St. Joseph County Redevelopment Commission passes resolutions, concerned citizens speak up

NOW: St. Joseph County Redevelopment Commission passes resolutions, concerned citizens speak up

NEW CARSLISE, Ind. - Resolutions were passed, Tuesday morning, for the New Carlise Economic Development Area (NCEDA), causing growing concerns from the community. 

The Commission passed three resolutions: to amend the economic development plan, to establish their intent to receive reimbursement for preliminary costs from the proceeds of bonds and to approve a proposed lease with the St. Joseph County Redevelopment Authority. 

These resolutions were passed to the St. Joseph County Council meeting to be voted on, later Tuesday night. 

Most in attendance were against NCEDA, feeling that they weren't being heard. 

Community members are concerned about environmental impacts, displaced residential housing, concerns for their property and overall displeasure on how this project has been handled. 

Steve Francis, a resident in the area, says the planning process is being mishandled and not planned with the appropriate consideration for people living in the area. 

In response to yesterday's meeting, Francis says it was "very hotly debated and a lot of upset people. It was not just informational."

He suggests the Commission pauses to complete their comprehensive land use plan before they expand the industrial area. 

Bill Schalliol, the Executive Director of Economic Development, says he's understanding and sympathizes that it's not an easy issue for people.

"Anytime you're talking about property rights, it is complicated, it does get heated. But we do understand that."

For Schalliol, the planning stage is essential. 

Right now, it's all about collecting the right tools to do the job, including paperwork, collecting revenue and improving the area. 

"Once we have the process set up, it allows us to go out and work with prospects, existing businesses, homeowners, things like that," he said. 

Revenue costs include design costs for the Larrison and Smilax lift stations, which local architecture and engineering firm, DLZ Inc., would be performing, costing $275,000. 

Schalliol called the $275,000 "start-up fees" related to the design for this work, but says a full contract will need to be reached before the Commission reaches out for a bid for the actual construction of the lift stations. 

Commissioners unanimously approved a $275,000 IEC Sewer Study Supplemental Agreement with DLZ.

Additionally, the commissioners also unanimously approved a $350,000 project for additional hours and design work on a non-potable water plant, part of the St. Joseph Energy Project. 

Joe Layne asked, "How many more special services agreements do you think we'll see to get this project done?" 

Schalliol replied, "There will probably be an additional supplemental to both the sewer and the water to get a final design and bid documents and construction documents. Those will probably come forward in the next six to eight months." 

Schalliol also alluded to prospective road work projects, contract work on Fillmore Rd. and S.R. 2/Larrison interchange. 

"We'll probably have five to six more professional service contracts coming through either before the end of the year or after the first of the year." 

You can find the complete minutes of the November 14 County Commissioner's meeting on their website. 

The St. Joseph County Council voted on these resolutions in a meeting Tuesday night. 

Read the results of their vote here. 

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