Home Place awaits timeline on annexation by Carmel

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In November, the City of Carmel reached a deal to annex Home Place after more than a decade of pushback. Now, Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard said his staff is working on a plan to incorporate the 1,017 square acres centered at 106th Street and College Avenue, but an official date hasn’t been set.

“We’re working on a proper plan,” Brainard said. “We have a year under state law to provide services. We’re working on a plan and we’ll start with code enforcement.”

Brainard said on Jan. 4 that a letter could be sent in about 30 days to Home Place residents to outline the plans.

For years, Home Place was part of Clay Township but not legally within Carmel city limits. The City of Carmel has been trying to annex the area because Brainard said it’s a burden on police, fire and other services to not have the area in the city limits.

Matt Milam, leader of the group Concerned Citizens for Home Place, said many Home Place residents didn’t want to be part of Carmel because of concerns about property taxes and debt, among other reasons.

Milam questions why a date hasn’t been set.

“People are kind of speculating,” he said. “We haven’t gotten anything in the mail. People are eager to know what’s going on and when it all might happen. After years of fighting with Home Place, why do they get the ability to annex us and then they put it on hold?”

Brainard said nothing is on hold and that Carmel doesn’t want to rush. He said that’s the way the city has handled all previous annexations.

“Each of our departments has a good relationship with their counterparts in the county, so we’ll make sure it’s a smooth transition,” he said.

Milam said he heard from reliable sources that Carmel can’t afford to provide services  such as police or snow removal. Brainard said the rumors aren’t true.

“The city has more than $35 million in the bank,” Brainard said. “We have the money to do it, but we take our time to phase it in so it’s seamless. It’s not a matter of money, it’s a matter of making sure it’s done properly, so if someone calls 911 we make sure someone shows up.”

As annexation proceeds, Brainard said Carmel will soon discuss the possibility of eliminating the township government because the city and township borders would be the same. As a result, Clay Township’s  three-member board would be disbanded and the township trustee position would be eliminated. The township had a $9.4 million budget for 2016, funded by township property taxes. There’s no timeline for such actions yet.

According to the City of Carmel, taxes aren’t expected to increase much for Home Place residents. The average tax increase for a home valued at $100,000 would be about $95 annually or about $8 a month. For a $200,000 home it would be $190 a year or about $16 a month.

When Home Place is annexed it will be included in the City of Carmel elections and in its City Council districts. The district lines were already planned and must have approximately the same population, so it’d be impossible for Home Place to be its own district. But it’s uncertain whether Home Place would be in one district or split into two or more. Currently, Home Place is in the Central District, which is represented by councilor Bruce Kimball. The district has seen a lot of population growth because of new apartments and condos in Carmel’s urban core, so it’s possible Kimball’s district could be split up.

No matter how the map is drawn, Milam said he plans to run or city government, likely for a seat on the Carmel City Council.

“I’m going to run,” he said. “I’m not sure what I’d run for yet.”

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12 Comments

  1. If it’s not a matter of money, then why did you write this to those in the County with whom you have a good relationship? I guess revenue is not “money” …

    From: “Brainard, James C”
    Date: December 18, 2017 at 12:03:56 PM EST
    To: “Kenton C. Ward”
    Cc: “Pauley, Christine” , “Darren M. Wilson” , “Crider, Jim”
    Subject: Re: Homeplace Annexation

    Kent,

    The annexation is effective anytime after January 1 on the day we file. That has not yet been determined. From the date of filing state law gives us one year to provide regular services and up to three years for capital services. The idea is to tie expenditures to revenues since there is a one year delay in property tax and two-ten year delay before we receive all the local income tax we
    entitled to.

    Jim

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. If it isn’t about “money”, why did he write this to those with whom he has good relationships in the county? I guess money ain’t revenue:

    From: “Brainard, James C”
    Date: December 18, 2017 at 12:03:56 PM EST
    To: “Kenton C. Ward”
    Cc: “Pauley, Christine” , “Darren M. Wilson” , “Crider, Jim”
    Subject: Re: Homeplace Annexation

    Kent,

    The annexation is effective anytime after January 1 on the day we file. That has not yet been determined. From the date of filing state law gives us one year to provide regular services and up to three years for capital services. The idea is to tie expenditures to revenues since there is a one year delay in property tax and two-ten year delay before we receive all the local income tax we
    entitled to.

    Jim

    Sent from my iPhone

    It’s also hilarious the only initial “service” is code enforcement!

  3. Bruce should be the last person to represent Home Place.

    On the Carmel Chatter and Indy Star forums he said Home Place should be bulldozed. Also told me I shouldn’t be allowed at the Concerts at the Gazebo because I don’t pay my fair share

    • Yep, reminds me of HL Mencken: “Democracy is the theory the common man knows what he wants, and he gets it good and hard.”

    • Mark, I don’t know why you perpetuate a falsehood you know not to be true. I have never advocated bulldozing any neighborhood. In realty I have for years pointed to Home Place as a place for those who are looking for affordable housing. I do support the residents who have complained there has been little code enforcement. Most homeowners, their homes are their biggest personal investment. Enforcement of codes is an effective tool in protecting neighborhoods from creeping blight.

  4. Bruce should be the last person to represent Home Place.

    On the Carmel Chatter and Indy Star forums he said Home Place should be bulldozed. Also told me we shouldn’t be allowed at the Concerts at the Gazebo because we don’t pay our fair share

  5. I think I remember Patrick Henry saying “Give me code enforcement or give me death.” And clearly nothing stirred revolutionary passion like “No taxation without code enforcement.”

  6. Note. The last time I published the link in the Current , the link ended up sending you to a dead end. If that happens search Hamilton County Indiana campaign finance contributions.

  7. I am 67 years old and I lived in Orchard Park from 1972 until 2010. I only wish I could live to see how Mayor Brainard is going to screw up Home Place and never once did I get to vote in Carmel’s elections like everyone else who lives there. Especially the area of 106th and College Ave.
    This whole area should become a district by it’s self and have a Home Place resident on the City Council. If we can get lucky, the governing mayor and city council will be replaced in the next election. At least most of the council. Police protection was mentioned above. Now, that dept. is under the County Sherriff and I can remember one night when their responce to my house was faster than the Carmel police and both were there. So, don’t let anyone tell you Home Place dosen’t have good police protection and the fire station there was always on the job when needed as far as I know. This Carmel also “stole” part of my land to build the Moron Trail as it did many other residents along the railroad. It was a sad day for us all when this annexation took place. GOD BLESS all of the Home Place residents.

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