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August 13, 2013 That was Gnarls Barkley with his hit song Crazy The lyrics include: I remember when I lost my mind Does that make me CRAZY Hopefully.

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Presentation on theme: "August 13, 2013 That was Gnarls Barkley with his hit song Crazy The lyrics include: I remember when I lost my mind Does that make me CRAZY Hopefully."— Presentation transcript:


2 August 13, 2013

3 That was Gnarls Barkley with his hit song Crazy The lyrics include: I remember when I lost my mind Does that make me CRAZY Hopefully after tonights presentation you wont think that he wrote this song about me

4 If youre not moving forward, youre losing ground. ~ attributed to many While change is not always welcome or viewed as positive initially, I hope to prove that if it is done properly, it will benefit the community Heres a local example:

5 Thats their interpretation of beautifying the lakefront. Ive told a lot of people I dont understand how you take a baseball field with grass and make it a parking lot and that beautifies the area. ~ WHS Baseball Coach Kevin Lenz – NWI Times That of course was before he had a chance to see or play at Oil City Stadium – The quote obviously still serves as inspiration for me.

6 One way to keep momentum going is to have constantly greater goals ~ Michael Korda, author I feel we have momentum, now we need to continue to push the envelope

7 It doesnt matter how slowly you go – so long as you do not stop. ~ Confucius I had hoped by sharing that quote with you today, that you would forgive me for how long it takes to actually institute change!

8 Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. ~ Albert Einstein As youll hear today, I may not have all of the answers or be 100% correct in every one of my assumptions, but its time to take some risks and change how we do certain things

9 Mayor Joes Definition of Controversial (the word will appear several times in the presentation) Something can be viewed as controversial if it can impact a persons: Employment Salary or Income (Cost $$) Home or property Quality of Life Philosophical believes Or any Change that does not have unanimous support

10 Full Slate of Interesting – Controversial Topics I usually thoroughly enjoy these Forums But… this will be a tough presentation for me I am in the process of making several difficult decisions that impact a lot of people…and thats not easy For those of you who have not attended one of my past Forums, heres a quick overview: Ill run through my presentation as quickly as possible to stay on schedule – probably 45 minutes or so Id ask that you please hold your questions to the end At the end of the presentation, Ill stay as long as needed to answer your questions

11 Funding Plan Overview WCC – YMCA Project Stadium District Plan New Hotel Concept Water & Sewer rates Residential Matching Assistance (Grants) Quiet Zone (Whistle Ban) Miscellaneous Projects

12 Important background info for todays presentation Extremely unusual & complex financial situation Our Assessed Valuation (Taxable Property) is expected to grow significantly in coming years The growth will be short lived and then drop back down to slightly more than it is today Goal – Capture the maximum opportunity for City

13 New growth will be captured in our TIF District: Allows us to borrow to fund capital improvement projects While there is not enough time to discuss the specifics at a Public Forum, this is the strategy that provides the biggest bang for our buck Important Factors: We dont yet know all the financial details Money must be spent on Projects All debt will be repaid with Industrial tax revenue

14 With that said, we are hoping that many of the projects in our plan can be funded in the short term, versus waiting to pay as we go Because the Funds are limited, my hardest task is to identify the projects that provide the biggest benefit to the community

15 I thought a brief review of the Funding Plan would clarify: That there will be Capital Funds available Why we will take on new debt – (NWI Times) That none of the debt repayment will be paid by the residents I was expecting to formally announce a few of these new projects today, but our final Financial Analysis was not completed in time. So until the money is in the bank, its prudent for me to take the cautious approach

16 History I know many of us Old-timers grew up in this building It is an important part of our community and our past history Ive fought hard to maintain the building and invest in improvements over the years But, its a huge financial drain on the Citys budget

17 Background $750,000 in (WCC only) annual operating expenses $250,000 in (WCC only) annual revenue $500,000 annual loss or subsidy None of the expected Capital $$ can be used to offset these operating costs This loss was much worse in previous years, but improvements made have reduced the burden New windows Energy efficiency improvements Staffing changes Increased revenue

18 Background Why is the subsidy so large? Inherited building – but no budget to support it Laws prevent or limit us from making a profit Always more difficult for a public entity to increase costs or reduce the workforce Always had surplus funds to funnel to operation Tax Caps have changed that dynamic Maximus Good Government Study (2005/2006) Recommended the sale of the building

19 Decided to explore all options before divesting property City Actions to Date Internal Task Force reviews Commissioned an IU-SPEA Study to review the operation and make recommendations Study indicated the best Financial solution was to privatize the building as a Full-Service Heath Club Makes sense – Gyms, Pool, Track, Fitness area, etc. Issues with this solution included: Displaced Youth/Seniors - Cost associated with the displacement Difficult to return to current operation if project failed Reviewed and studied other options including: Streamlined City Operation Privatization – non-Health Club operation Sale of Building

20 Ideal Solution would: Continue to provide community minded programming similar to todays operation Continue to serve all age groups of the community Allow the City to maintain ownership of the building Reduce or eliminate the Citys $500K subsidy Allow for a workable Exit Strategy The only option that provided all of these benefits was the YMCA

21 Lease the building for $1 per year YMCA to pay all operating costs associated with their operation including: Staffing Utilities Maintenance YMCA to have complete control of the operation Set their own rates

22 Benefits include: Immediate savings of the $500K annual subsidy Continued and Improved Community Minded Programming and Facilities for all ages New operation will be much improved over today YMCA Expertise Renovations New equipment Additional Programming Childcare

23 Benefits include: Continued availability of facility for: Emergency Shelter Public Events Building remains under City Control and Ownership We will essentially act as the landlord and maintain the primary structural components of the building Only people who choose to use the Facility will pay

24 Important Factors: Displaced employees will have multiple options Bid/Transfer into open positions Early retirement Interview with the YMCA Severance to all, including part-time employees City will invest to renovate the lower level and complete the lobby restoration as planned This would have occurred regardless of the option chosen All donations to the lobby renovation will be used as intended

25 Important Factors: At least 4 of the 12 bowling lanes will be removed Option to remove all 12 lanes is being reviewed Cost – Funding dependent Bowling League options for this season limited

26 Important Factors: YMCA is an extremely reputable organization They have funding avenues simply not available to the City They already have a proven track record in NWI

27 Timetable Signed MOU in place Finalize YMCA Lease ASAP Employee bidding and transfers by year end Close building on January 1, 2014 for construction Estimated savings of closing the building for construction ranges between $100,000 - $200,000 Construction January – June Reopen under YMCA control in June-July If we cannot agree to terms with the YMCA by the end of construction, we will operate the renovated facility

28 This is simply the best business decision Not everyone will agree with it, but we cant continue operating in the deep red

29 Now for controversial project #2 I hope you had a chance to review the graphic to get a feel for what I am proposing

30 This project will: Provide the needed infrastructure for new BP investment Provide the needed attractions to create a destination place Provide new diverse residential opportunities Provide multiple new commercial opportunities Serve as the Gateway into the Lakefront Park

31 While there are still some moving parts in the Plan, here are some of the highlights: The project area includes all properties east of the Schrage Avenue east alley and north of 121 st All of Old Standard Avenue All of Old Center Street All of 119 th Street All of Front Street Over 75 properties will need to be acquired (Additional comments on this topic later)

32 The Proposed Plan (market driven) includes: A variety of New Residential units New commercial/multi-use buildings Senior Citizen market-rate apartments Multiple new restaurants and eateries Entertainment venues – Museums – Sports Facilities An allotted area for new BP development Road closures and new roadways Oil City Stadium additions 100s of new parking spaces

33 Moving Parts - Entertainment Venues Museums Whiting-Robertsdale Museum (Refinery Component) Chicago Baseball Museum Strong commitment to lease the 2 nd wing if we build our museum National Mascot Hall of Fame Picking up momentum Moved from a Pipe Dream to a reasonable chance Flying their Team to Whiting in September to present a proposal Sports Venues Expansion of Oil City Stadium to accommodate Minor League Team Currently reviewing a proposal to include an Ice Arena to accommodate a Minor League Hockey Team Childrens Activity Center option

34 Market Based Discussion Heavy developer interest Financing projects in Whiting is an issue No development history No market data to support condo sales prices No history to support high rents for apartments Glut of condos in Chicago market - forcing high pre-sell % Village Project demise 1500 Block 119 th Street Project will hopefully open the door Almost all developers utilize the financial markets Could determine final product mix

35 Acquisition of Property I am well aware that acquiring someone property is not always a welcome event We will be compassionate and take great strides in making sure the transaction is fair If a property owner has been an asset to the City, we will bend over backwards to accommodate them Finding new homes/apartments Senior Building construction Trading, etc.

36 Acquisition of Property BUT……… If a property owner has neglected their property for decades, I will use every tool in my bag to acquire their property at the lowest possible cost I wont allow bad absentee landlords or property owners to impede our growth

37 Moving on to controversial project #3 You have heard me talk about this in the past, but if we want to grow and increase our tax base, a local hotel is a critical component As I stated in the past, such a hotel needs to fit our community, not a hotel developers plan If its done right, a new hotel will not only provide a needed resource, but significantly benefit our tax base

38 We have been in discussions for months about possible locations, and the optimum location always points back to the Park The most acceptable location in the Park is depicted on the layout on the table This concept is a $20M investment The back of house operations would utilize the back side of the park

39 In the coming months, we will be discussing the project with multiple developers At this point in time, Im supporting this location and will work to move the project further ahead so we could fine tune the details Public Process

40 Now for controversial topic #4 To continue improving our water and sewer infrastructure, we will need to raise additional revenue Example: A new water line is needed on 119 th Street between Schrage & New York Estimated Price Tag - $1 million Annual Gross Water Department revenue - $550,000 Rates have been flat for 13 years Because we have made considerable operational changes to improve our efficiency I will request a small $3 to $5 monthly increase soon

41 Somewhat controversial topic #5 Weve been flooded with calls asking why the matching residential grants are not available The answer is: We are attempting to allocate funds to resurrect the program for ONE more round of grants Absolutely no guarantees, but the program will not be available any sooner than spring of 2014

42 Important Points Must help a broad based portion of the community Must focus on areas in need of development Need a large pot to be able to distribute fairly Poor use of Tax dollars, need special 1-time funds Special program – cannot fund indefinitely Commercial Investment critical to community Will continue limited commercial grants ~$50,000 total Impact shared across entire community Stirs economic development to improve tax base Detailed Strategy available

43 No Controversy here Everyone agrees that this is a project worth pursuing Background 3 independent railroads 80+ trains a day Low vehicular traffic counts No requirement for railroads to improve technology like other communities We have taken the necessary steps up to the point of committing the funds $400,000 per crossing x 6 = $2.4 million

44 There is valid increased public concern City Council has identified the project as one of their top priorities It all comes down to funding Barring an unforeseen catastrophe with our Funding Plan– this project will be funded Even after funding is allocated, the project will not happen overnight

45 Lakefront Update End of September – Current Phase complete November – INDOT Phase begins Connecting trails over tracks Entry way beautification Existing pathways redone Event structure – Gazebo - Formal Garden Design underway with completion next year Finished Landscaping Spring/summer

46 Lakefront Update Whihala Parking Improvements Next summer Dog Beach 2014 start – Late Fall – Early 2015 completion Whihala Lighting Late 2014 into 2015 Administration Building – Boat Club 2015?

47 Lakefront Update Gun Club Restaurant Conceptual Drawing – Vavrek Architects Start construction January, 2014 Completion – Fall? Beach Parking Reviewing sign policy – 1 sign at each entrance New Parking Enforcement Crew beginning next year

48 Atchison Avenue Parking (St. John) Nearing Completion Joint Project – City of Whiting & Parish Increased parking – allow for new development Dog Park Whiting Dog Beach – Hammond Dog Park Little League Improvements T-Ball Field – by next summer?

49 Indianapolis Boulevard May bid letting June – November construction Includes: Paving, Lighting, Turn lanes, Sidewalks, Trees, Sewer lining, Hydrant improvement Partnership with: INDOT and Hammond

50 117 th Street (Cleveland to tracks) Bond fund dependent Will be ready for bid this fall Includes: Paving, Sidewalks, Lighting, Sewer, Water, Oliver Street intersection improvements, Brick restoration at Park entry, Bike Path connections Hoping for January letting – 2014 construction

51 Parking Projects 1500 Block 119 th Street Building construction dependent Spring 2014? Schrage/White Oak/Ohio (Whiting Baptist Church) Acquisition Dependent Church agreement not finalized Spring 2014? St. Marys Church discussion – School & Parking

52 ADA Compliance Sidewalk ramps – crosswalks Goal to be 100% compliant by 2015 Playground Analysis – Upgrades 2014-2015 Illiana Hotel City has taken action to take ownership of the property via the tax sale process Stay tuned

53 Q&As One stipulation – If you ask a question, please let me know if you live in Whiting or in Robertsdale

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