The Carmel Redevelopment Commission finalized its sale of the former Shapiro’s building in October, but the Clerk-Treasurer’s Office is still waiting on the documentation.
Pedcor bought the former delicatessen space for $2.1 million, about half of which was through forgiveness of a debt owed from the CRC to Pedcor. Many city councilors – some of whom have been often critical of the CRC and Mayor Jim Brainard – questioned the deal at the time, asking why Pedcor won the bid. City Councilor Rick Sharp suggested that the deal “doesn’t smell right.”
Those critics are eager to see the documents be made public once they are submitted to Clerk-Treasurer Diana Cordray.
The Carmel City Council did not approve the sale because it’s not required under law. CRC Director Corrie Meyer said there’s nothing to hide and she is happy to make it public once the documents are finalized.
“All of it is still with the Recorder’s Office,” she said. “Once we get it, I will pass it along.”
An exchange of e-mails between Meyer and the Clerk-Treasurer’s Office, which are public records, shows a slight conflict brewing over these documents. The Clerk-Treasurer’s Office inquired – for the purposes of fiscal planning – about how the debt forgiveness would affect the CRC’s overall debt. Meyer responded that it’s not the Clerk-Treasurer’s responsibility to conduct fiscal planning, but that she would be happy to answer any questions or provide the documents when they are available.
“Again, fiscal planning is the responsibility of the Commission and CRC staff will file closing statements once received from the Recorder’s Office,” Meyer responded in an e-mail. “There is no action that needs to be taken by the CRC Treasurer in regards to this sale.”
As for how it affects the debt, Meyer said it will be a big positive but doesn’t feel the need to release revised debt calculations.
“The CRC just updated TIF debt projects and obligations,” Meyer wrote. “Currently, there are no plans to continually update the report as revenues are received or debt paid off or down. The report is considered a guidepost to assist the CRC in budgeting practices.”
Brainard has said repeatedly that the CRC is very compliant when it comes to providing documents, but that many “calls for transparency” are, in his mind, an attempt to create a scandal where there is none. Still others, such as Cordray, strongly disagree with that characterization.