Carmel City Council sends park impact fee resolution, CRC home purchase to finance committee


The Carmel City Council held its first meeting of the year Jan. 8 to discuss a change in how park impact fee waivers are approved, a proposed Carmel Redevelopment Commission purchase of a Main Street property, select 2024 officers and more.

What happened: The council introduced a resolution to set in motion a process to amend the Unified Development Ordinance that would remove the Carmel Board of Public Works’ ability to grant park impact fee waivers and instead give that authority to the city council.

What it means: In the last decade, the BPW – an appointed board – has granted more than $25 million in park impact fee waivers, with the funds instead going toward Carmel Redevelopment Commission projects. Councilors said the resolution aims to increase transparency and collaboration between CCPR and the CRC.

What’s next: The resolution will be discussed by the council’s finance committee. The Carmel Plan Commission would initiate any changes to the UDO, which would come back to the city council for a final vote.

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The Carmel Redevelopment Commission approved the $850,000 purchase of a residential property at 331 W. Main St. (Photo by Ann Marie Shambaugh)

What happened: The council discussed the CRC purchase of a residential property at 331 W. Main St. before sending the matter to the finance committee.

What it means: The CRC has the property under contract for $850,000 but needs council approval to use land acquisition funds from the 2021 tax increment financing bonds to pay for it. If the council doesn’t provide approval, the CRC will use its cash reserves. The CRC wants to purchase the property to aggregate land facing Main Street for a future redevelopment project.

What’s next: The council’s finance committee will discuss the matter before sending it back to the full council for a vote.

What happened: The council approved two ordinances on first reading that reorganizes the city’s executive departments and adjusts the salaries accordingly.

What it means: The changes were recommended by Mayor Sue Finkam, who took office Jan. 1. Changes include creation of the department of economic development (previously handled by the community relations department), renaming the controller’s office to the finance department, and the creation of the positions of chief of staff and deputy chief of staff.

What happened: The council elected officers and assigned committee members for 2024.

What it means: Tony Green is council president, Adam Aasen is council vice president, Rich Taylor is council chaplain and Matt Snyder is council parliamentarian. Finance, Utilities and Rules Committee members are Jeff Worrell (chair), Ryan Locke, Rich Taylor and Aasen. Land Use and Special Studies Committee members are Matt Snyder (chair), Shannon Minnaar, Anita Joshi and Teresa Ayers. The council appointed Minnaar to the Carmel Plan Commission, Aasen to the Carmel Redevelopment Commission, Taylor to the Hamilton County Solid Waste Board, Locke to the Carmel Audit Committee and Ayers and Locke to the Carmel Climate Action Committee.

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Carmel City Councilor Jeff Worrell gives Carmel Police Department therapy dog Macy a treat after swearing her in. (Photo by Ann Marie Shambaugh)

What happened: Carmel City Councilor Jeff Worrell swore in Macy, the Carmel Police Department’s new therapy dog.

What it means: Macy, a 1-year-old black Labrador retriever, is CPD’s first therapy dog and is trained to promote emotional well-being of Carmel residents and employees. She completed her training in November 2023.