August 26, 2013


The Regular meeting of the City of Mishawaka Redevelopment Commission was called to order at 6:30 p.m., Monday, August 26, 2013, in Room 205, City Hall, 600 East Third Street, Mishawaka, Indiana. Commissioners Eberhart, O’Dell, Ermeti, Stillson, Buraczewski and Pingle were present. The following were also in attendance: Attorney Robert Beutter, Ken Prince, City Planner; David Thomas, Community Development Director; and Marilyn Nelums-Jones, Program Coordinator; Andy Place, Sr., Place Builders; Attorney Tony Zapia; Joe Deets.


Commissioner O’dell moved to approve the minutes of July 22, 2013, meeting as circulated. Commissioner Pingle seconded; motion carried.


Ken Prince, City Planner explained to the commission that because it is in the NETIF district it must go to the commission for approval. The only bond outstanding is Main Street underpass - wastewater treatment plant, but nothing that would be dependent upon this proposal. The seven year abatement would be around 1 million dollars. Ken Prince’s assumption is that it would be graduated in seven increments. Commissioner Eberhart asked what the taxes were on the property currently. Attorney Tony Zapia (retained by the applicant) gave a presentation – they are proposing a one-story building, 56,000 square feet – nursing/rehabilitation/long-term care facility, between 14-15 million dollars in cost. An estimated 1.5 million dollars will be spent for furniture and fixtures. It will house 84 beds and is a new facility and not a consolidation from any other area or location. There will be all new positions including 61 full-time with good hourly rates. 14 nursing positions will be available at 41.00/21.38/10.50 an hour, 15 clerical positions, dietary, housekeeping and department heads. There will be 34 part-time positions. There will be full benefits for full-time employees. They feel it is a win-win situation given the size of the district. The project is a very small portion and would not hurt any future projects or hinder them. Andy Place, Place Builders is the Project Manager and Brad Mosmas, Project Manager from Abonmarche. There will be beds from Indianapolis and Crown Point. 30 beds Medicaid and all others will be private and Medicare. After a certain period of time this will change. Commissioner Stillson asked about the transitioning from Medicare to Medicaid. Andy Place said after you have extended your time you may have to leave. FFSA through the state health department will be licensing agent.

Commissioner Buraczewski asked what is the normal occupancy rate, and are they always 90-100%. Andy Place stated that the fill rate could vary. 90% seemed high to him, 75-80% seemed more realistic. Ken Prince stated another area agency was about 75% and flows. Dave Thomas wanted to know if the number of beds was comparable to the other facilities that have been built – it is not. It would contain a movie theatre also. Commissioner Ermeti moved to approve, seconded by Commissioner O’Dell. Motion carried.


This is a deal regarding Diltz downtown vacant lot next to Wayne’s Place to rehabilitate the area to be more conducive to downtown, with additional parking in rear for the historic district. An agreement could not be reached because of land lock and could not figure out how to put sidewalk connection in. There is a heavy smoking population. They are on private property – it is an eyesore, people cutting through and the City wants to clean up the street scape and certain additional improvements by the City if an agreement with Diltz is reached. There would be fencing and landscaping and it would be private property. There would be separation to the smokers. The improvements would be under an estimated $10,000 dollars. Our own City personnel would install. It is consistent to what has already been done in that area. The City would maintain the sidewalk side of the fence. Everything behind the fence would be their responsibility. The memorandum allows the City to make the improvements. Commissioner O’Dell motioned to approve, Commissioner Ermeti seconded; motion carried.


Dave Thomas met with the food pantry and came up with a scheme of what they would like to see and what works for the city. This is adjacent to the food pantry and #3 of 7 schemes was chosen. Four foot black fencing around the outside on Lincolnway and Hill Street side. Potentially, there would be a sculpture which is currently located in Benton Harbor, Michigan and the artist (local) would like to place it close to him. We are reminded of organic vegetation, and have not met with Art and Public Places Committee. It is an estimated 14 feet tall and we have not met with the Artist regarding the placement yet. Commissioner Stillson asked does it need to be handicap accessible. Ken Prince’s personal opinion is that it does not have to be to provide access. Pat Brown in his research found raised boxes with wheelchair access. He suggested that we provide boxes at a certain height so that they could get to it. Commissioner O’Dell requested that if there were any further questions, would Pat Brown be willing to come and address the Commission.


Mr. Thomas presented information regarding a First Time Homebuyer applicant. Commissioner Ermeti moved to approve as presented. Commissioner Pingel seconded; motion carried.


The 2013 CDBG funding letter was received on August 23, 2013 - $470,000 has been awarded, and funds are anticipated to be received by the end of September. Redevelopment will bring in each activity and how the funds will be allocated. On August 19th and 20th, two representatives from HUD (new/former) performed a monitoring review of Redevelopment. A letter with any concerns will be received within 45 days of the visit and there will be a 30 day period in which to respond with corrections.

Ken Prince shared the cemetery – Fairview improvements. The desire to replace the fencing along Liberty, and only if there is public benefit. There is only one benefit. Ken Prince shared the plan that regards it. It would be to widen the sidewalk along the corridor. There is a special concern for the winter when plowing the snow. We have asked to meet with their board, still pursuant and do not have plans to present. Part of the reasoning is to prohibit vehicles from going over the curb.

Commissioner O’dell asked the occupancy of the Main Street Apartments. Ken Prince will get an official number for the next meeting. The water damage has been fixed according to Ken Prince and the project is officially closed out.

Commissioner O’dell moved to adjourn the meeting, Commissioner Ermeti seconded; meeting adjourned at 7:20 p.m.

M. Gilbert Eberhart, President

David B Thomas

Marilyn Nelums-Jones

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