Three more redevelopment projects pushed by Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore were approved by the Jeffersonville City Council.
The city council unanimously approved amending the Inner City Road and Falls Landing Tax-Increment Financing District Economic Development Plans to allow the city to move forward on Allison Brook Park, phase one of the 10th Street widening project and the construction of the Veterans Parkway south-side access road project.
City Council Attorney Scott Lewis explained that phase one of the 10th Street widening project would include expenses up to 2016, when the construction phase of the project is set to begin.
“The reason why that second phase is not being completed at this time is there is anticipation that there will be money that can be secured from the state at that time,” he said.
According to previous cost estimates offered, the cost of for the 10th Street widening is $12.6 million.
Allison Brook Park is designed to turn a former brownfield near the corner of Allison Lane and Middle Road into a 7-acre park and community garden. Previous plans for the park included bringing a retention basin into the park; however, the plan was scrapped over cost concerns and because it is a retention basin owned by a private development.
The estimated project cost is $150,000.
The final project approved Monday is for a southern access road to Veterans Parkway, near Charlestown-New Albany Pike, that will offer an additional connection to Jeffersonville’s Town Center development. The estimated project cost totals $2.35 million.
Five projects were approved in April that will also utilize TIF funds. The projects were the Big Four Bridge ramp, Big Four Station, changes to a floodwall gate to make way for the Big Four Bridge ramp, Chestnut Street reconstruction and the Thompson Lane improvement project.
The projects approved came from a list of 25 potential projects presented by Moore’s administration.
The resolutions approved Monday will go back to the Jeffersonville Redevelopment Commission for final approval.
PUBLIC SAFETY EXPENSES
Both the Jeffersonville Fire Department and Jeffersonville Police Department Chiefs were on hand Monday to request additional funding from the council.
The request from JPD Chief Chris Grimm included a series of expenses that were rolled back into the general fund, but that Grimm said should have been dedicated back to specific police funds. The money to be moved into the police fund was related to a trade-in for cell phones, a duplicate claim for supplies for the police department’s K-9 units and a claim for a computer purchased and encumbered in 2012 but not received until 2013. The measure was approved 7-2, with Council Members Lisa Gill and Bryan Glover voting against.
A dedication of funding out of three non-reverting police funds required a more lengthy explanation and dispute.
Grimm requested that the council appropriate $27,251 out of the Vehicle non-reverting fund, $29,394 out of the Continuing Education non-reverting fund and $21,000 out of the SWAT non-reverting fund.
But several council members questioned the need for the additional appropriation.
Grimm explained that the request was out of convenience so he did not have to come before the council every time a vehicle needed to be repaired or when he wanted to send officers to a training program.
“We won’t spend it all,” he said.
Councilman Nathan Samuel said that was the purpose of having the police department submit a budget at the beginning of the year and if the council agreed to appropriate the request, all of it could be used.
“Once you’ve done that, you’ve given full control to spend those dollars without having to come back [before the council],” he said. “I’m afraid if we don’t keep some money in the bank, it’s going to get worse,” he said later in the meeting.
The council voted to appropriate $13,621 out of the vehicle non-reverting fund and $10,500 out of the SWAT non-reverting fund 8-1, with Samuel voting against.
JFD Chief Eric Hedrick requested additional funding to install security cameras at the station and its nearby intersections, money to reseal and stripe the fire station lot, funds to repair the HVAC system at the fire house, replace a broken ice machine and replace fire gear that is damaged or worn.
The council questioned the need for the security expenses as presented, which included $12,000 in maintenance costs annually, and asked Hedrick to look into the possibility of paying for the security improvements through a grant.
In addition, the necessity of the lot sealing and striping and ice machine were debated.
The council agreed to move forward on two requests and approved the HVAC repairs at $17,500 and the replacement of six sets of fire gear at a total of $12,300 out of the Local Option Income Tax fund by a vote of 8-1, with Councilman Bryan Glover voting against.