeting.

“We have sent correspondence after correspondence...there are countless invitations to talk with the council,” Moore said. “They don’t come, they don’t call, they don’t respond.”

Moore explained that his vote against seeking the bond was based on not knowing what it would cost local residents and how many people would be affected by a rate increase. The initial estimate of the cost to a homeowner, based on a $100,000 home, is about $20 per year.

The fourth time the bond resolution came before the council, Corporation Attorney Tom Lowe said that after an update was provided at the Jeffersonville-Clarksville Flood Control District Jan. 25, Moore was more comfortable with the costs moving forward.

However, the mayor was not in attendance at the council meeting to answer their questions about the bond, so the resolution was tabled again.

Moore was asked by the News and Tribune, with the information that has been presented to the flood control district to date if he would support moving forward on the bond.

“No,” he said. “We do not have that watershed study done, we do not have the report from 39 Degrees North, no. There’s information we don’t have yet. I want to know how much it’s going to cost per household. I want to know what households are involved and we’ve got a watershed study that’s due to be turned in next week. To me those are all legitimate questions that need to be answered.”

The flood control district had expected to receive a house count of the homes that would be affected by the rate increase at Friday’s meeting that was being provided by 39 Degrees North. But there was a mistake in the report that was presented. 

“They provided us a report, but they did not use the parameters that we asked to be set,” said flood control district Executive Secretary April Smith. “What they provided us with is every property in Clark County, and what we need is all of the properties inside the flood wall.”

She said a new report from 39 Degrees North is expected in about a week.

The flood control district board asked Flood Control Superintendent Mike Lanham to attend the city council’s next meeting, to which he agreed that he would.

Moore said he will not be at the meeting because he will be out of town. He added that it wouldn’t matter if he did attend.

“Whether I show up or don’t show up, [the council is] milking this for all its worth and nothing I do is going to change it,” he said.