It looks like Spring might actually make an appearance soon. It’ll be nice to see something other than snow on the ground. As the weather improves, we’ll start to see more activity in New Haven. I’ll try to keep you up to date, and please feel free to ask questions or comment on anything going on in New Haven. 

February 25th Council Meeting

City Council passed an ordinance dealing with portable storage containers.  This ordinance originally contained both residential and commercial restrictions, but Council asked for the commercial sections to be removed – the majority of Council thought it would be burdensome and restricting for commercial properties. The Planning Commission came back with a recommendation that we approve the ordinance as originally written.  Council voted for the ordinance without the commercial sections and it was passed.  Although I do think we need some rules for commercial use, I didn’t like the fact that businesses would have to plead their case with the Board of Zoning Appeals in order to continue to do business as they have for years – without any complaints. Hopefully, we can come to an agreement on Commercial/Industrial use that Council can live with.  Until then, at least we have restrictions now on the use of storage containers in the residential areas.
The new rules state that one storage container/dumpster is allowed for a maximum of 45 consecutive days per any 12 month period.  That can’t be larger than 8 feet wide, 40 feet long and 8-1/2 feet high. If a container needs to be placed on a public right-of-way, permission will need to be granted by New Haven’s Engineering Department. Those containers will be required to have lighted barricades at each end. If the container is needed during the construction of a primary residence, or is associated with an approved construction site – it can remain up to 6 months.

State Business Personal Property Tax Elimination.

The Council approved a resolution from the New Haven Mayor stating that we are not in favor of eliminating the Business Personal Property Tax.  While it sounds like a great plan for attracting new businesses and industry to Indiana, it would seriously affect city government and services. The Indiana General Assembly is considering the bill right now. If they do pass the tax elimination, they’ll most likely have to replace it with some other type of tax – and there haven’t been any great ideas (in my opinion) on how to make that work.  As a business owner, I’d love for my business taxes to go down – but I won’t support an elimination of a tax that helps fund local governments without alternative funding. It will be interesting to see what they come up with. 

New Addition Proposed for New Haven.

Greg Adam went in front of the Planning Commission on February 18th hoping to get approval for a 14 lot housing addition on Seiler Road. As I stated in my previous blog, there are several issues that need to be resolved. The Commission was concerned about drainage. Mr. Adam was hoping to connect to the existing Pinestone storm drain system. This area was originally plotted to be part of Pinestone by extending Haney Court. The Pinestone Community Association wasn’t happy about the new addition using Pinestone’s ponds for drainage without contributing to their maintenance. Negotiations between the two are ongoing. Some of the other concerns were the name of the new street/addition and the number of street lamps. One of my concerns included the fact that building the addition will eliminate the “stub” at the corner of Haney Court and Carmondy Crossing. There is a need for additional parking in that area and abandoning that “stub” will remove a couple parking spots. We were informed that the Planning Commission couldn’t consider that issue in their determination. I’m not pleased about making a situation worse by ignoring a problem.  The decision was tabled until the next meeting. It will be on March 18th at 7:00 in the City Council Chambers. The public is welcome to attend.

Moeller Road

We were all thrilled when the Moeller Road construction was completed last Summer. Unfortunately, there are some issues popping up (or sinking down) with the project. When you drive down Moeller, you’ll notice that every time there’s a storm drain on the side of the road, the road has sunk all the way across. The City Engineering Department is aware of the issue and is trying to figure out a solution.  Since the project was funded partially by Federal dollars, there might be some issues getting the contractors to stand behind their work. All the tests for compaction in those area were said to be good before paving. I’ll keep you informed on the status of that issue. It’s a shame to have a brand new road cracking and sinking before it’s even a year old.

New Haven Community Foundation

I’m excited to tell you about the creation of the New Haven Community Foundation. We’ve been talking about coming up with a way that people could donate tax deductible dollars to improve the quality of life in New Haven for a long time.  After talking to the Fort Wayne Community Foundation, we came up with a way.  The purpose of the Foundation is to work to improve the quality of life of residents in New Haven through charitable perpetuation of youth programs, art and cultural enrichment, parks, recreation, and education related to these purposes in the community.   All donations and endowments will be made to the Fort Wayne Community Foundation, but directed to the New Haven Fund.  The Fort Wayne Foundation will handle the investments, tax filing and paperwork necessary for a charitable organization like this.  New Haven will have a board of directors reviewing grant
applications and acting as a steering committee for how the moneys will
be spent.  I’m proud to be one of the founding board members along with Charlie Hatten of the New Haven Chamber and Steve McMichael of Imagine Realty. We’ll be adding more board members this year and will start some fundraising drives soon.

Oops,

Last Sunday morning I was reading the newspaper and was really interested in an article talking about how construction was taking off in Allen County.  The number one project listed in the article and accompanying charts was the Physician’s Urgent Care facility on Coliseum Blvd.  They listed it as a $35 million dollar project and was by far the largest completed last year.  I read that and shook my head. It would have to be plated in gold to cost that much. The article said it was way more expensive than building the new Costco.

It made me chuckle this morning to see a correction published. The actual construction cost was $350,000. Not $35 million.  Only off by a factor of 100.  AND, they blamed the error on “inaccurate information provided to them”. Don’t reporters ask questions if something doesn’t make sense anymore?   And what do Editors do?   I started my career working for New Haven’s weekly newspaper/printshop. It’s not easy verifying all the information, but something as crazy as that should have been noticed.  Just saying.

Thanks for reading and we’ll talk soon.
Craig