Southsider Voice correspondent
Development of the Rock Pile property in Beech Grove moves closer to reality as the City Council has given its approval to donate the property per agreement of the city’s redevelopment commission and NRP Properties.
The city had ownership of the property at the northeast corner of Schaff Street and Churchman Avenue near the Amtrak maintenance facility. The title company required that the city be the grantor for the transfer of the property.
NRP Properties and Beech Grove Senior LLC intend to develop the land for senior housing in the near future. It has taken several years of talks between NRP and the RDC to reach this point.
When fully developed, financial estimates indicate that it could bring in $180,000 in property tax revenue annually to the RDC.
Budget for 2015 OK’d
The city council approved an $11.6 million budget at its Oct. 6 meeting.
The budget ordinance calls for general fund expenditures of $7.6 million, an increase of $817,000 over the 2014 budget. Clerk-Treasurer Dan McMillan said the increases mostly are covered by changes in fees.
McMillan said earlier that the budget makes him nervous because there is no excess revenue for funding of any major expenses that may arise next year.
The budget also contains figures from the first cost-of-living increase (2 percent) for city employees. The budget was amended to exclude the raise for elected officials.
Earlier at the public hearing on the salary ordinance in September, Mayor Dennis Buckley wound up casting the deciding vote on the amendment to exclude elected city officials from the raise. Councilors Anthony Davidson and David Mobley voted to keep salaries at the 2014 level, with Ed Bell and Dave Harrison voting nay.
The budget and salary ordinances passed second and third readings Oct. 6 by 6-1 votes. Harrison and Davidson voted against the salary and budget ordinances, respectively.
Provisions in the budget call for $100,000 for new in-car laptop computers and $26,787 for lease/purchase agreements for four police cars.
City-backed ambulance services will improve in 2015 with a lease for a new ambulance that places vehicles in rotation for the first time. The approved budget calls for $428,000 in contractual services for ambulances. The council also gave its final approval to increased fees for ambulance runs outside city limits.