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Economic Development Committee Meeting Minutes and Recordings 2019

Meeting Minutes

01-24-2019 Economic Development Committee Meeting Canceled
02-28-2019 Economic Development Committee

February 28, 2019 Economic Development Committee Minutes

Gina Fezler, President William Keith Stephen Kil, Town Manager
Richard Setlak, Vice-President Randolph Palmateer Mark Barenie, Town Council
John DeYoung Kelly Stoming  

CALL TO ORDER:

Ms. Fezler called the St. John Economic Development Committee Meeting to order on February 28, 2019, at 5:00 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all.)

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by the recording secretary with the following members present: John DeYoung, William Keith, Randolph Palmateer, Richard Setlak, Kelly Stoming, and Gina Fezler. Staff present: Stephen Kil, Town Manager; and Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer.

Absent: Mark Barenie.

Ms. Fezler and the returning members welcomed the newest member, Randy Palmateer. Each member of the board shared a bit about themselves.

ELECTION OF OFFICERS:

President:

Nomination for Gina Fezler for the chair of President by Mr. Setlak. Seconded by Mr. Keith. Hearing no other nominations Ms. Fezler called for a vote. Nomination carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

Vice-President:

Nomination for Richard Setlak for the chair of Vice-President by Mr. Setlak. Seconded by Mr. Palmateer. Hearing no other nominations, Ms. Fezler called for a vote. Nomination carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Ms. Fezler advised that the first item on the agenda is the approval of minutes for the October 25, 2018 meeting and entertained a motion to approve the same.

Motion to approve the minutes by Ms. Stoming. Seconded by Mr. DeYoung. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays and 2 abstention by Mr. Palmateer and Mr. Setlak, who were not at the October meeting.

OLD BUSINESS:

A. New Assignments Prioritized and Issued to Town Council for Review – Town Council to Select Next Assignment(s) for EDC
Ms. Fezler advised that the next item on the agenda is to discuss the list of new assignments that was submitted to the Town Council for review and recommendation. Ms. Fezler asked Mr. Kil if he had any updates regarding the list.

Mr. Kil reported that the list is the same as it was in October, and the Town Council has not given him any direction on that list as yet. Mr. Kil advised that the Town Council has three new members, so they need time to get acclimated with everything, and some of them didn’t even know the Town had an EDC.

Mr. Kil stated that he has not distributed the list to the new members as yet, but he will do so.

Ms. Fezler asked Mr. Kil if he could resend the list to the entire board as well so that everyone has a copy of the updated list of projects.

Mr. DeYoung asked if the list could be resubmitted to the Town Council. Ms. Fezler responded that it sounds like Mr. Kil is going to do that. Mr. Kil advised that he will send the list to the Town Council members as well as the EDC members in the same email so that all parties will have it.

Ms. Fezler stated that the top priority on the list was the study for a commercial development corridor on US 231; however, that may not necessarily be the Town Council’s priority.

Ms. Fezler asked for any further questions or comments. None was had.

NEW BUSINESS:

A. None
Ms. Fezler advised that the next item on the agenda is New Business, and there is none unless anyone has anything to bring up.

Mr. DeYoung stated that he has met with an automobile group, showed the representatives around town, and met with Steve Kil and Rick Eberly. There is a preliminary interest for them to bring a dealership into town, and it was recommended that they work with the owners of the properties that were shown to them if they are interested in pursuing any of them.

Ms. Fezler asked if that was a contact that Mr. DeYoung had. Mr. DeYoung responded in the affirmative. Mr. DeYoung mentioned that this was a situation of introducing an interested business party looking to possibly expand or move into St. John with prospective properties or partners, like introducing the representatives from the Darden Group to Mr. Boyer.

Ms. Fezler asked Mr. Kil to give an update on the ongoing projects starting with the Boyer project.

Mr. Kil advised that the bids for the project have been awarded, the preconstruction meeting has been held, the contracts are being signed, and demolition should begin in March.

Mr. Kil noted that he has been in contact frequently over the last couple of weeks with the owner of the Kmart property. The owner knows that he is expected to raze the site and start anew; and he is fully committed to leasing to a blue-chip tenant. The owner will not sell the site.

Mr. Kil commented that he had sent him information on the bids we received from the demolition contractors in the event he wanted to contact them, and he liked what he saw. Mr. Kil added that the gentlemen will likely be in town sometime in March or April and that Mr. Kil and he would be meeting.

Ms. Fezler asked if the owner of the Kmart property agreed to take the building down. Mr. Kil responded that he recommended to the gentlemen who owns the Kmart property, when the demolition contractors are razing the structures for the Shops 96 project and has all the equipment mobilized, it is not a big deal to transfer the equipment across the street, so that would be a good opportunity to raze the Kmart building as well.

Mr. Setlak asked if he is looking to have multiple tenants or a single tenant. Mr. Kil responded that they are looking for one large anchor tenant in the back and, perhaps, re-subdivide the parcel and put a couple of lots out front. Mr. Kil added that the gentlemen will not lease for less than 30 years and wants a blue-chip tenant.

Ms. Fezler asked if there are any updates on the business property at 93rd Avenue and US 41. Mr. Kil responded that Mr. Boyer is still working on that project.

Mr. Kil advised that before the Town Council this evening, there is a Special Exception request for a gas station at US 231 and US 41 on the northeast corner, which has been before the BZA for a few months. Mr. Terpstra wants to build a Culver’s in town. Coyne is open. Other than that, there is no new commercial; however, Shops 96 is likely to be a catalyst to jumpstart everything.

Mr. DeYoung asked about the roadwork on US 41. Mr. Kil advised that INDOT is going to be installing a center turn lane all the way down US 41 to US 231. INDOT is in the process of buying all the property for that expansion.

Mr. DeYoung stated that the road in front of Lake Central High School is all marked up. Mr. Kil advised that those markings are for that expansion, and the buyer is acquiring the right-of-way property at this time.

Mr. Keith stated that it is great to see this finally happening and asked if they had spoken with Frank Schilling and the church about the cemetery issue. Mr. Kil responded that INDOT has been presented with the right-of-way that is required.

Mr. Kil advised that the Community Crossing Grant that the Town Council approved will provide another left-turn lane on the west side of US 41 and 93rd Avenue. He further advised that he has provided Mr. Schilling with the right-of-way requirements that the Town has, and he is waiting to hear back on the same.

Mr. Keith asked about US 41 and the cemetery. Mr. Kil responded that no changes will happen to that property and no right-of-way granted there. Mr. Keith asked if Dunkin Donuts and Schoop’s will lose their turn lane. Mr. Kil responded that if there is a turn lane there, it will be taken from the east side of the road.

Ms. Fezler asked if the stoplight is still going up near “Shoe Corner”. Mr. Kil responded in the affirmative. Mr. Kil stated that Lake County representatives came to the December Town Council meeting and gave an update on their plans for the light at Sheffield Avenue.

Mr. Kil advised that the improvements will be done this year. They will install a light at the intersection, not a roundabout. He further advised that INDOT will likely start the intersection of Cline and US 231 to install a multilane roundabout; however, he doesn’t know if they will back down and install a signal instead.

Mr. Setlak asked if Lake County is revamping the whole intersection at 101st Avenue and Sheffield Avenue. Mr. Kil responded in the affirmative.

REPORTS and CORRESPONDENCE:

Ms. Fezler advised the next item on the agenda is Reports and Correspondence and asked for the same.
A. Board Members
Mr. Keith stated that he is happy to see the momentum that is happening now, and that he hears a lot of positive things from people about it.

Mr. Setlak asked if the car condo is still moving along. Mr. Kil responded that the owner is trying to lease and sell units before he starts construction. It is a unique item, and the banks don’t like to finance things like that without presold units or solid leases.

B. Staff
Mr. Kil reported that the Town Council changed their meeting from March 28 to March 18 and asked if the EDC was interested in moving their meeting as well as the last week in March is spring-break week.

Discussion ensued.

Ms. Fezler asked if the members were okay with changing the meeting. A consensus to change the meeting date was had.

Ms. Fezler advised that an email will be sent out to remind everyone about the meeting change, and the agenda would also be sent out reflecting the meeting date.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

None was had.

ADJOURNMENT:

Ms. Fezler entertained a motion to adjourn. Motion by Mr. Setlak. Seconded by Mr. DeYoung. Motion carries 6 ayes to 0 nays.

(Ms. Fezler adjourned the meeting at 5:24 p.m.)

Respectfully submitted;

Margaret R. Abernathy, Recording Secretary
St. John Economic Development Committee

03-18-2019 Economic Development Committee

March 18, 2019 Economic Development Committee Minutes

Gina Fezler, President William Keith Stephen Kil, Town Manager
Richard Setlak, Vice-President Randolph Palmateer Mark Barenie, Town Council
John DeYoung Kelly Stoming  

CALL TO ORDER:

Ms. Fezler called the St. John Economic Development Committee Meeting to order on March 18, 2019, at 5:03 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all.)

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by the recording secretary with the following members present: Randolph Palmateer, Richard Setlak, Kelly Stoming, and Gina Fezler. Staff present: Stephen Kil, Town Manager; and Joseph Svetanoff, Town Attorney.

Absent: John DeYoung, William Keith, and Mark Barenie.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Ms. Fezler advised that the first item on the agenda is the approval of minutes for the February 28, 2019 meeting and entertained a motion to approve the same.

Motion to approve the minutes by Mr. Palmateer. Seconded by Mr. Setlak. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

OLD BUSINESS:

A. New Assignments Prioritized and Issued to Town Council for Review – Town Council to Select Next Assignment(s) for EDC
Ms. Fezler advised that Mr. Kil had distributed the list of items that we were looking at potentially addressing and have the Town Council look at the same for a recommendation.

Mr. Kil recommended that the list be pared down to a couple of items.

Ms. Fezler stated that one of the items on the list is the US 231 business corridor and asked the board if that is still a project for the EDC to pursue.

Mr. Kil advised that he has a great head start on that project if that is one of the things they want to focus on.

Mr. Setlak stated that he would like to pursue this project, and that based on what Mr. Kil had said, they just need one more project.

Mr. Kil advised that he had the traffic engineer layout the entire US 231 corridor from Cline Avenue to US 41 and propose changes, so that would be a great starting point with a good foundation.

Ms. Fezler asked, based on the board’s review of the list, what else would be a potential project.

Mr. Palmateer asked what the EDC’s goal is. Mr. Kil responded that the EDC promotes business and development in the commercial areas of the community. Mr. Kil noted that there is already a TIF district on US 231.

Mr. Kil advised that he will send the TIF maps out to the members before the next meeting so the members can look it over and discuss it at the next meeting. Multiple members said that they would like that.

Mr. Setlak stated that they have been involved in promoting St. John, the “Open for Business” campaign, and they have been promoting the Comprehensive Plan.

Mr. Kil added the Opportunity Analysis.

Mr. Palmateer asked how old the Comprehensive Plan is. Mr. Kil responded that it was just done in 2017.

Mr. Kil advised that the Opportunity Analysis was just updated. Metrostudy was hired to come in and evaluate what is lacking in St. John. It lays out market analysis so if a business owner is looking at St. John, it will say if and why it will work in town.

Ms. Fezler stated that there is a video that the group worked on as well. Mr. Kil stated that Mr. Keith has the original, and he did distribute a link to it to the group a while back.

Ms. Fezler noted that she will get the materials the EDC has worked on to Mr. Palmateer.

Mr. Kil advised that he will send out the Opportunity Analysis, The Comprehensive Plan, and the TIF map to the members of the EDC.

Ms. Fezler asked Mr. Kil if she needs to prepare a memo for him regarding the project. Mr. Kil responded that she does not need to send a memo.

B. Updates on Existing Developments
Discussed under Reports and Correspondence.

NEW BUSINESS:

None was had.

REPORTS and CORRESPONDENCE:

Ms. Fezler advised the next item on the agenda is Reports and Correspondence and asked for the same.
A. Board Members
Mr. Palmateer reported that he had a meeting with Bruce Boyer about the Shops 96 project, and Mr. Boyer is going to hire all local business contractors that are living in this area. Mr. Palmateer gave kudos to Mr. Boyer for doing so.
B. Staff
Mr. Kil reported that Culver’s is going to be coming to town, and that Mr. Terpstra finally has it nailed down as to where he wants to build. He further reported that Mr. Boyer is getting ready to start demolition very soon for the Shops 96 project.

Mr. Kil further reported that he has been in contact with the owner of the Kmart property and sent him demolition information and contact information. The owner of that property is going to be coming to town next month and will meet with some of the Town Council members.

Mr. Palmateer asked who the owner is. Mr. Kil responded that it is Mark Hoffman who is the principal of Garden Properties.

Ms. Fezler asked if we have been notified of any commitments on retailers that will be coming to town. Mr. Kil responded that somebody may have been informed. Ms. Fezler asked if there is anyone that Mr. Kil can share. Mr. Svetanoff advised that it is probably between the developer and the potential tenants at this juncture. Mr. Kil concurred with Mr. Svetanoff; and he added that there are a couple of good restaurants coming.

Ms. Fezler stated that one of the items on the list was to send out another survey; however, she feels it would be advantageous to wait and do it after the first phase of Shops 96 has been developed.

Mr. Kil stated that he would talk with Mr. Boyer and find out what can be shared and will email the members with that information.

Mr. Kil commented that Mr. Boyer is still working on the corner of 93rd Avenue; Mr. Boyer is having a difficult time trying to design that piece of property without the property where Nina’s Salon is.

Ms. Fezler asked about the proposed gas station. Mr. Kil responded that it was approved for the variances requested and will be located on the northeast corner of US 231 and US 41.

Mr. Kil advised that the company’s name that is developing it is Lucky Brothers, and the owners live in town in Lake Hills. The gas station will have a different name.

Mr. Svetanoff commented that they are very responsible developers, and they worked with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources concerning Biesecker Prairie across the street to ensure there are no invasive plant species or lighting that would adversely impact the prairie. The owners have gone to great lengths to make sure it will be a top-notch development.

Ms. Fezler asked if that fills the available property that is on that corner. Mr. Kil responded in the affirmative.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

None was had.

ADJOURNMENT:

Ms. Fezler entertained a motion to adjourn. Motion by Mr. Palmateer. Seconded by Ms. Stoming. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

(Ms. Fezler adjourned the meeting at 5:18 p.m.)

Respectfully submitted;

Margaret R. Abernathy, Recording Secretary
St. John Economic Development Committee

04-25-2019 Economic Development Committee Meeting Canceled
05-23-2019 Economic Development Committee

May 23, 2019 Economic Development Committee Minutes

Gina Fezler, President William Keith Stephen Kil, Town Manager
Richard Setlak, Vice-President Randolph Palmateer Mark Barenie, Town Council
John DeYoung Kelly Stoming  

CALL TO ORDER:

Ms. Fezler called the St. John Economic Development Committee Meeting to order on May 23, 2019, at 5:03 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all.)

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by the recording secretary with the following members present: John DeYoung, Richard Setlak, Kelly Stoming, and Gina Fezler. Staff present: Stephen Kil, Town Manager.

Absent: Randolph Palmateer, William Keith, and Mark Barenie.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Ms. Fezler advised that the first item on the agenda is the approval of minutes for the March 18, 2019 meeting and entertained a motion to approve the same.

Motion to approve the minutes by Mr. Setlak. Seconded by Ms. Stoming. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

OLD BUSINESS:

A. New Assignments Prioritized and Issued to Town Council for Review – Town Council to Select Next Assignment(s) for EDC
Ms. Fezler advised that the next item on the agenda is the project list, which Mr. Kil resubmitted to the Town Council, and asked if Mr. Kil had any updates that he could provide on that list.

(Note: Mr. Kil provided the US 231 Corridor map prior to the start of the meeting for the members to look at and discuss during the meeting.)

Mr. Kil stated that he hasn’t had a lot of feedback on the project list; however, he has drawings prepared for the EDC to look at and decide if they would like to recommend to the Town Council that the board take the US 231 corridor west of US 41 as well. Mr. Kil advised that Lake County will be letting the bid for Calumet Avenue and 109th Avenue; we will be putting decorative poles up there and paying the difference to ensure it is done nicely. Mr. Kil added that the project will be awarded right after Memorial Day.

Ms. Fezler stated that she has been looking at the TIF District maps and asked if there are any TIF Districts on the west side of US 41. Mr. Kil responded in the negative.

Mr. Kil advised that they could look at redrawing the TIF District on US 231, look at the whole US 231 corridor, and make a recommendation to the Town Council as to how to redraw the TIF District, which would generate a whole new 25-year time clock on it.

Ms. Fezler stated that she believes there is potential to rework some of the TIF District, especially on the east side.

Mr. Setlak asked if this would be adding to an existing one or creating a new one. Mr. Kil responded that the Town already has one, but we would probably want to start from scratch and redraw it.

The members reviewed and discussed the US 231 corridor map. Discussion highlights included:

  1. The railroad overpasses will cost approximately $15 million apiece to widen out.
  2. US 231 is a State highway, so joint projects between the Town and the State would move things along faster.
  3. INDOT is installing a large, multi-lane roundabout at the intersection of Cline Avenue and 109th Avenue/US 231.
  4. Physical access points are on the map so that as the areas build out, there are set areas where access to turn off of or onto US 231 will be allowed.
  5. The Comprehensive Plan has a drawing of a train station and a proposed development between the two sets of railroad tracks.
  6. The project should be done in phases.
  7. Frank Schilling owns the property between the tracks, and there is a drawing that shows a road from US 231 north to Joliet Street.
  8. To expand the 1-mile stretch between Cline Avenue and Parrish Avenue to two lanes in each direction with a center turn lane, plus sidewalks and street lights is approximately $9 million.
  9. The parcel study would be a conceptual plan showing where specific land uses would be.
  10. Taghi Arshami would be a good one to do the conceptual plan of the parcels, as he did our Road Impact Fee study and the Park Master Plan and is good at doing that type of work.
  11. Information from the Master Plan, Metro Study, and whatever the EDC would deem appropriate could be used to design this plan.
  12. The questions to ask when designing this may be:
    1. The TIF District boundaries are this length, why?
    2. How many square feet can be built on a parcel?
    3. What amount of dollars could be generated on a particular parcel?
    4. How could the dollars that are generated be put into another TIF bond to encourage further development and take it to the next level?
  13. Infrastructure is good between Parrish Avenue and Cline Avenue.
  14. There is a 24” sewer stubbed at Park Place on the south side of US 231.
  15. There is a 16” stub out at Mill Creek.
  16. Some infrastructure will need to be installed in between the railroad tracks.
  17. The new well that test pumped at a little over 1,000 gallons per minute, which is approximately 2 million gallons a day.
The concept drawing could potentially show:
  1. The amount of retail space that is available, realistically.
  2. Where a future road might go.
Mr. Kil offered to give Taghi Arshami the materials and have him come to the next EDC meeting and come up with a cost estimate. Ms. Fezler responded that she thinks that would be a good idea.

Mr. Setlak asked if this has been set as to where things are going or if there is a competing area that anyone wants to explore. Mr. Setlak further asked if the EDC would have to explain why this is the best option.

Ms. Stoming apologized as she had to leave the meeting.

Mr. Kil asked her if she is on board with this project. Ms. Stoming responded in the affirmative.

(As Ms. Stoming had to leave the meeting early, there was no longer a quorum; therefore, no further motions could be had.)

Ms. Fezler stated that she likes this idea; however, she wants to make sure everyone likes the idea.

Mr. DeYoung stated that he thinks we should do the study all the way from Parrish Avenue to US 41 and work on the TIF Districts with expert input. He further stated that the EDC should probably make a request to ensure the Town Council is okay with the project and with the EDC having a consultant come in.

Mr. Kil asked if they are wanting to request approval for a comprehensive land-use study for the US 231 corridor from US 231 to Cline Avenue, for the focus of this project and that when this project is done, the focus could switch to the west side. The members confirmed that is what they are asking and that they would like expert input.

Mr. Kil stated that he thinks that they can do a really nice project and come up with a TIF District or possibly a couple of TIF Districts.

The consensus of board was to ask the Town Council if they are amenable to this project and with allocating a budget in an amount not to exceed $10,000.

Mr. DeYoung asked if a motion is needed. Mr. Kil and Ms. Fezler advised that a motion can’t be made as there is no longer a quorum present.

Mr. DeYoung asked if Mr. Kil can ask the Town Council about that on a request. Mr. Kil responded in the affirmative.

Mr. Setlak asked if there is a suggested pathway or set of steps to accomplish their analysis, such as what advisors would we seek out in what order. Mr. Kil responded that the traffic advisor would need to be on board, do a land-use plan, and drop logical TIF Districts over that land-use plan.

Ms. Fezler commented that they would then look at the Metro Study to see what type of businesses we need to attract.

Mr. DeYoung asked if the BZA should be involved with this. Mr. Kil responded in the negative and stated that the Plan Commission would want to see it. Ms. Fezler stated that whatever they do would be handed off to the Town Council to review and make suggestions or changes.

Mr. Kil further advised that the Plan Commission can use the plan as a guide when developments come in to say what will be needed in a particular area, such as a roundabout or something like that; and it also helps the developers because there wouldn’t be any surprises.

Ms. Fezler asked if the land-use survey would include cost estimates for the infrastructure. Mr. Kil responded that most of those cost estimates can be calculated easily.

Mr. Setlak asked if frontage access roads would be included in the land-use plan. Mr. Kil responded that the EDC would be looking at that as well; however, US 231 is a State highway, so INDOT has the final say on access points or improvements. Mr. Kil advised that offering to do shared projects may sway INDOT to help fund a project.

Mr. Kil noted the access points on the map and stated that it is the only access points that can be used, as there is limited access to US 231 because it is a State highway.

Mr. Setlak asked if the board should layout frontage roads on the land-use plan. Mr. Kil responded that it is likely above and beyond what the EDC may be funded to do.

Discussion ensued.

Ms. Fezler stated that, since the consensus is to get the Town Council approval for the project, the board should ask for that approval and then move forward if and when they have said approval.

B. Updates on Existing Developments
Ms. Fezler asked Mr. Kil to give updates on any developments.

Mr. Kil stated that Malt Brothers is not in the Shops 96 development anymore, which the Town staff found out due to reading it in a newspaper article. They are staying in town, and another restaurant will be taking their place in Shops 96. The change does result in an accelerated project timeline because the original timeline was based on keeping Malt Brothers up and running during the process.

Ms. Fezler asked when Malt Brothers is expected to move. Mr. Kil responded that they are anticipated to move by July 1.

Mr. DeYoung asked if there will be enough parking. Mr. Kil responded that the brewing business will be in a different location than the restaurant.

Mr. DeYoung asked about Fred Terpstra’s property. Mr. Kil responded that he will be building in the Target parking lot.

Ms. Fezler asked if there is any movement on the car-condo project. Mr. Kil stated that the owner is still working on presales.

Mr. Setlak asked about the gas station going in at US 231 and US 41. Mr. Kil responded that Lucky Brothers are approved and waiting for the paperwork to come through. They are projected to start their development this year.

Mr. Kil stated that Kmart will likely be redevelop quickly. Mark Hoffman was at the ICSC pitching the property to tenants.

Ms. Fezler asked if they are going to start the traffic light construction at 96th. Mr. Kil stated that they will be doing that quickly. Originally they couldn’t get the road constructed because the Malt Brothers building is right there. Once they move, the road construction for the 96th Place extension and light projects can be started.

Ms. Fezler asked about the Boyer property at 93rd Avenue and US 41. Mr. Kil responded that Pete Kladeris wants to open a breakfast-lunch restaurant there. Mr. Kil further responded that Mr. Boyer is anxious to tear the old building down on the corner and will be coming back with a couple proposals for new commercial buildings on the corner.

Mr. Kil commented that Crew Car Wash still wants to come to St. John and calls him regularly.

Mr. Kil asked if they had seen the State of the Town report. Ms. Fezler stated the Mr. Kil did send it to them.

Mr. DeYoung asked Mr. Kil if he could have a printed copy. Mr. Kil responded that they are being printed by the printer now.

Ms. Fezler asked if the members could get a printed copy at the next meeting. Mr. DeYoung asked when the next meeting would be, and discussion ensued about possibly combining the June and July meetings into one meeting to be held on July 11. Ms. Fezler stated that she would check with all the members who were not present to see if that date will work for them and ensure the board will have a quorum.

NEW BUSINESS:

A. Review of the 231 Map Documents and Discussion
Mr. Kil had produced the map for viewing at the outset of the meeting, and discussion relative to this item has already taken place under Old Business, Item A.
B. Highlights of the Metro Study
Ms. Fezler advised that they would postpone this item to another meeting.
C. Overview of the Comprehensive Town Plan in Conjunction to the 231 Corridor
Ms. Fezler advised that this should be reviewed at a future meeting as they work through the Commercial Development Corridor.

REPORTS and CORRESPONDENCE:

Ms. Fezler advised the next item on the agenda is Reports and Correspondence and asked for the same.
A. Board Members
None was had.
B. Staff
Mr. Kil stated that Chief Kveton came early to set up for his presentation at the Town Council meeting later in the evening and asked him to say a few words.

Chief Kveton stated that the Police Department had received a grant for $5000 from Franciscan Health and that they used that money to purchase four AEDs, automatic external defibrillator units, for officers to use in the field.

Chief Kveton also stated that the painting he has is being donated to the St. John Police Department by Rosa Gonzalez and family.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

None was had.

ADJOURNMENT:

With no further business before the board, Ms. Fezler adjourned the meeting at 5:55 p.m.

Respectfully submitted;

Margaret R. Abernathy, Recording Secretary
St. John Economic Development Committee

06-27-2019 Economic Development Committee Rescheduled to 07-11-2019
07-11-2019 Economic Development Committee

July 11, 2019 Economic Development Committee Minutes

Gina Fezler, President William Keith Stephen Kil, Town Manager
Richard Setlak, Vice-President Randolph Palmateer Mark Barenie, Town Council
John DeYoung Kelly Stoming  

CALL TO ORDER:

Ms. Fezler called the St. John Economic Development Committee Meeting to order on July 11, 2019, at 5:00 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all.)

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by the recording secretary with the following members present: John DeYoung, William Keith, Randolph Palmateer, Richard Setlak, and Gina Fezler. Staff present: Stephen Kil, Town Manager.

Absent: Kelly Stoming and Mark Barenie.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Ms. Fezler advised that the first item on the agenda is the approval of minutes for the May 22, 2019 meeting and entertained a motion to approve the same.

Motion to approve the minutes by Mr. Palmateer. Seconded by Mr. DeYoung. Motion carries 5 ayes to 0 nays.

OLD BUSINESS:

A. New Assignments Prioritized and Issued to Town Council for Review – Town Council to Select Next Assignment(s) for EDC
Ms. Fezler stated that the Town Council approved a budget to work on the 231 Corridor project. The budget is for the purposes of hiring a consultant to assist the EDC in the land-use study.

Mr. Kil stated that the budget is approved at $10,000; and at this point, the focus is to figure out the scope of work.

Ms. Fezler asked Mr. Kil if he has a consultant in mind or if the members need to search for someone.

Mr. Kil responded that if they develop a scope of work, then he can recommend a couple of consultants and get prices from those consultants.

B. Updates on Existing Developments
Ms. Fezler asked Mr. Kil to give updates on any developments.

Mr. Kil noted that:

  1. Freddie Terpstra is on the Town Council agenda this evening for approval for Culver’s, which will be in Target’s parking lot up front by the bank.
  2. Shops 96 – Demolition should be finishing up at any time. NIPSCO is turning off the power tomorrow. After that, the highway and traffic signal work will commence.
  3. The Continental will be starting soon. The road construction associated with that project on 93rd Avenue is starting, so it will be down to one lane for about 3 weeks.

Mr. Keith asked if the orange flags on Joliet Street by Thiel’s Cabinet Shop are for construction of the feeder road into Shops 96. Mr. Kil responded they are for survey work.

Discussion ensued regarding traffic and feeder roads.

Ms. Fezler asked if “Shoe Corner” has been completed. Mr. Kil responded that it is open; however, the traffic lights are on backorder, so the intersection is operating on stop signs at until we get the signal poles.

NEW BUSINESS:

A. Presentation by Jerome Mikulich, Founder and CEO of CityByApp
Ms. Fezler advised that the next item on the agenda is a presentation by Jerome Mikulich, Founder and CEO of City by Apps. She turned the floor over to Mr. Kil for an introduction.

Mr. Kil stated that he and Jason Dravet reviewed this app years ago when it was in its infancy. It has greatly improved since then; and we are having him create a Town app. It is a partnership between the Town and the Chamber of Commerce.

Mr. Kil stated that this is a mobile app that you can download on your mobile device which offers features such as local road closure alerts along with detour routes, shopping and dining locally, and other features and information related to St. John. The app will have the Town logo and pictures of the town, and the VFW will get a 5% stipend as a not-for-profit organization.

Mr. Jerome Mikulich gave a bit of background about himself: He grew up in Lansing; moved here from Southern California where he started CityByApp; and he and his wife just built a house in St. John.

Mr. Mikulich stated that they are an award-winning company: The Economic Development Coalition of Southwest California gave them an innovation award, for helping communities connect in Southern California. He displayed Temecula, California app that they built, showing a map of all the wineries, the lodging, the tours, and a map of the Old Town district, as an example of a fully built-out app.

Mr. Mikulich showed a brief demonstration video of the app, which can viewed at citybyapp.com and highlighted the following features:

  1. CityByApp is not a social network; however, content can be shared through social media by its users.
  2. It is a one-way communication tool to get information out to the public; thus, the Town can control the content for clear information and direct access to the news, events, or notifications from the source of that information.
  3. Geofencing alerts allow parameters to be set for notifications:
    1. It can be a one-time notification or ongoing.
    2. A perimeter can be set around a specific part of town using specific coordinates so that when folks drive into that area, a notification pops up.
  4. The app will help St. John become interconnected to neighboring municipalities which can direct people who are outside of St. John to businesses in St. John.
  5. Everything that is published on the app will show up in results using the various Internet search engines.
  6. Business reviews are verified before being published online.
  7. The only businesses that can be on the St. John app are those that are in the Chamber of Commerce, have a Town license, or those approved by the Town.
  8. Chamber members get a free standard listing.
    1. Paid upgrades are available.
  9. Title sponsors that help fund the program get special banners, only four of title sponsors are available within a community.
  10. CityByApp is available as a desktop version as well for those who don’t want to download the app.
Q&A:
Q. What other Northwest Indiana municipalities are using CityByApp?
A. Schererville and Dyer; as well as Crete and Lansing in Illinois. They are currently working with Cedar Lake and talking with Crown Point.

Q. Would the app populate with Crown Point businesses if someone drives out of St. John and into Crown Point?
A. Yes.

Q. Can the number of people who download the St. John app be tracked?
A. Yes.

Q. How does CityByApp make money?
A. The Town pays an annual fee; that and the four title sponsorships comprise about 2/3 of the revenue.

Q. Where are they with the Chamber of Commerce, progress-wise?
A. Mr. Mikulich and Ms. Fezler have met and are brainstorming potential businesses to contact to become title-sponsors. The mapping spreadsheet is being provided to the Chamber of Commerce and has been provided to Mr. Dravet in order to get the businesses uploaded.

Q. Does someone have to be a Chamber member to be on the app?
A. A business must either be business licensees with the Town and/or members of the Chamber of Commerce.

Ms. Fezler stated that the Town would have to provide the business license portion of that because the Chamber doesn't have that information.

Mr. Kil advised that all the businesses in town are supposed to have a business license.

Mr. Mikulich closed out his presentation briefly explaining and demonstrating smartphone augmented reality, which is something in the works for future use in the app.

B. Discussion Regarding the US 231 Corridor Land-Use Study Consultant
This item was briefly discussed before the presentation.

(Mr. Palmateer left the meeting.)

REPORTS and CORRESPONDENCE:

Ms. Fezler advised the next item on the agenda is Reports and Correspondence and asked for the same.
A. Board Members
None was had.
B. Staff
Mr. Kil stated that the members should come up with a scope of work for the next meeting, which will be in August as tonight’s meeting covered both June and July.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

None was had.

ADJOURNMENT:

Ms. Fezler entertained a motion to adjourn the meeting. Motion to adjourn by Mr. DeYoung. Seconded by Mr. Keith. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

(Ms. Fezler adjourned the meeting at 6:02 p.m.)

Respectfully submitted;

Margaret R. Abernathy, Recording Secretary
St. John Economic Development Committee

07-25-2019 Economic Development Committee Rescheduled to 07-11-2019
08-22-2019 Economic Development Committee

August 22, 2019 Economic Development Committee Minutes

Gina Fezler, President William Keith Stephen Kil, Town Manager
Richard Setlak, Vice-President Randolph Palmateer Mark Barenie, Town Council
John DeYoung Kelly Stoming  

CALL TO ORDER:

Ms. Fezler called the St. John Economic Development Committee Meeting to order on August 22, 2019, at 5:00 p.m.

(The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all.)

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by the recording secretary with the following members present: John DeYoung, William Keith, Richard Setlak, Kelly Stoming, and Gina Fezler. Staff present: Stephen Kil, Town Manager.

Absent: Randolph Palmateer and Mark Barenie.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Ms. Fezler advised that the first item on the agenda is the approval of minutes for the July 11, 2019 meeting and entertained a motion to approve the same.

Motion to approve the minutes by Mr. Setlak. Seconded by Mr. DeYoung. Motion carries 5 ayes to 0 nays.

OLD BUSINESS:

A. Updates on Existing Developments
Ms. Fezler asked Mr. Kil to give updates on any developments.

Mr. Kil stated that the Boyer project is coming along. All the demolition has been done. NIPSCO has relocated the gas main along US 41 by 96th Place. There is still some work to be done, so the lane restrictions will continue. NIPSCO will also be relocating a utility pole line by 96th Place. Shortly after Labor Day, all the underground work will start being done: water main extensions, storm sewers, sanitary sewer; and the detention basin will be dug. Mr. Kil advised that bids submitted for the ground stabilization portion of the project will be opened tonight at the RDC meeting. Hopefully, that will be started immediately as that is the precursor to the actual road construction of 96th Place and the traffic circle.

Ms. Fezler asked if there are any other retail developments. Ms. Fezler stated that there was a question brought before the Plan Commission regarding light industrial and asked Mr. Kil if he had any information on that. Mr. Kil responded that he doesn't have any information on anything like that.

Mr. Kil stated that Culver’s was approved. He further stated that there is nothing new at this time; however, we do have some business folks who are considering St. John.

Ms. Fezler asked if there is anything the members of the EDC can do to help those who are looking at possibly bringing their business to St. John. Mr. Kil responded that if they have specific needs or are looking for direction or wisdom from local business owners, he would certainly direct them to the EDC.

B. Presentation by Jerome Mikulich, Founder and CEO of CityByApp
Ms. Fezler advised that the next item on the agenda is a follow up discussion regarding the presentation by Jerome Mikulich, Founder and CEO of CitybyApp at the last EDC meeting.

Ms. Fezler asked Mr. Kil to give an update on the process.

Mr. Kil stated that our app is ready for Android phones; however, we are still waiting for Apple’s approval for IOS. Mr. Mikulich has produced posters. We still have one title sponsorship left.

Ms. Fezler stated that we have two confirmed title sponsors, one in the works, and one available spot remaining for title sponsors.

Mr. Kil advised that Mr. Mikulich did contact the VFW and explain to them that 5% of the profits will be donated to them; and the VFW members are pretty excited about that.

Ms. Stoming asked who keeps the information updated on the app. Mr. Kil responded that CityByApp does.

Ms. Fezler commented that CityByApp is working closely with Jason Dravet and the Chamber of Commerce to keep the list of businesses up to date.

Mr. Kil stated that Schererville and Cedar Lake have the app. Ms. Fezler stated that she believes Dyer and Crete have the app also.

Discussion ensued regarding the use of apps.

NEW BUSINESS:

A. Discussion Regarding the US 231 Corridor Land-Use Study Consultant
Ms. Fezler advised the next item on the agenda is to discuss finding a consultant for the US 231 Corridor Land-Use Study. She stated that she believes Mr. Kil mentioned that he has someone the Town would typically use for something like this, and she feels that the committee should determine what needs to be put together to converse with a consultant or multiple consultants.

Mr. Kil stated that if the EDC is just looking at doing a proposed land-use plan for US 231, he could invite a consultant to come to the next meeting. We can start with one, and if you all think that we should get one or two more, we can do that. There isn’t a limit on the number of presentations that the board can entertain from various companies or groups.

Ms. Fezler asked if Mr. Kil has someone in mind that would be willing to come in for the next meeting. Mr. Kil responded that the land-use planner that we typically use is The Arsh Group out of Merrillville, because they have a good understanding of Northwest Indiana as a whole. Mr. Kil noted that they did our Park Master Plan that was just done, so they have a good foundation, all the town maps, and a lot of things that we wouldn’t have to pay for again.

Mr. Kil stated that The Arsh Group is the company that does our impact fees, so they’ve been involved with the Town and know the community and are a logical place to start.

Ms. Fezler asked Mr. Kil if he would contact them about coming to the next meeting. Mr. Kil responded in the affirmative. Ms. Fezler stated that she will follow up with Mr. Kil to see if they confirm they can attend so she can put them on the agenda.

Mr. DeYoung asked if the EDC should wait and see what the new board will want the members to do as they may have a different direction.

Ms. Fezler asked him if he is speaking in regards to the study. Mr. DeYoung responded in the affirmative and stated that $10,000 may be available, but the new Council may want to do something different.

Mr. Kil noted that we are almost to September.

Ms. Fezler stated that we don’t have to commit to anything.

Mr. DeYoung stated to bring these people in for a free consultation for possible work; but he is not comfortable spending money until the new Council gives their guidance.

Mr. Kil stated that would be a policy call for this board to make; you are approved for $10,000 right now.

Mr. DeYoung stated that the new Council may have different ideas on that. Mr. Kil told Mr. DeYoung that he is right; they could.

Ms. Fezler stated the she thinks we should let them come in and do their presentation. If it doesn't cost us anything, we’re not making a commitment at that point; then we can proceed to discuss it further post presentation.

Mr. DeYoung stated that if it is all right with board, then let’s also invite some of those new people to gain some opinions from them.

Discussion ensued.

Mr. Keith stated that we should have the consultant come in, especially since they have all the information and the maps.

Ms. Fezler stated that everyone seems to be in agreement at this time, and that we should have a presentation in September, see how that presentation goes, and determine at the next meeting if we would like another consultant to come in the month of October and who that consultant is. After that, we will wait for the election and make a determination as to what to pursue for the remainder of the year.

Mr. Kil asked if he can have latitude to set the presentation by The Arsh Group for September or October depending on their availability. Ms. Fezler responded in the affirmative and asked that Mr. Kil let her know which meeting they will be able to attend.

Mr. Keith stated that questions he would have would springboard off of the Metrostudy of what we’re lacking; we need someone who will be able to tell us we will need X, Y, and Z with our rate of growth and a give good physical idea of location.

Mr. Kil stated that he will send the Opportunity Analysis to the consultant. He asked the members to keep in mind that our target market area in the study was Lake County.

Ms. Fezler noted that the road study was already done on the south corridor, so this is like an overlay in conjunction with the Opportunity Analysis.

REPORTS and CORRESPONDENCE:

Ms. Fezler advised the next item on the agenda is Reports and Correspondence and asked for the same.
A. Board Members
Mr. DeYoung reported that he brought a couple of gentlemen to meet with Mr. Kil. Mr. Kil stated that he is still in contact with those gentlemen.

Mr. DeYoung stated that he can’t say just how valuable Mr. Kil was in that process because he knows everything about this community; he’s done a good job.

Mr. Kil commented that this group has stayed in close contact, and they are becoming more interested in the community.

Ms. Fezler thanked Mr. DeYoung and Mr. Kil for their good work.

Mr. Keith stated that he is mixing a little bit of the residential in here; he has been talking to some friends of his that live in Burr Ridge, Illinois, about moving to St. John. The Continental may fulfill their needs for finding a comparable area to build homes and help entice them to come to St. John.

Mr. Kil stated that it is a gated community that will have high price points and should be very nice.

Ms. Fezler stated that for many folks in Illinois it’s a drop in the bucket compared to what they are paying now.

Mr. Keith commented that one guy is a former Bears player who is super nice and owns his own company; and it would be a nice fit for him.

B. Staff
Mr. Kil reported that INDOT will start the center turn lane project on US 231 in July of 2020. INDOT should be starting the Cline Avenue/US 231 project shortly. Everything that is done on US 231 is INDOT’s purview.

Mr. Keith asked if the Cline Avenue improvement includes a roundabout. Mr. Kil responded in the affirmative.

Ms. Fezler asked if that project is set to be completed before the end of the year. Mr. Kil responded in the negative.

Mr. Kil advised that once September hits, it is tough to start a big road project.

Mr. Keith asked if a new administration can come in and change the projects involving the State once they are in motion. Mr. Kil responded that there is probably some latitude until it gets to letting; however, once it gets to letting, it is essentially in process.

Mr. Kil stated that the projects that are on US 231, east of US 41, are all INDOT projects. The projects that we are involved with are those at Sheffield Avenue and 101st Avenue; Calumet Avenue and 109th Avenue, a.k.a. “Shoe Corner”; and Calumet Avenue and 101st Avenue.

Mr. Kil stated that once the State gets Cline Avenue done, the next big project will be Parrish Avenue. Once Parrish Avenue, Cline Avenue, and US 41 are completed, we will have a nice, unobstructed route for traffic flow.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

None was had.

ADJOURNMENT:

Ms. Fezler entertained a motion to adjourn the meeting. Motion to adjourn by Mr. DeYoung. Seconded by Mr. Keith. Motion carries 5 ayes to 0 nays.

(Ms. Fezler adjourned the meeting at 5:23 p.m.)

Respectfully submitted;

Margaret R. Abernathy, Recording Secretary
St. John Economic Development Committee

09-26-2019 Economic Development Committee Meeting Canceled
10-24-2019 Economic Development Committee Meeting Canceled

Meeting Audio Recordings

02-28-2019 Economic Development Committee

03-18-2019 Economic Development Committee

05-23-2019 Economic Development Committee

07-11-2019 Economic Development Committee

08-22-2019 Economic Development Committee

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