Economic Development

Is Muncie the new Love Canal?

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If you have been following the development of the old Indiana Wire and Steel property here is an updated site with quite a bit of information from those who are living in the neighborhood.

The paper hasn’t been reporting much if any, and certainly, the City of Muncie and the Redevelopment Commission has not brought forth any updates.

IDEM was at the site on Thursday (April 13, 2017) and so far there has not been any information on their findings from that visit.

So you may be thinking, “Not my concern” but if the concrete is contaminated and it stands to reason it is, the particles can be airborne.

So, take a look at the Facebook page if you feel so inclined.  A video has been posted on April 12th showing the condition of the property.

 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1123293014418066/

Saturday Ramblings: April Fools Day

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Good morning.

Muncie is always in the news.  If it’s not the Muncie Community Schools, it’s the City of Muncie.    Necks are hurting from all the shaking of the heads or SMH for short.

Muncie is in a perpetual state of April Fool’s Day and the joke is on those living within the boundaries.  We at Muncie Politics thought it would be fun and challenging to bring to remembrance some of the more funnier jokes.

  1. 2012 Muncie’s tax levy was increased.  The city controller blamed it on the previous administration for not considering insurance increases.  Seems they forgot Muncie City Council did not approve the ’12 budget.   On a side note: the tax levy has increased every year since ….go figure.
  2.  Consider a private pool located in Mayor Tyler’s neighborhood and his family frequents receiving $10,000 city tax dollars for repairs while the city pool operates at a $96,000 deficit.
  3. The previous mayor, McShurley, promised enough money was available to fund public safety and she left the city with over $8 million in funds to support her claim.  Mayor Tyler assured us that he also had enough money for public safety.  But, in 2015 he passed LOIT and an income tax increase in a mere 14 days. (43% increase)
  4. Mayor Tyler promised living wage jobs but it appears the only person seeing an income increase was his building commissioner.  I mean, how many people get paid for work never performed?  It’s a good gig if you’re inclined to pick the pockets of taxpayers.
  5. In 2016 the Mayor encouraged his street superintendent to run for county commissioner.  Meanwhile, they were attempting to get paving funds yanked from the county.  The State of Indiana said no, it was a minor error which the State did not catch in the approval process.   The State would not punish the county.  Funny how Mayor Tyler can sniff out a county issue while his administration is hosting FBI agents investigating city corruption.
  6. The State of Indiana awarded the City of Muncie $4 million for demolitions of blighted property.  It took the city a few years to get started and Mayor blamed the late start on the State.  Never mind other communities were ahead of the game.  If they were making headway with the funds, why is Muncie so far behind?
  7. The City of Muncie approved to forgive $10,000 in delinquent property taxes for a community garden.  I don’t know if the State said yes because there has been no follow-up and no community garden, either.  Considering the land housed an old factory…was polluted anyway.
  8. Of course, who could forget the Muncie Redevelopment Director, Todd Donati, asking for a tax reduction on his personal condo claiming it was economic development.   City Council voted no, but Donati vowed to return with his request when people were more “open” to the idea.
  9. Muncie has also ventured into the real estate business.  Putting out a request to bid on a privately owned downtown building throwing in a city-owned parking lot.  The requirements were stringent and no bidders came forth.  So, the city is planning on “loaning” over $7 million to the owners.
  10. After Mayor Tyler won, he said both the county and the city was controlled by one party and there would be no excuses.  However, there are excuses.  If it’s not the State of Indiana it’s the previous mayor’s fault…oh well.

It’s been a perpetual April Fools Day since January 1st, 2012, and the joke is on us.

Muncie Community Schools – What is going on?

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Muncie Community Schools has been dominating the headlines in the local newspaper.  Did the school district fall into sudden disrepair financially and physically?  Has the proverbial can been kicked down the road?

Questions like these have divided the district.  Some opting to believe the signs were glaring while others believe it is the fault of the current administration.  Whatever road you’re traveling it’s coming to an abrupt end.

Let’s take a look at the stark picture:

A Brief Review of School Financing, Performance and Enrollment in Delaware County Indiana (PDF). Delaware County School Data Mar 1 2017-1

State aid to Muncie schools drops

Certainly, there are other factors which come into play.  For the purpose of this blog entry, we will be focusing on the review and newspaper article.

Muncie’s Debt, Delaware County Tax Levy

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Amortization is an accounting term that refers to the process of allocating the cost of an intangible asset over a period of time. It also refers to the repayment of loan principal over time.

Muncie amortization schedule as of 3-5-17. Enjoy.

muncie-unit-debt-3-5-17

If you want more, here is the tax levy for 2017 for Delaware County which includes Muncie City.

delaware-county-2017-certified-budget-order

Saturday ramblings: More on TIF

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Larry bringing to light the reason for consolidating TIF districts.

TIF consolidation for health, safety, morals

Saturday ramblings: Looking @ HB 1018

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House Bill 1018
Introduced House Bill (H)

Authored by Rep. Robert Cherry.

DIGEST

Tax increment financing. Provides that if a redevelopment commission adopts a declaratory resolution or amendment after June 30, 2015, that establishes, renews, or expands an allocation provision or area, the base assessed value used to determine the amount of allocated tax proceeds for the redevelopment district must be increased each year so that the incremental assessed value is 50% of the incremental assessed value in the allocation area without the increase. Provides that for the allocation area in Marion County that is identified as the Consolidated Allocation Area, the expiration date for the allocation area is June 30, 2026, or the last date of any obligations that are outstanding on July 1, 2016, whichever is later.

Follow HB2018

Fiscal impact statement

You may be asking why the dislike of Tax Increment Financing.  Used properly, it has the potential for economic impact.  Unfortunately, too many Redevelopment Commissions have abused the funds. Read the rest of this entry »

Saturday morning ramblings: What’s happening? Local politics and how it works for you.

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Muncie Politics

The Road to Prosperity

September began with a bang when the State of Indiana levied fines of $12,500 on a local construction company for work being done at Muncie’s City Hall.  The city’s building commissioner, who is the owner of the company, Advanced Walls and Ceilings, said he took a hands off approach when his business was awarded a contract and knew nothing about the violations, as well as Mayor Tyler.   Mayor Tyler plans to appeal  to the State of Indiana.

Advanced Walls and Ceilings violation report

SOS Advanced Walls and Ceiling business filing history

Last week the Muncie Star Press newspaper reported the Building Commission tagged the headquarters of Team Democrat candidates for code violations.  There was no construction or remodeling going on, and no other units received violations.

The initial implication of the red-tagging was that the dissidents — who prefer to be considered the mainstream Democrats now, as was noted in an earlier W/R column — had been targeted by appointees of Mayor Dennis Tyler, the standard-bearer of the mainstream Democratic Party.

Source: W/R REPORT: Dissident Dems red-tagged by city Star Press 9-7-14

 The building commissioner could not be reached for comment. The mayor however did comment.

“No, absolutely not,” Tyler said. “I will not allow them to be treated any differently than any other organization.” Source: W/R REPORT: Dissident Dems red-tagged by city 9-7-14

Well, O.K. Let’s move on. Read the rest of this entry »