Todd Donati

Construction halted on Muncie’s Love canal

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IDEM has shut down construction on the former Indiana Wire & Steel property pending further investigation.

Some highlights from the newspaper article:

  • Under a variety of agreements and plans for the site, prohibitions against disturbing the surface of the property, including concrete pads, have long been in place. The prohibitions were even referred to during a March 2016 public presentation when a designer for the site said an elevated grassy area would be created “because we can never dig down … that’s our history.”
  • That history — and those prohibitions — were apparently forgotten or disregarded recently, however.
  • “If you drive past, you’ll see things starting to move around and get busy out there,” Tyler said in touting the project. “Construction has started and when it’s complete, it will revitalize the eastern corridor into the city.”
  • That work ran contrary to IDEM’s instructions, however

Read the full article here.

Is Muncie the new Love Canal? (Video)

Muncie’s Financial Reports

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Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives. James Madison

Please take a look at Muncie’s financials.

MC900439169

DEBT

These two reports ran in January 2016 and February 2016.    The latest report shows a debt increase of $10 million.

Muncie debt 2-26-16

January 2016 debt

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REVENUE

Muncie revenue received for the years 2011 to 2015.  The revenue sources includes property taxes, federal taxes, state taxes, local taxes, fees, donations and grants.

2015 $96,344,555.40

2014 $101,147,218.97

2013 $100,696,634.05

2012 $124,112,776.60

2011 $90,393,089.58

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Detailed Receipts 2011 to 2015

If you would like to look at the revenue streams the reports below give details.  As you can see, property taxes have been on a decline since 2011.  This should have been the first clue.

Muncie Detailed Receipts 2015

Muncie Detailed Receipts 2014

Muncie Detailed Receipts 2013

Muncie Detailed Receipts 2012

Muncie Detailed Recepts 2011

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SUMMARY

When revenue begins to decrease while debt increases it would be wise to consider the cost of debt and what it means.  The first cost was public services which could only be fully funded with a tax increase.  The second cost is economic development and it will only partially be funded with the recent tax increase.

You do need to consider the cost. If the debt can not be met, and there are no more taxes to increase what then? Fees?  Fines?  You don’t need to be in the dark when it comes to Local and State government finances any longer.  In fact, it is imperative, for our future, to be well informed.

James Madison was a wise man giving wise advice which is still relevant today.

Source: State of Indiana Transparency Portal

 

 

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 morning rambling: Fiscal Health – City of Muncie: Business as usual

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In light of the recent adoption of Local Option Income Tax (LOIT), this may be the perfect time to examine the fiscal health of our city.  The report covers 2013 and 2014 and does a comparison between the two years.  Being an informed citizen is a good thing, it’s hard to pull the wool over eyes that see.

In addition, knowledge is a tool to prepare for events which can affect a lifestyle.  Lowering Your Income Tax (LOIT) which was first mentioned by the Muncie mayor and adopted 14 days later by Muncie City Council is one such thing.  Two weeks is barely enough time to get the information out to the masses.

One interesting aspect is the information on the city revenue has been in the hands of nine city council members, one mayor and one controller for three years.  Yet, there was never a word said at council meetings, in the newspaper or during State of the City addresses.  It was all puppy dogs and happiness.

In the ranks of the people, the concern about the finances was growing.  How in the world is the city paying for all this?  No one knew.  None of this has taken us off guard, seeing it coming down the pike.  Interesting the very ones with information at their fingertips either never saw it (odd) or ignored it (likely).

Do need to recognize the speed in which the city racked up $65 million in debt as well as the lightening speed in which a tax was imposed upon every working stiff.

Please feel free to take a look at the fiscal health report.   You will find in nearly every category a decrease in revenue and an increase in expenditures.  An increase in government owned acreage, an increase in TIF, an increase in local taxes.   It’s business as usual.

Fiscal Health Muncie 2013-2014

Economic Development – Riley style

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There is no doubt in anyone’s mind Delaware County Economic Development is a hard area to follow.  Both financial and in practice.

Today, Larry Riley, a regular columnist in the local newspaper lays it out for us.  I’m not sure anyone could have done a better job at explaining.  Nevertheless, here it is in all her glory.  Enjoy.

Development of economic development.

Elections & Paving…this is a quickie

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As some of you know, we just finished our 2015 Municipal primary.  I know, I know, there was an election and no one came.  We saw a turnout of 8%.   It’s no surprise to any of us.  The ballot filled with Democrats and no contenders.  Except for the At-Large seats.

Speaking of the At-Large seat, six contenders for the three available seats.  Nora Powell drug out her maiden name again for this election.  She hasn’t used the Evans name since she got married.  As soon as she ran for office, pulled it out and presto! She’s first on the ballot as Nora Evans Powell.

Another candidate named Philip Gonzales showed up as #2.  He didn’t campaign, avoided the press and not even a free Facebook presence.  He’s what can commonly be called a ringer or a ghost candidate.  It’s very simple, really.  Placed on the ballot with the intent to steal votes..  A party that was filled to the brim with their best of their best.  They just can’t keep their paws out of manipulating the elections.

Phil received 439 votes or slightly less that 5%.  Next in line on the ballot was Linda Gregory coming in third place.  The hopes of Democrat Headquarters to unseat Linda by placing Phillip as #2 didn’t pan out.  Still, it’s a little unnerving to think over four hundred voters gave the false candidate a vote.  This has been going on since the beginning of time.  You would think it would sink in.

The paper reported Todd Donati is bonding out another $1 million.  As soon as the information is updated, will post the amortization schedule.

The local newspaper is full of good news.  $600,000 will be used to pave a busy street.  No one should be in disagreement on paving roads.  The street was in the works for a complete makeover to include sidewalks, a bike and walking path, street lights.  A few years ago the City of Muncie painted the decorative globes making evening lighting impossible.  So they tried again and now we have different colored streetlight globes with a hint of the Christmas colors all year long.

I doubt the City has the money for the makeover considering it is borrowing from the Muncie Redevelopment Commission.  In effect, we are borrowing from ourselves and paying interest for the privilege of borrowing from ourselves.

Will leave you with this excerpt from the Muncie Star newspaper:

The MRC’s approval of $600,000 to fund the contract meant that wheel tax proceeds and other funds usually spent on street paving could be used elsewhere.

Let’s hope the “using elsewhere” means using Wheel Tax, Street & Road taxes for their intended use.  Paving.