Carmel city council approves funding for hotel, excludes carousel

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After months of discussion, the Carmel City Council on Sept. 18 approved $96 million in bonds that will pay for a city-owned boutique hotel, new roundabouts and multi-use paths but does not include funding for an antique carousel.

Councilors Tony Green and Laura Campbell expressed concerns about the hotel and voted against funding it. Green said he didn’t think Carmel should back up and guarantee the hotel debt “from now until perpetuity.”

“We’re jumping in with two feet to ownership. We’re jumping into the market,” he said. “As a matter of policy that’s generally not the way government should be operating.”

Campbell said she did not support the city competing with private hotels.

“Even though this is a different (type of) hotel, that’s something I really struggle with,” she said. “I don’t think we should compete with other businesses, not only for customers but for employees.”

Councilor Ron Carter urged the council to keep funding for the carousel in the bonds.

“I believe that communities always have to move forward or they die over time,” he said.

Councilor Bruce Kimball joined Carter in supporting the carousel, but they did not have the votes to override a motion to remove it.

This story will be updated

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7 Comments

  1. The Special Benefits Tax (SBT) is much more insidious than you might think.

    Carmel continually borrows money and uses SBT as a backup for redevelopment. Carmel now has an SBT backup on 41% of its debt load (not mentioning how often we refinance our old debt into shiny new debt)

    There are projects worth doing and we have done them and done them well. However, if everything was such a sure thing why is it now being backed ultimately by the citizens via SBT? If it were the cities debt only, then a failure would mean the city filed bankruptcy.

    With SBT it bankrupts the residents and businesses of Carmel before a failure can occur. It is in addition to the 1% property tax cap and would drive down property values in a heartbeat. Then Assessed Value goes down and SBT goes up. How much is a place worth in that environment? How many cents on the dollar and where does the meltdown end?

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