By BRADEN LAMMERS
The Sellersburg Town Council unanimously agreed to move forward on up to $6 million in water works bonds at its meeting Monday night.
Ordinance 2012-16 allowed for the issuance of the bonds, but did not secure bond funding for a project to complete improvements to the town’s water-treatment plant, drilling for two new supply wells, construction of a new booster station, a new 500,000-gallon water storage tank and to refurbish two of the towns existing water tanks.
The council would still need to vote to issue the bonds. One question that remains before the town does so is what acquiring the loan money will do to the water rates for Sellersburg residents. A representative from Umbaugh and Associates was expected to attend Monday’s meeting, but according to the council members, was unable to be there because more time was needed to complete the water-rate study.
It is expected that a presentation will be available at the council’s next regular meeting Nov. 12.
2013 budget and salary ordinance
Also at the meeting, the council approved the 2013 budget and salary ordinance.
“The budget, I think it’s pretty safe to say, didn’t change at all,” said Town Council President Paul Rhodes. “Tax rate went up just a tad and the total tax levy for the town is $1,644,271.”
According to the budget submitted at the council’s previous meeting, the tax rate changed from .6659 in 2012 to .6851 for 2013. The general fund amount approved totaled $3.17 million, including $250,000 from the Economic Development Income Tax fund and $234,083 in Local Option Income Tax safety funds.
A salary ordinance for 2013 was also unanimously approved that granted all town employees a $500 raise annually, or less than 1 percent.
“We were able to allow a small raise, nothing near what the cost of living is,” Rhodes said.
Redevelopment loan approved
President of Sellersburg’s Redevelopment Commission Michael Hostetler asked the council to loan the redevelopment commission $140,000 out of the County Economic Development Income Tax — or CEDIT— fund, which would be paid back by Tax Increment Finance funds for Camp Run Common.
“The reason why we’re wanting to borrow the money from the town, from the CEDIT fund, is basically to save us $50,000,” he said.
Hostetler said if the redevelopment commission was forced to issue bond-anticipation notes to pay for engineering projects in Camp Run Common, fees and interest on a two-year note would total about $85,000.
The balance in the CEDIT fund is about $300,000 and Hostetler added if the council loaned redevelopment the money, and TIF funds could not cover the costs and the money needed to be repaid, the redevelopment commission would need 60 days notice and could still seek the bonds.
“It’s really good timing for us,” Hostetler said. “If we can push this thing forward a year or so, we’ve got the potential for a lot of increased revenue up there.”
Rhodes said the highlight of the investment is opening up Enterprise Way for development.
Municipal Works Director Ken Alexander said by having the engineering plans ready the project would be shovel-ready having already gone through all of the permitting processes.
“It is critical now, because we need to get this engineering work before spring, so ... we’ll be ready to go,” Hostetler said.
The council granted authorization to the redevelopment commission to sign contracts with Paul Primavera and Associates to complete the engineering work with a loan to come out of the town’s CEDIT fund.
Stone Gate Manor
A final plat approval for Stone Gate Manor phase two, which is 25 lots, was unanimously approved.
The plat approved was the second section of 42 total lots under construction and was sought because development had moved along faster than anticipated, said Nathan Grimes, representing Renaissance Design Build Inc. — the developer for the project.