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Redevelopment Commission Meeting Minutes and Recordings 2019

Meeting Minutes

01-24-2019 Redevelopment Commission

January 24, 2019 Redevelopment Commission Meeting Minutes

Mark Barenie, President Gerald Swets Stephen Kil, Town Manager
Michael Forbes, Vice President Cindy Sues, Lake Central School Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer
TBD. Secretary James Sakalaris, Hanover School Corp  
Libby Popovic    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Barenie called the St. John Redevelopment Commission Special Meeting to order on January 24, 2019 at 8:33 p.m.

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by the Clerk-Treasurer with the following Board Members present: Mike Forbes, Libby Popovic, Gerald Swets, and Mark Barenie.

Staff Members present: Stephen Kil, Town Manager; Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer.

Absent: None.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Mr. Barenie advised that the next item on the agenda is Approval of Minutes from April 26, 2018 and November 29, 2018 and asked if there were any questions or comments on the same. Hearing none, he entertained a motion to approve the minutes.

Motion to approve the April and November meeting minutes by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Mr. Swets. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

NEW BUSINESS:

Mr. Barenie advised that the next item on the agenda is New Business.

Mr. Kil stated that he wanted to let everyone know that the Redevelopment Commission meetings will likely be fairly consistent in the future due to the projects that are going on; therefore, there will be matters coming before the board with more consistency.

BID AWARDS:

Mr. Barenie advised that the next items on the agenda are the Bid Awards.

Mr. Kil stated that the at the November 29, 2018 meeting, the Redevelopment Commission opened the bids for the building demolition; the 96th and Earl Drive Extension, which goes to the limit of the project and does not include the segment that connects to Joliet Street; and the intersection of 96th Place and US 41, which is where the traffic light would be installed.

Mr. Kil further noted that the bids are good for a period of 60 days; and the low bidders for each of the projects are before the board tonight.

Mr. Kil advised that each respective engineering firm has reviewed the bids. He further advised that Haas & Associates will handle the demolition and Earl Drive portion of the projects, and First Group Engineering is the engineering group that handles all the INDOT work and will handle the intersection improvement.

Mr. Kil stated that we are steadily moving forward with this project and that Mr. Boyer is present this evening. Mr. Boyer and the Town have been working in collaboration with one another to assure all items are in order. At this point, the board could consider the bid awards to the contractors in the amounts as outlined on the agenda tonight.

Mr. Kil advised that any bid that is awarded should be made contingent upon the recordation of the vacation documents for Standard Commercial Center Unit 1 and Standard Commercial Center Unit 2, the previous subdivisions that were recorded, and the recordation of the final plat for Shops 96, which may happen in the next day or so.

Mr. Kil stated that the members have a copy of the letter from Centier Bank indicating that they will be issuing the Letter of Credit on behalf of Shops 96 as well as an Economic Development Agreement that was signed with Mr. Boyer which guaranties that he will perform X-amount of work.

Mr. Kil advised the board that they need to make a finding that the letter received from Centier Bank and the Economic Development Agreement provide the Town with the surety that is required. Mr. Kil reiterated that any bid award on the project should be subject to the recordation of the proper documents as it will allow the Town to have the property to award the contracts.

Mr. Forbes asked if a separate motion regarding the surety is needed. Mr. Kil responded that he would recommend that the board make a finding on the surety and a contingency upon the recordation of the proper plats and vacation documents to ensure that the Town has the property dedicated to it.

Mr. Barenie stated that Mr. Svetanoff was on their conference call and asked if he had anything to add. Mr. Svetanoff stated that everything that Mr. Kil stated was discussed on the conference call with the Town Council.

Mr. Svetanoff advised that condition on the recordation and the finding on the surety coupled with the Economic Development Agreement are the things necessary to take action on and move forward on the bid awards if the board is so inclined.

Mr. Barenie asked for any further questions or comments from the board. None was had.

Mr. Barenie entertained a motion.

Motion to acknowledge the letter from Centier Bank regarding the intent of the surety bond, which is in progress, and acknowledge the commitments made in the Economic Development Agreement, which ensures that the items covered by the Letter of Credit will be addressed and binds Mr. Boyer to said improvements, by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Mr. Swets. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

Mr. Svetanoff advised that any bid award is conditional on recordation. Mr. Forbes agreed to do that as part of every motion.

A. 2018-2019 Building Demolition Improvement Project
Mr. Barenie advised that the next item on the agenda is to award the 2018-2019 Building Demolition Improvement Project to the lowest, most responsive and responsible bidder, Alliance Demolition and Excavation Services, Inc., in the amount of $258,460.

Motion to award the bid to the lowest, most responsive and responsible bidder, the same being Alliance Demolition and Excavation Services, Inc., in the amount of $258,460, contingent upon recordation of the plat for Shops 96 and the vacation of plats for Standard Commercial Center Units 1 and 2, approved by the Plan Commission, by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Ms. Popovic. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

B. 2018-2019 West 96th Place and Earl Drive Extension Project
Mr. Barenie advised that the next item on the agenda is to award the 2018-2019 West 96th Place and Earl Drive Extension Project to the lowest, most responsive and responsible bidder, Grimmer Construction, Inc., in the amount of $1,050,502.88.

Motion to award the bid to the lowest, most responsive and responsible bidder, the same being Grimmer Construction, Inc., in the amount of $1,050,502.88, contingent upon recordation of the plat for Shops 96 and the vacation of plats for Standard Commercial Center Units 1 and 2, approved by the Plan Commission, by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Ms. Popovic. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

C. 2018-2019 West 96th Place and U.S. 41 Intersection Improvement Project
Mr. Barenie advised that the next item on the agenda is to award the 2018-2019 West 96th Place and US 41 Intersection Improvement Project to the lowest, most responsive and responsible bidder, Alliance Demolition and Excavation Services, Inc., in the amount of $1,818,739.51.

Motion to award the bid to the lowest, most responsive and responsible bidder, the same being Rieth-Riley Construction Co, Inc., in the amount of $1,818,739.51, contingent upon recordation of the plat for Shops 96 and the vacation of plats for Standard Commercial Center Units 1 and 2, approved by the Plan Commission, by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Ms. Popovic. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

REPORTS and CORRESPONDENCE:

Mr. Barenie advised that the next item on the agenda is Reports and Correspondence and asked for the same.

Mr. Kil reported that he has confirmed with Mr. Boyer that upon the board's awarding of the bids, we can begin demolition on the old car wash and the house directly to the south. The second phase will be the demolition of the lumberyard buildings, except the Malt Brothers building, which will remain open until the new building is constructed.

In response to a comment made earlier in the evening at a prior meeting, Mr. Kil stated that every business in Shops 96 will have a meter and pay a water bill. Mr. Boyer will run the water lines to the buildings, and the tenants will pay the water bills.

Mr. Kil commented that there is not one business or residence in this community that doesn't have to pay their own water bill.

Mr. Kil thanked everyone for doing their part in getting this project to this exciting stage.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Barenie opened the floor for Public Comment.

Joe Hero (11723 South Oakridge Drive): I – I want to say that I – I believe that the taxpayers, through TIF, or however they're doing it, to fund this is just a waste of our money. To put a road and pay for the intersection of 96th going – it's going to Joliet one way or another.

All we're doing is helping a private developer with our money, whether it's TIF, taxes, whatever it is. And I – I object to that philosophy. All the developers in town, when they put a subdivision in, they pay for everything. Here we singled out one person to be special, and we don't treat everybody else the same.

With these TIF projects, they should be bid and – competitively bid for different sections. So I object to spending the taxpayer's dollar through TIF, or however you want to call it, to benefit one LLC. And, uh, you got two lawyers sitting up there, and you know what can happen with an LLC.

And I would ask for an independent appraisal of what the surety bond should be other than taking Haas or somebody's word on this for the whole project. What is the liability of the Town if this thing fails? What if it gets incomplete? There's up times economically and down times, so I think this whole project it – it just benefits special people, special places, and I don't think that should be the philosophy of this Town.

Everybody should be treated equally. If there's other businesses that want TIF money, they should competitively bid for their projects; and they should be evaluated that way. Thank you.

Mr. Kil responded that this is not the first time we have used TIF funding in this Town. Strack's and Target were done as part of a TIF project. That bond was issued; and the debt was paid off seven years early.

Mr. Kil advised that the debt being issued for this project does not rely on Mr. Boyer's project being constructed. Enough money is being generated in the TIF District right now to cover the bond. The money generated is not residential property tax dollars but is paid by commercial entities that are located in the TIF District.

Mr. Kil explained for the edification of the public that a TIF District is where tax revenue generated by the commercial entities in that district are captured and used by the Town against debt issuance to build public improvement projects.

Mr. Kil advised that we are not giving Mr. Boyer money for buildings; the Town is building public roads.

Mr. Kil further advised that TIF is a wonderful tool that has zero impact on the taxes of the residential property owners in the community and is widely used throughout the State.

Hearing none further, Mr. Barenie closed the floor to Public Comment.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Barenie entertained a motion to adjourn. Motion to adjourn by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Mr. Swets. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

(Mr. Barenie adjourned the meeting at 8:52 p.m.)

Respectfully submitted:

Margaret R. Abernathy, Recording Secretary
St. John Redevelopment Commission

02-28-2019 Redevelopment Commission

February 28, 2019 Redevelopment Commission Meeting Minutes

Mark Barenie, President Gerald Swets Stephen Kil, Town Manager
Michael Forbes, Vice President Cindy Sues, Lake Central School Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer
Rose Hejl, Secretary James Sakalaris, Hanover School Corp Joseph Svetanoff, Town Attorney
Libby Popovic    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Barenie called the St. John Redevelopment Commission Special Meeting to order on February 28, 2019, at 7:14 p.m.

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by the Clerk-Treasurer with the following Board Members present: Michael Forbes, Rose Hejl, Libby Popovic, Gerald Swets, and Mark Barenie.

Staff Members present: Stephen Kil, Town Manager; Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer; and Joseph Svetanoff, Town Attorney.

Absent: None.

ELECTION OF OFFICERS

President:

Nomination for Mark Barenie as President by Ms. Hejl. Seconded by Ms. Popovic. Nomination carries 5 ayes to 0 nays.

Vice-President:

Nomination for Michael Forbes Vice-President by Ms. Hejl. Seconded by Ms. Popovic. Nomination carries 5 ayes to 0 nays.

Secretary:

Nomination for Rose Hejl as Secretary by Ms. Popovic. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion carries 5 ayes to 0 nays.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Mr. Barenie advised that the next item on the agenda is Approval of Minutes from January 24, 2019, and asked if there were any questions or comments on the same. Hearing none, he entertained a motion to approve the minutes.

Motion to approve the minutes by Ms. Hejl. Seconded by Mr. Swets. Motion carries 5 ayes to 0 nays.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Barenie opened the floor for Public Comment.

Thomas Thiel (9520 Joliet Street): I represent the Thiel Cabinet Shop. Um, I’m commenting on the project 96 situation. There was a, uh, article in the Hammond Times February 10 of this year in which Mr. Kil said, “We are sensitive to the needs of businesses.” That is not true. That’s not even close. You are not sensitive to businesses. The Town’s plans include a roundabout that will seize a large portion of the Thiel Cabinet Shop property. That’s a 95-year-old business in St. John; and you’re saying that you are sensitive to that business. I disagree.

At the October 3, 2018 Town Council meeting, Mr. Boyer, project 96 developer, was specifically asked whether the roundabout was essential to his project. Without hesitation, he said no. So let me get this straight, Town Council funds were sent to the County Clerk to begin the roundabout process?

On Monday of this week, surveyors arrived at the Thiel Cabinet Shop property and staked out soil-boring sample areas and approximate property lines for this roundabout. Today, tree removers came without our knowledge or notice or approval and removed a tree from our land. No one from the Town informed us about this, but we are sensitive to the business needs. Not true, not even close.

It is our understanding that the funds sent to the clerk to have started this process had to be voted on before this process began; but your agenda says that the voting will occur tonight. There’s something wrong with this picture; isn’t there? Why did you start the roundabout process without the funds being voted on? Oh, we’ll approve it, then all will be right. Is that the – the way that works in the United States?

Well, in my perspective as a tax payer in St. John, the Town officials – elected, appointed, and sometimes hired – made the – this town look like a third-world country, doing whatever it wants regardless of the law. Why? Is it because the Town has deep pockets? We’re opposing those; and those people have – are just collateral damage?

So I ask, why – why do you do things by the law? Will you do them by the law? Will you do things that are in the best interest of the little guys? Will you just stop this necessary land grab for a roundabout that even Mr. Boyer said it’s not needed? Finally, the Town has devoted $1 million plus for this roundabout that Mr. Boyer said is not needed but was willing to spend less than $50,000 for the land underneath it. This seems backwards.

The whole process suddenly was conceived by power brokers from, as I said, a third-world country. I think we’re better than Venezuela. Finally, I’m really disappointed, and I would like the – the meeting minutes for the town of, uh, for the city of St. John action of this process to be read in the meeting, into the minutes. But based upon the fact that minutes are voted on from last year, or five years ago, I’m not holding my breath. Thank you for listening.

Joe Hero (11723 South Oakridge Drive): In order not to use up too much time, I will adopt everything he just said as my beginning. But really what I’m looking at here is on the Town Council meeting, there’s checks that have already been issued and cashed; and tonight, these checks are to be voted on by the Town Council. Even though this is Redevelopment, you people have the same issue; so I think two are tied together, redevelopment and these checks.

We have an attorney here who used to work for the state’s attorney in Illinois. I would urge you not to vote to – for these checks. They have already been issued. You haven’t approved them. If you go and approve these checks tonight, someone might think your part of, if there was some wrongdoing in issuing these checks, part of that. And it’s important that you protect your reputation; so take a look at the bills to be paid tonight.

There are checks that have been authorized by certain individuals in this town, and I don’t think anybody on this Council authorized them. And if you look at the bills to be paid on the Town Council agenda, there’s – there’s checks about the Parada property, the Thiel property, properties this gentlemen just talked about. I would like to see the Police Chief initiate an investigation on whether these checks were authorized, who authorized them, and to see if any laws were broken.

And if you don’t want to get in the middle of this, ask the sheriff to do that. And if he doesn't want to do it, get the state police. Investigate why these checks have already been cashed, who had the authority to do it, and explain it to me if I don’t know the reason. Thank you.

Ms. Popovic stated that there are a number of allegations that warrant a little bit of clearing up and asked Mr. Kil give the pertinent and correct information regarding the issuance of the checks and the process involved.

Mr. Kil responded that everyone is aware of the Shops 96 project and understands that it’s going to call for the demolition of the old car wash, the old house to the south of the car wash, the old Standard Lumber building, and the old house to the north of that. The project has three components: One is a new traffic signal at 96th Avenue; then, 96th Avenue will be run to Joliet Street and, as Mr. Thiel said, a roundabout. That will become the east-west route. As far as property acquisition goes, the Thiel Cabinet Shop, itself, is not being touched; there is a vacant piece of property next to the cabinet shop that is the parcel of property the Town is acquiring.

Mr. Kil advised that we are not taking anybody’s businesses or homes, and to say we are is 100 percent incorrect. He further advised that the only acquisitions being made are for vacant property to allow for the roadway improvements to be done.

Mr. Kil stated that, in response to Mr. Hero’s question, the property acquisition for this project was approved several months ago by vote of the Town Council. Property cannot be acquired without paying for it; so to say it is fraudulent or make false allegations is utterly ridiculous. Mr. Kil advised that we have had legal counsel for this whole process and that our bond counsel is Barnes & Thornburg, which is the largest law firm in the state.

Ms. Popovic asked if there is any merit regarding the argument about cashing the checks. Mr. Kil responded in the negative.

Ms. Popovic asked if the minutes that Mr. Hero referred to were voted on months ago and are public record. Mr. Kil responded in the affirmative and stated that Mr. Hero was here when the Town Council voted to acquire the property. Mr. Barenie added that they are posted on our website.

Ms. Popovic asked Mr. Kil to speak about the tendering of the checks. Mr. Kil advised that the checks were tendered to the Town Attorney. Ms. Popovic asked if that is the process that should happen. Mr. Kil responded that it is the process that must happen and that those checks are then tendered to the Circuit Court Clerk.

Ms. Popovic asked if it would be impermissible if the checks were not tendered to the Attorney first and then to the Clerk. Mr. Kil confirmed she was correct and stated that it is the proper procedure to follow for property acquisitions.

Mr. Kil advised that the Town Council authorized the acquisition of the properties, and the property cannot be acquired without tendering payment. He further advised that the payment was tendered to the Circuit Court Clerk and now appears on a docket for the authorization of that payment, all of which is standard protocol.

Ms. Popovic asked if this is the same process that other municipal councils use. Mr. Kil responded in the affirmative and stated this this process is uniform across the State of Indiana. He further stated that we are in full accordance with the law.

Mr. Kil advised that, while Mr. Boyer is correct that the roundabout is not needed for Shops 96, we are trying to improve a traffic problem. He further advised that the extension of 96th Place and the roundabout at Joliet Street are not improvements for the benefit of Shops 96; it is rerouting an east-west road through town to eliminate the most dangerous intersection we have. There will be a median at Joliet Street and US 41 eliminating all left-hand turns, and the highway is going to be widened as well providing dual left-turn lanes to take the new 96th Place extension to Joliet Street.

Mr. Barenie stated that for the last fifteen years, Mr. Hero has said things just like this that are not true and has not come back and proved us wrong.

Mr. Barenie asked Mr. Forbes if he had anything to add. Mr. Forbes concurred with Mr. Barenie and stated that this is more minutia that is constantly thrown at us.

Mr. Barenie advised that this road-improvement project has been studied for years to improve the safety of the Joliet Street and US 41 intersection; and we have done our best to make that happen. Mr. Barenie stated that three of the Town Council members are new; however, there are three Town officials who have spent a tremendous amount of time making sure that this investment would be safe and beneficial for the residents.

Mr. Forbes thanked Mr. Kil for clarifying the issue. Mr. Forbes stated that Mr. Boyer did say that he did not need those improvements for Shops 96; however, that is part of the partnership between the Town and Mr. Boyer. Mr. Forbes noted that our partnership with Mr. Boyer gave us the ability to correct these traffic issues.

Mr. Barenie stated that Mr. Boyer’s concern is his business; but we are thinking more about the safety of our residents.

Tim Wolf (8279 Meadow Court): On this question, um, since Joliet is the un – most unsafe intersection in St. John, why has the Council not gone to the State and asked for a stoplight at Joliet? Why?

(Mr. Forbes stated that we have.)

I heard – I heard that you didn’t want a stoplight at Joliet.

(Mr. Kil responded that we have asked INDOT repeatedly to place a traffic signal there; they will not do it.)

Did you ever ask for a petition of the taxpayers of St. John?

(Mr. Forbes responded that it doesn't matter. Mr. Kil stated that INDOT operates by the Uniform Traffic Control Manual. If an intersection or road doesn't fit within the parameters of that manual, they will not authorize the improvement.)

Even if you pay for it?

(Mr. Kil stated that it doesn't matter who pays for it if it doesn't meet the strict parameters outlined in the manual.)

In Golden Pond, we have to go through a parking lot to get to a stoplight, and this is – is going to be the second road that has to go through a parking lot to get to a stoplight, and I don’t agree with that. What, are we going to be known as the town that sends everybody through parking lots to get through stop – to get to stoplights?

(Mr. Kil responded that he spoke with many of Mr. Wolf’s neighbors, and they were ecstatic when access to a traffic signal was offered to them. They went out of their way to send the Town emails. It isn’t the most ideal situation; however, INDOT refused to put a light at the entrance to Golden Pond; and we tried to give access to a light.)

We have a dedicated street in Golden Pond to Lake Central Plaza – Lake Central Drive.

(Mr. Kil responded that we simply tried to give the residents there access to a light.)

Through a parking lot.

(Mr. Kil responded that it is behind a building and through some of the businesses; but we did the best we could.)

Through – through an alley of a parking lot. You had – you could have taken – Denny Meyers had two lots that he would have lost that would have gone to Lake Central Drive to get to a dedicated street to – up to that stoplight.

(Mr. Kil responded that Mr. Wolf is right, and we wanted to do that; however, the homeowners association of Golden Pond told us that they emphatically did not want that road opened up.)

They were misdirected (multiple speakers – indiscernible) public safety issue.

(Mr. Kil stated that he agrees and that we wanted to open it up.)

Mr. Barenie notified Mr. Wolf that he is past his time limit.

Dan Gherghe (9310 Northcote Avenue): On the 9th of this month, again, the – the water main broke on the north side for the second time, and it flooded the entire area and my basement again. Uh, you’ve called, uh, Redbud, uh, landscaping to do the repairs several years back cause this is not the first time it flooded my residence. Well, they done a very poor job. All the pine trees that they planted have dried, so I wasn't made whole.

Now they’ve also excavated to repair the, uh – and they destroyed some of the trees to get access to the, um –

(Mr. Kil interrupted Mr. Gherghe to tell him that if there are repairs or restoration to be done, the Town will see that it’s done.)

Not Redbud. Not Redbud; I want Alsip this time. Alsip over there, the store, the, um –

(Mr. Kil asked if Alsip has a landscape crew.)

Yes, it does; yes, it does. Yes, it does; I checked with them. Pick up the phone and dial the number. (multiple speakers – indiscernible) They may grease your gear; but they’re not greasing my gear. I want to do business with someone else. Repair my lawn the way it was before. Replace the trees that you’ve damaged when – when you’ve excavated the ground. I want, uh, magnolia trees now. Since you’re incapable to – to replace the pine tree – they told me, oh, it’s water underneath. What do you expect, oil? If I find oil, I may put a pump over there. Watch and see.

(Mr. Kil advised that water main breaks happen in the winter.)

Then repair what you’ve damaged.

(Mr. Kil stated that we will, but it’s the middle of winter.)

Yeah, but Redbud comes –

(Mr. Kil stated that we can look for another landscaping company to come out.)

What about the pumps that – that have burned out? They seized the motor – seized them, some of them.

(Mr. Barenie asked about the pumps.)

Yeah, the pumps inside my basement, sump pump and sewage too.

(Mr. Barenie suggested replacing them.)

I did, yeah; but it’s because of the – from 4 in the – in the afternoon until 10, all that water have to go somewhere. It didn’t go – it didn’t make a U-turn. It didn’t go over. It went into the basement and couldn’t keep up with them, the quantity of water. And this is the second time I have to come over here and complain about it.

Make me whole again. Tell him what it means to make me whole as I was before it happened; otherwise, you’re going to go to Crown Point. Okay. We go to Crown Point, and I’m going to ask for a lot more. Watch and see. Don’t make me whole, see what’s going to happen. I’m going to go and take legal action since you have millions. Okay. Thank you.

Hearing none further, Mr. Barenie closed the floor to Public Comment.

NEW BUSINESS:

A. Consider Acceptance and Approval of the Annual Report to the Executive and Fiscal Body for CY 2018
Mr. Barenie advised that the next item on the agenda is to consider the acceptance and approval of the Annual Report to the Executive and Fiscal Body for calendar year 2018.

Motion to accept the annual report to the Executive and Fiscal Body for 2018 by Ms. Hejl. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion carries 5 ayes to 0 nays.

B. Resolution No. 2019-02-28 RDC
Mr. Barenie advised that the next item on the agenda is Resolution No. 2019-02-28 RDC, a resolution to approve the annual notice to the Lake County Auditor for the Capture of Assessment for the January 1, 2019 Assessment Date.

Motion to adopt Resolution No. 2019-02-28 RDC by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Ms. Hejl. Motion carries 5 ayes to 0 nays.

REPORTS and CORRESPONDENCE:

None was had.

PAYMENT OF THE BILLS:

Mr. Barenie advised that the next item on the agenda is the payment of the bills.

Ms. Hernandez advised that there are two dockets.

Mr. Kil advised that the total of the two dockets are $218,332.35.

Motion to pay the bills by Ms. Hejl. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion carries 4 ayes to 1 nay by Mr. Swets.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Barenie entertained a motion to adjourn. Motion to adjourn by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Ms. Hejl. Motion carries 5 ayes to 0 nays.

(Mr. Barenie adjourned the meeting at 7:39 p.m.)

Respectfully submitted:

Margaret R. Abernathy, Recording Secretary
St. John Redevelopment Commission

03-18-2019 Redevelopment Commission

March 18, 2019 Redevelopment Commission Meeting Minutes

Mark Barenie, President Gerald Swets Stephen Kil, Town Manager
Michael Forbes, Vice President Cindy Sues, Lake Central School Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer
Rose Hejl, Secretary James Sakalaris, Hanover School Corp Joseph Svetanoff, Town Attorney
Libby Popovic    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Barenie called the St. John Redevelopment Commission Special Meeting to order on March 18, 2019, at 7:08 p.m.

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by the Chief Deputy Clerk-Treasurer with the following Board Members present: Michael Forbes, Rose Hejl, Libby Popovic, Gerald Swets, and Mark Barenie.

Staff Members present: Stephen Kil, Town Manager; Marilyn Hrnjak, Chief Deputy Clerk-Treasurer on behalf of Ms. Hernandez; and Joseph Svetanoff, Town Attorney.

Absent: Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Mr. Barenie advised that the next item on the agenda is Approval of Minutes from February 28, 2019, and asked if there were any questions or comments on the same. Hearing none, he entertained a motion to approve the minutes.

Motion to approve the minutes by Ms. Hejl. Seconded by Ms. Popovic. Motion carries 5 ayes to 0 nays.

REDEVELOPMENT COMMISSION CORRESPONDENCE AND REPORTS:

Mr. Barenie advised that the next item on the agenda is Redevelopment Commission Correspondence and Reports.

Mr. Barenie stated that we recently spoke with Mark Hoffman with Garden Commercial Properties of New Jersey regarding the Kmart property about the possibility of getting that building torn down in conjunction with the work being done for Shops 96. Mr. Hoffman seems optimistic for the first time in the many years about that property.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Barenie opened the floor for Public Comment.

Mirko Zagorac (10965 Thielen Street): I left some pictures for you guys. I don’t know what they’re doing, that – surveyors, and even I saw some Public Works trucks going behind my garage. I mean they tore up the back there, and they’re tearing it up all the way – I don’t know why, what they’re doing back there. I took some pictures there to just show you guys. I did leave a copy of those at Public Works about three weeks ago. Nobody got ahold of me. That’s why I decided I would bring it up to you guys, you know, see what we could do.

I had, uh, Max from Cutting Edge – he takes care of my yard and everything. He came out. He said, “I can’t do nothing back there. I’ll have to charge you about $150 to level it out, fill it out.” So that’s where I stand; and he plans on next week coming and rake the yard and that. So he won’t be doing nothing on that side of the garage for me then. So I just figured I’d bring it up to you guys and see, you know, if we could get something done for next week one day before he comes and, uh, starts raking and getting it cleaned up.

(Ms. Popovic asked if he was there more than one time.)

Who – who?

(Ms. Popovic clarified in his yard from the pictures.)

Oh, I saw, couple times, I saw the, like a white van and that. Then I did see a couple times Public Works truck pull in there; and you know, different – it wasn't just public trucks. But I think it was the guys – I seen them walk east in front of Tom’s house. I think they were putting them stakes and everything. I think It was also surveyors. And they parked there to walk straight across.

(Ms. Popovic thanked him for the information.)

So I got – thank you.

Joe Hero (11723 South Oakridge Drive): I’m looking on – under Payment of Bills; you have a bill there for Austgen, Kuiper, um, it’s part of TIF. It says, “Meyer LC Plaza Project”. Is this part of the Guzzo suit? Is that what this bill is for? There – there’s like on here somebody’s attached an affidavit that everybody on this Council has looked at all the vouchers and understand what they’re for.

(Mr. Barenie stated that is correct.)

Okay. Can you explain to me what that pro – what that bill is for? Is that for that Guzzo suit where they did the transfer from the Appellate Court to the Supreme Court; or is this something else?

(Mr. Kil stated that’s correct. Mr. Barenie concurred.)

What, the Guzzo suit, Supreme Court? So now it’s going to Supreme Court. Then the question is this: Since the issue is whether they’re going to pay this guy market value, 100%, 150%, if it’s residential; 125% if it’s farm; how much money have we spent in legal fees to shave points for – for these small margins over multiple years? Can somebody tell me how much we’ve spent, total, on this now?

(Mr. Barenie stated that he doesn't believe we have an up-to-date ledger on that matter. Mr. Kil stated that it would take researching the bills from Attorney Austgen’s office.)

Well, somebody must have a ballpark figure. This thing has been hanging with the lawyers for a long time; and recently, you did a new contract with Mr. Austgen. And – and this has got to be running a lot of money in attorney’s fees; and I – my question is, are the attorney fees greater than the points that you’re shaving or trying to shave or save? How come this hasn’t been resolved quickly to save on attorneys’ fees?

You guys – there’s an affidavit now that you got to understand these vouchers. I would think somebody would have a total cost of attorneys’ fees to know how – how much quicksand you’re in. Is this well worth doing, or what’s going on here? Are we enriching the attorneys, or are we saving some – 10 cents for the Town? That’s – I need an answer for that. Thank you. Anybody want to answer that?

(Ms. Popovic responded that we can look into that. We don’t have it right away. There were a lot of issues that were brought between us that involved various attorneys for various Town matters. She added that it is a point well-taken and that we can look into that.)

Well, this – this is – this says “Meyer LC Plaza”. This is one – one case, I take. Okay.

(Ms. Popovic stated that it is, but we will have to take a look at it.)

Okay. Now – now I see the Clerk-Treasurer is – is going to have you guys sign something like an affidavit that you understand what all these vouchers are; so I would assume that every board member here would understand that and be able to answer that. I – I respect your answer, but I’m just saying it raises a lot of issues. Are we just running up attorneys’ fees and saving nothing? That’s the issue. So if you’d research that and maybe get back to me in writing, I would appreciate that. Thank you.

Tom Parada (9535 Joliet Street): I’m actually here to, kind of, address all of you about something, okay. I do have something to add about the Guzzo case. Does anybody know if it was accepted by the super – by the Supreme Court for consideration, cause the hearing was last Thursday?

(Mr. Kil responded in the affirmative.)

Okay, they did accept it. Let me make a point here, okay. As listening to, uh, the Guzzo’s lawyer – and I know he’s not the final say here – he does a lot of work for – municipal work for the town Evansville. And since 14 years, there’s been post-Kelo legislation, and every – every state has their own view of that. Okay. Four states – I’m going to try to shorten this up because there are other things I want to say. Four states have an A rating; we have a B rating.

But what I’m going to ask you is – I’m in the middle of one of these, too; and you know, Mike, Mike Forbes, I don’t know how many times you’ve accused me of being uncivil. And, you know what, I’m sorry if that’s what I was; but I tell you what, put yourself I my place. I’m 44 years old; Mr. Kil comes to my house, sends two people out to appraise my property and wants to give me $3100 -- $31,000.

And let me just say something that has needed to be said for a long time: Steve, had you not been greedy, me not knowing any better, and you gave me a good offer, I’d be gone, not knowing any better, not knowing that my – my neighbors and my friends were going to stand up for me and start the same homeowner – and start the homeowners PAC. So if the homeowners PAC causes you guys problems, that’s why it is.

And I’m appealing to all of you; you have the ability to stop this right now. You’ve got the Thiel’s Cabinet Shop right across the street from me. They’ve been there for 75 years. They’re good people; they’re good Christians. There’s – they’re pillars of the community, okay. You got a guy across from me, served our country well. He’s a Marine; he was a Marine for 25 years. The amount of property you want to take from him is minimal, but the problem is it’s his property. We should not have to fight and fight and fight to get what we deserve.

Now, Mr. Kil sends out the two – the same two low-life appraisers every single time. He uses, uh, Tom Bochnowski; and he uses Eenshuistra from, um, Roselawn or DeMotte. These guys came in; they took pictures of my house, none of the – none of the description fits the pictures. They said I had a collapsing basement. I don’t have a collapsing basement, and there’s no picture that shows that. But my point about this whole thing: The fi – the five of you sitting up there, you have the power to put a stop to this; and I want to know that when I’m 68 years old, if I’m supposed to be expected to have cars coming within 25 feet of my house, constant headlights coming in my house.

(Mr. Barenie issued a 10-second warning.)

Okay. Constant traffic zooming by my house; I’m 68 years old. These are supposed to be my golden years. This is what I have to look forward to? This isn’t right. I’ve been here 60 years. I never caused anybody any trouble. Some people tried to slur my reputation about – Mike knows what it’s about. He – he can tell you what it’s all about, because it was Michelle Haluska who tried to start the problem.

(Mr. Barenie instructed Mr. Parada to wrap it up.)

You had warned me about –

(Mr. Barenie stated that Mr. Parada had mentioned 44 years and that he couldn’t follow what he was talking about.)

44, what?

(Mr. Swets asked if he meant 64. Ms. Popovic stated that she thought he meant when he was 44. Mr. Swets said, “When you were talking about your age in the beginning, I believe you meant to say 64.”)

No. No. I’ve been here for 60 years. I don’t’ even think I said 44. But my point is just this – you know what, you got a good town here; you truly do. Exercise your rights to go to bat for these people. All right. Okay.

Paul Panczuk (8410 Magnolia): I honestly didn’t know Tom would be here tonight and – and make that statement. Um, but I did want to approach the RDC about the land taking and the roundabout. Um, I think rerouting Joliet’s a good idea. I think it fixes a safety hazard in town. I – I – I think it’s a great idea, actually. Um, I also think it’s a great idea to come up with an amicable agreement with residents before taking their property, and it seems like there should be a way to meet a compromise.

There’s been a lot of damage done over the years, apparently; and folks are pretty upset about it, and rightfully so. It’s their property. Um, there’s an alternative. It’s been suggested and cast off so many times; and it would just be a three-point intersection. And as an example – I’m going to state it for public record – if you’re in Dyer and you turn north on Hart Street from US 30, you round a corner where the traffic flows, or you can optionally turn off.

And the exact same scenario for an intersection would work perfectly there and take a whole lot less property. It wouldn’t take any from Mr. Parada at all. It’d leave him alone; it would probably work a lot better for Thiel. But they would have the final say in that; it’s their property. So, um, I ask that you go back to the drawing board and look at the intersection and see if there’s some kind of a compromise that could be met, uh, to make all parties happy.

Um, on another subject, I do have one more question regarding the Kmart, the tearing down. So it was a little vague, the information given. Is – is the tearing down of the Kmart the, um, expense for that being bundled into the TIF for Shops 96? That’s what it seemed you were implying.

(Mr. Barenie stated that it would not be bundled in, it would be an independent. Mr. Kil explained that the demolition information has been supplied to the owner of the Kmart building and he has been encouraged to contact them regarding possibly tearing down the Kmart building at the same time, so it would be cheaper for him. Mr. Kil added that it is the Town Council’s desire for that building to be tore down, and that information has been relayed to Mr. Hoffman, the owner of the Kmart site.)

So at this point, you’re just suggesting – you’re connecting the dots. Okay. I wasn’t sure. It was just a vague statement, so I was just looking for clarification.

(Mr. Barenie stated that this is the most positive it’s been for many years.)

Okay, very good. Thank you.

Hearing none further, Mr. Barenie closed the floor to Public Comment.

Mr. Swets asked Mr. Kil if, in regards to Mr. Zagorac’s property, Mr. Zagorac should go to Public Works and talk about fixing the ruts. Mr. Kil responded that he wrote it down; that he is not sure why the ruts are there or who caused them; and that he has to get to the bottom of it.

Mr. Swets stated that Mr. Zagorac needs to know if there is a next step or if he needs to hire a landscaper. Mr. Kil responded that, if we caused it, we will fix it.

Mr. Barenie stated that he believes Mr. Zagorac mentioned they were our Public Works’ trucks. Mr. Kil stated that he has to find out, and if it happened in the winter, it won’t be repaired until the sometime in April or May.

Mr. Zagorac spoke from his seat in the audience and stated that his landscaper will be coming out next week to rake the lawn and fertilize it. He said that he can’t do anything by that side of at the garage. He would have to bring the backhoe, and it would probably run about $150. Mr. Kil asked Mr. Zagorac to give him time to check with Public Works.

NEW BUSINESS:

None was had.

REPORTS and CORRESPONDENCE:

Mr. Forbes responded to Mr. Panczuk’s comments and stated that Denny Cobb just reviewed the plans again and that Mr. Cobb’s recommendation is still the roundabout.

Mr. Kil stated that Mr. Forbes is correct and that Denny Cobb, our traffic engineer who is with First Group Engineering, just looked at that again; Mr. Cobb looked at a few different designs, and his recommendation was to stay the course of the original recommendation, which is the roundabout.

Mr. Kil offered to send Mr. Panczuk a copy of Mr. Cobb’s letter.

Ms. Popovic asked Mr. Kil to clarify that accounts for additional safety concerns for that particular area. Mr. Kil responded that he had spoken with Mr. Swets about this, and we asked our traffic engineer to take a look at some alternatives. Mr. Cobb looked at all of the alternatives and ultimately still recommended the roundabout.

Mr. Barenie asked about the access points on the roundabout. Mr. Kil explained that there are three roads and one driveway with an access point to the roundabout.

Mr. Parada spoke from his seat in the audience and said he did read the opinion about the roundabout still being best. He then said, “That is also taking into the profitability of how this all works. In other words, if that can’t be put on Thiel’s property, it’s got to be moved over to Mr. Forbes’ property – not Mr. Forbes, Mr. Boyer’s property. The problem is, with eminent domain, you don’t get to take profit – you don’t get to take property for profitability, no matter how much, in whatever case it is – no matter how much it varies or improves economic health of the Town, it is not part of the criteria. Utilities, yes; public roads, yes. When it comes to the profitability, profitability, absolutely not. And if you don’t believe me, next time I come here, I’ll – I’ll bring (inaudible).”

Mr. Forbes responded that this has nothing to do with the profitability of the Shops 96. It has everything to do with the safety, which is why we are putting –

Mr. Parada interrupted Mr. Forbes several times as he tried to explain the safety of the road and roundabout. Mr. Barenie told Mr. Parada that he was given his opportunity to speak. Mr. Parada’s outbursts continued, and Mr. Forbes told Mr. Barenie that there is no point in continuing.

PAYMENT OF THE BILLS:

Mr. Barenie advised that the next item on the agenda is the payment of the bills.

Motion to pay the bills in the amount of $9,804.80 by Mr. Swets. Seconded by Ms. Popovic. Motion carries 4 ayes to 1 nay by Mr. Forbes as there was no docket in his packet.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Barenie entertained a motion to adjourn. Motion to adjourn by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Ms. Popovic. Motion carries 5 ayes to 0 nays.

(Mr. Barenie adjourned the meeting at 7:31 p.m.)

Respectfully submitted:

Margaret R. Abernathy, Recording Secretary
St. John Redevelopment Commission

04-17-2019 Redevelopment Commission

April 17, 2019 Redevelopment Commission Meeting Minutes

Mark Barenie, President Gerald Swets Stephen Kil, Town Manager
Michael Forbes, Vice President Cindy Sues, Lake Central School Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer
Rose Hejl, Secretary James Sakalaris, Hanover School Corp Joseph Svetanoff, Town Attorney
Libby Popovic    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Barenie called the St. John Redevelopment Commission Special Meeting to order on April 17, 2019, at 6:01 p.m.

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by the Clerk-Treasurer with the following Board Members present: Michael Forbes, Rose Hejl, Libby Popovic, Cindy Sues, Gerald Swets, and Mark Barenie. Staff Members present: Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer; and Joseph Svetanoff, Town Attorney.

Absent: Stephen Kil, Town Manager.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Mr. Barenie advised that the next item on the agenda is Approval of Minutes from March 18, 2019.

Motion to approve the minutes by Ms. Hejl. Seconded by Ms. Popovic. Motion carries 5 ayes to 0 nays.

REDEVELOPMENT COMMISSION CORRESPONDENCE AND REPORTS:

Ms. Popovic reported that we are close to getting the first draft of the Employee Policy Manual done with the updates.

Mr. Barenie stated that phase one of the demolition project for Shops 96 has been completed.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Barenie opened the floor for Public Comment.

Joe Hero (11723 South Oakridge Drive): I have a question. Haas & Associates on the bills to be paid, what is Haas & Associates doing to earn this money? And is this the town engineer, or is this a separate engineering firm? That’s the two questions I have. Thank you. Why are we paying them, and is it the same as the town engineer. and is he doing work for Redevelopment? What’s the story?

Hearing none further, Mr. Barenie closed the floor to Public Comment.

NEW BUSINESS:

None was had.

REPORTS and CORRESPONDENCE:

None was had.

PAYMENT OF THE BILLS:

Mr. Barenie advised that the next item on the agenda is the payment of the bills.

Motion to pay the bills in the amount of $107,116.83 by Ms. Hejl. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion carries 4 ayes to 1 nay by Mr. Swets.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Barenie entertained a motion to adjourn. Motion to adjourn by Ms. Hejl. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion carries 5 ayes to 0 nays.

(Mr. Barenie adjourned the meeting at 6:05 p.m.)

Respectfully submitted:

Margaret R. Abernathy, Recording Secretary
St. John Redevelopment Commission

05-23-2019 Redevelopment Commission

May 23, 2019 Redevelopment Commission Meeting Minutes

Mark Barenie, President Gerald Swets Stephen Kil, Town Manager
Michael Forbes, Vice President Cindy Sues, Lake Central School Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer
Rose Hejl, Secretary James Sakalaris, Hanover School Corp Joseph Svetanoff, Town Attorney
Libby Popovic    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Barenie called the St. John Redevelopment Commission Special Meeting to order on May 23, 2019, at 6:59 p.m.

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by the Clerk-Treasurer with the following Board Members present: Michael Forbes, Rose Hejl, Cindy Sues, Gerald Swets, and Mark Barenie. Staff Members present: Stephen Kil, Town Manager; Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer; and Joseph Svetanoff, Town Attorney.

Absent: Libby Popovic.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Mr. Barenie advised that the next item on the agenda is Approval of Minutes from April 17, 2019.

Motion to approve the minutes by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Ms. Hejl. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

REDEVELOPMENT COMMISSION CORRESPONDENCE AND REPORTS:

None was had.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

None was had.

NEW BUSINESS:

None was had.

REPORTS and CORRESPONDENCE:

None was had.

PAYMENT OF THE BILLS:

Mr. Barenie advised that the next item on the agenda is the payment of the bills.

Motion to pay the bills in the amount of $184,836.81 by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Mr. Swets. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Barenie entertained a motion to adjourn. Motion to adjourn by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Mr. Swets. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays.

(Mr. Barenie adjourned the meeting at 7:01 p.m.)

Respectfully submitted:

Margaret R. Abernathy, Recording Secretary
St. John Redevelopment Commission

07-11-2019 Redevelopment Commission

July 11, 2019 Redevelopment Commission Meeting Minutes

Mark Barenie, President Gerald Swets Stephen Kil, Town Manager
Michael Forbes, Vice President Cindy Sues, Lake Central School Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer
Rose Hejl, Secretary James Sakalaris, Hanover School Corp Joseph Svetanoff, Town Attorney
Libby Popovic    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Barenie called the St. John Redevelopment Commission Special Meeting to order on Thursday, July 11, 2019, at 7:07 p.m.

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by the Clerk-Treasurer with the following Board Members present: Michael Forbes, Rose Hejl, Libby Popovic, Cindy Sues, Gerald Swets, and Mark Barenie. Also present: Stephen Kil, Town Manager; Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer; and Joseph Svetanoff, Town Attorney.

Absent: None.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Mr. Barenie advised that the next item on the agenda is Approval of Minutes from May 23, 2019.

Motion to approve the minutes by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Ms. Hejl. Motion carries 5 ayes to 0 nays.

REDEVELOPMENT COMMISSION CORRESPONDENCE AND REPORTS:

None was had.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Barenie opened the floor for public comment.

Joe Hero (11723 South Oakridge Drive): As part of the Redevelopment Commission, and I see we’re going to be talking about TIF District money, I think one of the important things is to look where we have our existing main – I’ll call it shopping center – where Target’s at, where Culver’s coming, and other people are coming in there. If you look at Earl Drive, I think the Town, you – that’s a private road, except somewhere around where Eenigenburg is at, is my understanding.

Uh, I think the Town should use its eminent domain to take charge of that road because once Culver comes in there, that’s going to be another magnet for a lot of traffic; and that road is really, sort of, a waffle board, kind of up and down thing, if you look at it. I think the Town should make that a dedicated street, use its eminent domain and its TIF money, uh, to make that a wider road and better access for the development that’s going on around it. And I think, as part of the Redevelopment Commission, I think you should, uh, consider doing that.

Uh, I think Culver’s going to bring a lot – lot more traffic there. If you look at the chaos that goes around McDonald’s right now with that road – I think everybody’s seen that – you can amplify that once Culver comes; and I think you should be looking at, uh, using TIF money to redo that whole road, use eminent domain to get title to the road, and then, uh, make it wider because there’s going to be more businesses coming down that road as, uh, the town progresses. Thank you.

Having no one else coming forward to speak, Mr. Barenie closed the floor.

NEW BUSINESS:

A. Consider Agreement Approved by the Nature Conservancy
Mr. Barenie advised that the next item on the agenda is to consider the agreement that was approved by the Nature Conservancy.

Mr. Kil advised that this is related to the Shops 96 project and the detention basin that we’re going to construct on the very east end of the project by the railroad tracks. This is mitigation and the entire cost of that mitigation is $171,000. It is 1.9 acres and would remain that way in perpetuity.

Mr. Kil advised that a check will have to be cut for this; therefore, it is on the agenda tonight for board action to get that done.

Mr. Swets asked if this is being paid out of the TIF funds that have been set aside for this project. Mr. Kil responded in the affirmative and stated that it would come from the project account, Fund 407

Mr. Barenie entertained a motion.

Motion to approve the agreement with The Nature Conservancy by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Ms. Popovic. Motion carries 5 ayes to 0 nays.

B. Presentation for the Taxing Units in St. John
Mr. Barenie advised that the next item on the agenda is a presentation for the taxing units in St. John to provide information on TIF Districts and turned the floor over to Mr. Kil for the same.

Mr. Kil stated that this PowerPoint Presentation was created by Mr. Cender and himself. Due to new legislation, we’re required to do an annual presentation to all overlapping taxing units, and all of those taxing entities were invited to this meeting tonight. Mr. Kil commented that Mr. Cender will not be joining us this evening due to a loss in the family.

Mr. Kil advised that the Town has two TIF Districts: TIF I and TIF II. TIF I is the US 41 corridor; TIF II runs from Parrish Avenue to Cline Avenue along US 231. Tonight’s presentation, focuses on TIF I, as there is nothing going on in TIF II to generate any tax increment at this time.

Mr. Kil explained that a “TIF” is a tax increment financing district; “increment” is where the Town will create a district, capture all of the tax money that’s generated in that TIF District, and not release any of that money to the overlapping taxing units.

Mr. Kil used a shopping center as an example to explain a tax increment: In an undeveloped state, the shopping center was paying $20,000 per annum in taxes. When it is all developed, it will pay $300,000. The $20,000 that was originally paid is still distributed to every overlapping taxing unit; the only thing the Town would keep would be the increment, which is the difference between the $20,000 and $300,000, which is $280,000.

Mr. Kil explained that the State’s reasoning for this is to allow municipalities to create districts to entice certain property to be developed. How it works is the tax increment is leveraged against the debt issuance; once the debt issuance is paid off, if there is not another TIF project, the Redevelopment Commission can release all of that money to the overlapping taxing units, which would boost their budgets. If there is another TIF project in the TIF District, the money can be rolled into another bond issue.

Mr. Kil advised that the new Indiana Code is IC 36.7.25, which requires the Redevelopment Commission to annually present TIF District information to taxing units for taxing units within their taxing unit territory, including the RDC’s budget, long-term plans, and the impact on each taxing unit.

Mr. Kil advised that we do not have a vast TIF budget in this community. The increment and the money collected annually is being leveraged against a debt service payment. Mr. Kil explained how the TIF Budget is itemized.

Mr. Kil stated that the Strack’s and Target development was one of the original TIF Districts, and that project was made possible through a TIF project. We were able to retire that debt seven years early, pay off all the bonds, and take on the Shops 96 project now.

Mr. Kil advised that in this TIF District, we are generating 150% debt service coverage right now for this bond issue with the existing TIF District without the Shops 96 project being developed. Once the shopping center is up and running, that will be bumped up to 400% debt service coverage, which will allow the Town to triple the payments on the bond and retire bond issues earlier. We can then use that to do another project or, if there is no project, release the money to the overlapping taxing units until another project comes up, at which time we would collect it again.

Mr. Kil advised that the Town is using TIF for its intended use under the law.

Mr. Kil reviewed the RDC TIF Budget and stated that TIF money is used in or serving the TIF District.

Mr. Barenie advised that what Mr. Kil is showing is a summary and that there is a much more detailed report that comes out in January of each year. Mr. Kil confirmed the same and stated that what Mr. Barenie is referring to is a report to the Town’s Executive and Legislative Body that is an actual accounting report of the TIF Districts.

Mr. Kil reviewed the next slide which shows that the RDC issued $5.455 million of St. John Redevelopment District Bonds, Series 2018, payable from Tax Increment Revenue in December 2018 for infrastructure improvements at US 41 and 96th Avenue. The bonds have a property tax back-up pledge which was used to get a more favorable interest rate on the bonds, which mature on February 1, 2031. Mr. Kil commented that the idea is to pay that balance off before that date and either do another project or release the increment.

Mr. Kil explained what the Economic Development Allocation Areas are. He further explained there used to be a north and south TIF District that have been consolidated to create TIF District I, resulting in different portions expiring from 2028 to 2033. Mr. Kil advised that a TIF District runs for 25 years; thereafter, it must be re-established.

Mr. Kil stated that Economic Development Area II will expire on December 31, 2029; however, there is not any Tax Increment currently being generated from this area as it is vacant farm property right now.

Mr. Kil stated that Tax Increment Financing is a tool for the Redevelopment Commission to use for economic and redevelopment activities within the Town of St. John. Without the assistance and benefit of TIF, the property would never properly develop and the tax revenue generated from it would never increase.

Mr. Kil explained that there is no tax impact to the affected taxing units; without the Economic Development Area and Allocation Areas, there would not be any substantial growth in those areas.

REPORTS and CORRESPONDENCE:

None was had.

PAYMENT OF THE BILLS:

Mr. Barenie advised that the next item on the agenda is the payment of the bills.

Motion to pay the bills in the amount of $86,350.24 by Mr. Swets. Seconded by Ms. Popovic. Motion carries 5 ayes to 0 nays.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Barenie entertained a motion to adjourn. Motion to adjourn by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Ms. Popovic. Motion carries 5 ayes to 0 nays.

(Mr. Barenie adjourned the meeting at 7:22 p.m.)

Respectfully submitted:

Margaret R. Abernathy, Recording Secretary
St. John Redevelopment Commission

08-22-2019 Redevelopment Commission

August 22, 2019 Redevelopment Commission Meeting Minutes

Mark Barenie, President Gerald Swets Stephen Kil, Town Manager
Michael Forbes, Vice President Cindy Sues, Lake Central School Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer
Rose Hejl, Secretary James Sakalaris, Hanover School Corp Joseph Svetanoff, Town Attorney
Libby Popovic    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Barenie called the St. John Redevelopment Commission Special Meeting to order on Thursday, August 22, 2019, at 7:00 p.m.

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by the Clerk-Treasurer with the following Board Members present: Michael Forbes, Rose Hejl, Libby Popovic, James Sakalaris, Gerald Swets, and Mark Barenie. Also present: Stephen Kil, Town Manager; Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer; and Joseph Svetanoff, Town Attorney.

Absent: None.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Mr. Barenie advised that the next item on the agenda is Approval of Minutes from July 11, 2019.

Motion to approve the minutes by Ms. Hejl. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion carries 5 ayes to 0 nays.

REDEVELOPMENT COMMISSION CORRESPONDENCE AND REPORTS:

None was had.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mr. Barenie opened the floor for public comment.

Joe Hero (11723 South Oakridge Drive): My comments on the geothermal ground improvement project: Um, if you look at the soil borings, there’s a lot of bad soil there; and it – it – in order to accommodate that special piping, sewer, water, whatever it may have to be, spiral or some other method, pilings. One of the comments in there was to reroute that road. That was one of the suggestions of one of the engineering firms there.

I think it is disastrous to go ahead and accept these bids. I think they should be postponed and that whole road redesigned, due to the bad soil condition there, because otherwise this town is going to have, like, another 77th over there, sinking road, sinking utilities; and we’re going to have to pay the maintenance on it. And the way that bid proposal is written, there’s only a two-year warranty.

I think if you go ahead with that road, it should be a twenty-year warranty with a surety bond in place to – for the next disaster that could happen there. And also, putting that road all the way through on Joliet is going to create a hazard for the school busses coming over the railroad tracks; and I anticipate there’ll be serious injuries there. But the bid thing, the bail – big thing is the soil borings.

Somebody’s going to tell me, “Oh, don’t worry about it, Joe; it’s okay.” I don’t believe that. If you look at some of these soil borings, 23 feet down below, you got peat bog, or whatever you call that stuff. So I think all these bids should be postponed and rewritten to put the surety bond in there for twenty years, because it looks like we’re asking every bidder to design his own little road.

Okay, I didn’t see – just my preliminary look; and you could correct me if I’m wrong – I didn’t see a design spec that everybody’s bidding on the same thing. And for those reasons, I think we shouldn’t open the bids. We should re – redo this thing so that it ends up being right. Thank you.

Having no one else wishing to speak, Mr. Barenie closed the floor.

NEW BUSINESS:

A. Bid Opening – Geotechnical Ground Improvement Project
Mr. Barenie advised that the next item on the agenda is the bid opening for Geotechnical Ground Improvement Project.

Mr. Svetanoff advised that the proofs of publication are in order and that this is a legal bid opening. He then opened the sealed bids and summarized the contents therein:

1. Dyer Construction Company, Inc., submitted a bid of $3,798,428.33, along with the required supporting documentation, including a 5% bid bond.
2. Grimmer Construction, Inc. submitted a bid of $2,842,444.00, along with the required supporting documentation, including a 5% bid bond.

Mr. Kil advised the members to take the bids under advisement.

Motion to take the bids under advisement by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Ms. Popovic. Motion carries 5 ayes to 0 nays.

REPORTS and CORRESPONDENCE:

None was had.

PAYMENT OF THE BILLS:

Mr. Barenie advised that the next item on the agenda is the payment of the bills.

Motion to pay the bills in the amount of $753,572.34 by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Ms. Hejl. Motion carries 5 ayes to 0 nays.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Barenie entertained a motion to adjourn. Motion to adjourn by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Ms. Hejl. Motion carries 5 ayes to 0 nays.

(Mr. Barenie adjourned the meeting at 7:12 p.m.)

Respectfully submitted:

Margaret R. Abernathy, Recording Secretary
St. John Redevelopment Commission

09-26-2019 Redevelopment Commission

September 26, 2019 Redevelopment Commission Meeting Minutes

Mark Barenie, President Gerald Swets Stephen Kil, Town Manager
Michael Forbes, Vice President Cindy Sues, Lake Central School Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer
Rose Hejl, Secretary James Sakalaris, Hanover School Corp Joseph Svetanoff, Town Attorney
Libby Popovic    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Barenie called the St. John Redevelopment Commission Special Meeting to order on Thursday, September 26, 2019, at 7:00 p.m.

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by the Clerk-Treasurer with the following Board Members present: Michael Forbes, Rose Hejl, Libby Popovic, James Sakalaris, Gerald Swets, and Mark Barenie. Also present: Stephen Kil, Town Manager; Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer; and Joseph Svetanoff, Town Attorney.

Absent: None.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Mr. Barenie advised that the next item on the agenda is Approval of Minutes from August 22, 2019.

Motion to approve the minutes by Ms. Hejl. Seconded by Mr. Swets. Motion carries 5 ayes to 0 nays.

REDEVELOPMENT COMMISSION CORRESPONDENCE AND REPORTS:

None was had.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

None was had.

NEW BUSINESS:

Bid Award – Geotechnical Ground Improvement Project
Mr. Barenie advised that the next item on the agenda is the bid award for Geotechnical Ground Improvement Project.

Mr. Kil advised that the submitted bids are exceptionally high; and upon review of said bids by our engineering team and staff, we recommend that all bids be rejected and the project be re-bid. Mr. Kil further advised that an alternate design is being drafted.

Motion to reject all bids received and to re-bid the project by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Ms. Popovic. Motion carries 5 ayes to 0 nays.

REPORTS and CORRESPONDENCE:

None was had.

PAYMENT OF THE BILLS:

Mr. Barenie advised that the next item on the agenda is the payment of the bills.

Motion to pay the bills in the amount of $97,435.36 by Ms. Hejl. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion carries 5 ayes to 0 nays.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Barenie entertained a motion to adjourn. Motion to adjourn by Mr. Forbes. Seconded by Ms. Hejl. Motion carries 5 ayes to 0 nays.

(Mr. Barenie adjourned the meeting at 7:03 p.m.)

Respectfully submitted:

Margaret R. Abernathy, Recording Secretary
St. John Redevelopment Commission

10-24-2019 Redevelopment Commission

October 24, 2019 Redevelopment Commission Meeting Minutes

Mark Barenie, President Gerald Swets Stephen Kil, Town Manager
Michael Forbes, Vice President Cindy Sues, Lake Central School Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer
Rose Hejl, Secretary James Sakalaris, Hanover School Corp Joseph Svetanoff, Town Attorney
Libby Popovic    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Barenie called the St. John Redevelopment Commission Special Meeting to order on Thursday, September 26, 2019, at 7:00 p.m.

ROLL CALL:

Mr. Barenie called the St. John Redevelopment Commission Special Meeting to order on Thursday, October 24, 2019, at 7:00 p.m.

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by the Clerk-Treasurer with the following Board Members present: Libby Popovic, Cindy Sues, Gerald Swets, and Mark Barenie. Also present: Stephen Kil, Town Manager; Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer; and Joseph Svetanoff, Town Attorney.

Absent: Michael Forbes and Rose Hejl.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Mr. Barenie advised that the next item on the agenda is Approval of Minutes from September 26, 2019.

Motion to approve the minutes by Mr. Swets. Seconded by Ms. Popovic. Motion carries 3 ayes to 0 nays.

REDEVELOPMENT COMMISSION CORRESPONDENCE AND REPORTS:

None was had.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

None was had.

NEW BUSINESS:

None was had.

REPORTS and CORRESPONDENCE:

None was had.

PAYMENT OF THE BILLS:

Mr. Barenie advised that the next item on the agenda is the payment of the bills.

Motion to pay the bills in the amount of $90,339.23 by Ms. Popovic. Seconded by Mr. Swets. Motion carries 3 ayes to 0 nays.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Barenie entertained a motion to adjourn. Motion to adjourn by Mr. Swets. Seconded by Ms. Popovic. Motion carries 3 ayes to 0 nays.

(Mr. Barenie adjourned the meeting at 7:01 p.m.)

Respectfully submitted:

Margaret R. Abernathy, Recording Secretary
St. John Redevelopment Commission

11-07-2019 Redevelopment Commission

November 7, 2019 Redevelopment Commission Special Meeting Minutes

Mark Barenie, President Gerald Swets Stephen Kil, Town Manager
Michael Forbes, Vice President Cindy Sues, Lake Central School Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer
Rose Hejl, Secretary James Sakalaris, Hanover School Corp Joseph Svetanoff, Town Attorney
Libby Popovic    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Forbes, Acting President, called the St. John Redevelopment Commission Special Meeting to order on Thursday, November 7, 2019, at 7:00 p.m.

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by the Chief Deputy Clerk-Treasurer with the following Board Members present: Michael Forbes, Rose Hejl, Libby Popovic, and Cindy Sues. Also present: Stephen Kil, Town Manager; Marilyn Hrnjak, Chief Deputy Clerk-Treasurer, on behalf of Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer.

Absent: Gerald Swets; Mark Barenie; Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer; and Joseph Svetanoff, Town Attorney.

(Note: Due to the absence of the sitting Town Council President and Vice President, the Council Members present selected Mr. Forbes to sit in the Chair of Acting President and Presiding Officer for this meeting.)

Mr. Forbes declared the presence of a quorum.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is Approval of Minutes from October 24, 2019.

Motion to approve the minutes by Ms. Hejl. Seconded by Ms. Popovic. Motion carries 3 ayes to 0 nays.

REDEVELOPMENT COMMISSION CORRESPONDENCE AND REPORTS:

None was had.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

None was had.

NEW BUSINESS:

A. Economic Development Agreement with SJ-96, LLC
Mr. Forbes advised that the next item on the agenda is to consider the First Amendment to Economic Development Agreement with SJ-96, LLC, an Indiana Limited Liability Company.

Mr. Bruce Boyer, Boyer Properties, stated that they are here to ask the board to consider an amendment to the original Economic Development Agreement executed in April 2018. Mr. Boyer explained that the amendment is the result of the need to relocate the extension of 96th Place farther east than what was originally contemplated because the bids to the Town from the bid process came in extremely high. Since that time, they have been working with the Town’s Staff and engineering firms to come up with an alternative location for that road extension.

Mr. Boyer advised that the Town Attorney has reviewed the “First Amendment to Economic Development Agreement” and gave a summary of the agreement’s details and changes contained therein.

Mr. Kil stated that Mr. Boyer did a good job of summarizing the agreement and advised the Council Members to look at the exhibits attached to the agreement simultaneously while reading through it for a better understanding.

Mr. Kil further advised that there is a process where we will have to vacate some of the original area for 96th Place; and during a replat that Mr. Boyer will do in front of the Plan Commission, he will dedicate the new portion of 96th Place lying just south of the part we need to vacate.

Mr. Kil advised that when we originally did the numbers on the project and looked at the amortization schedule and the tax increment that would be generated, the bond issue was done and predicated on our existing ability to shoulder that debt, meaning it’s not required to have one building built in the Shops 96 project for us to construct the public improvements. Mr. Kil stated that we purposely do projects in this manner to ensure we have plenty of debt service coverage.

Mr. Kil advised that we have over 150% debt service coverage at the conclusion of the Shops 96. Once we start collecting all the tax increment, we will actually have 400% debt service coverage. The thought process was that we would take out the bond issue for about 12 years with a mind to pay it off in 7 years, which is what we did with St. John Market Place where Strack’s and Target is located.

Mr. Kil confirmed that Attorney Joe Svetanoff has reviewed the agreement and signed off on it; and Phil Faccenda, who is our bond counsel, reviewed it and signed off on it as well.

Mr. Kil advised that Mr. Swets did have an opportunity to meet with Mr. Boyer; that Mr. Barenie’s schedule did not allow time for him to meet with Mr. Boyer; and that Mr. Boyer did make an effort to meet with everybody.

Mr. Forbes advised that it isn’t that we can’t build the road where it was originally planned; however, after seeing the bid amounts, we realized it was more cost effective to move the road.

Mr. Kil advised that the ground stabilization portion of the bids were a lot higher than we had thought. We have borings along the new alignment; and there are a lot less organics with less depth. Instead of a fancy stabilization project with piers, we are going to surcharge the area. It will take 6-7 months to compress the soil for the road to be built; and it is a much less expensive construction method.

Mr. Forbes asked for confirmation that the land that was acquired by the Town through eminent domain is still needed. Mr. Kil confirmed the same and stated that we will need that land to make the connection into Joliet Street.

Mr. Forbes asked if there were any questions or comments. Hearing none, he entertained a motion regarding the First Amendment to Economic Development Agreement.

Motion to approve the First Amendment to Economic Development Agreement between the Town of St. John and SJ-06, LLC, and authorize the Town Council President to sign by Ms. Hejl. Seconded by Ms. Popovic. Motion carries 3 ayes to 0 nays.

REPORTS and CORRESPONDENCE:

None was had.

PAYMENT OF THE BILLS:

None was had.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Forbes entertained a motion to adjourn. Motion to adjourn by Ms. Hejl. Seconded by Ms. Popovic. Motion carries 3 ayes to 0 nays.

(Mr. Barenie adjourned the meeting at 7:09 p.m.)

Respectfully submitted:

Margaret R. Abernathy, Recording Secretary
St. John Redevelopment Commission

11-21-2019 Redevelopment Commission Meeting Canceled
12-19-2019 Redevelopment Commission

December 19, 2019 Redevelopment Commission Meeting Minutes

Mark Barenie, President Gerald Swets Stephen Kil, Town Manager
Michael Forbes, Vice President Cindy Sues, Lake Central School Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer
Rose Hejl, Secretary James Sakalaris, Hanover School Corp Joseph Svetanoff, Town Attorney
Libby Popovic    

CALL TO ORDER:

Mr. Forbes, Acting President, called the St. John Redevelopment Commission Special Meeting to order on Thursday, December 19, 2019, at 7:00 p.m.

ROLL CALL:

Roll call was taken by the Clerk-Treasurer with the following Board Members present: Michael Forbes, Rose Hejl, Libby Popovic, Gerald Swets, Mark Barenie, and Cindy Sues. Also present: Stephen Kil, Town Manager; Beth Hernandez, Clerk-Treasurer; and Joseph Svetanoff, Town Attorney.

Absent: None.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

Mr. Barenie advised that the next item on the agenda is Approval of Minutes from November 7, 2019.

Motion to approve the minutes by Ms. Hejl. Seconded by Mr. Forbes. Motion carries 4 ayes to 0 nays with 1 abstention by Mr. Barenie due to absence from said meeting.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

None was had.

REDEVELOPMENT COMMISSION CORRESPONDENCE AND REPORTS:

Mr. Kil reported that Shops 96 has done as much as it can. It is buttoned up for the winter, and there are barricades up along the entrance on US 41.

REPORTS and CORRESPONDENCE:

None was had.

PAYMENT OF THE BILLS:

Mr. Barenie entertained a motion for payment of the bills in the amount of $77,727.02.

Motion by Ms. Popovic. Seconded by Ms. Hejl. Motion carries 5 ayes to 0 nays.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Barenie entertained a motion to adjourn. Motion to adjourn by Ms. Hejl. Seconded by Ms. Popovic. Motion carries 5 ayes to 0 nays.

(Mr. Barenie adjourned the meeting at 7:03 p.m.)

Respectfully submitted:

Margaret R. Abernathy, Recording Secretary
St. John Redevelopment Commission

Meeting Audio Recordings

01-24-2019 Redevelopment Commission

02-28-2019 Redevelopment Commission

03-18-2019 Redevelopment Commission

04-17-2019 Redevelopment Commission

05-23-2019 Redevelopment Commission

07-11-2019 Redevelopment Commission

08-22-2019 Redevelopment Commission

09-26-2019 Redevelopment Commission

10-24-2019 Redevelopment Commission

11-07-2019 Redevelopment Commission

12-19-2019 Redevelopment Commission

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