Meeting: Jasper Common Council

The Jasper Common Council met Wednesday and:

• Found local organizations in compliance with their tax abatements. Representatives from Jasper Engines and Transmissions, Jasper Lofts, Vine Street Lofts and Park Place Estates were each found in compliance.

• Held a public hearing regarding Park Place Estates, a multi-phase development that will ultimately bring 148 apartment units to Jasper, at the corner of 30th Street and U.S. 231. No comments were made at the hearing. Phase one has been completed, and the hearing was regarding phase two, which will feature 44 two-bedroom units across six buildings. The council passed a motion for the project that confirms the designation of that portion of the city as an economic revitalization area, and also approved a statement of benefits.

• Held a public hearing regarding gas rates and charges. No comments were made. Changes to the rates and charges were then approved in an ordinance. Under the modifications, some fixed rates will slightly increase, but other costs will decrease. The average homeowner customer would see “pretty much a wash,” over the course of the year, General Utilities Manager Bud Hauersperger said in March.

• Approved an ordinance fixing a schedule of revised rates and charges collected by the city from owners of property served by the sewage works of the city.

• Approved rezoning the land that Brookstone Estates 7 could be located on from agricultural to low-density residential. Kerstiens Development aims to bring the 49-lot, single-family home subdivision to a swath of 27 acres of land on the west end of the city’s corporation limits. The project previously received a favorable recommendation for the rezoning from the Jasper Plan Commission, and now goes back to the plan commission for the primary platting process.

• Approved an ordinance establishing fees for rental and associated costs of the Jasper Arts Center and fees for the participation in arts center programs.

• Approved an ordinance establishing a fund for donations received for the Mayor’s Youth Leadership Council.

• Approved a resolution that allows for certain code provisions or policies that will allow businesses to request the use of temporary signage that isn’t normally allowed as well as the ability to utilize more spaces for outdoor activities. Those provisions will run through Aug. 31, unless the changes are terminated or extended. The resolution is aimed at helping local businesses reopen and relaunch the local economy.

• Heard that the Ruxer Golf Course property will be maintained until its future use has been determined. “There have been several ideas that have been thrown out,” said Jasper Mayor Dean Vonderheide. “And I’ve got a list right now of three different entities or opportunities that we could pursue.”

• Heard that the city has teamed up with the City of Huntingburg and the Dubois County Commissioners to raise funds for the development of a pedestrian and bicycling path master plan that could connect communities throughout the county.

• Motioned to extend the executive orders concerned with utility disconnections and related issues until “the State of Indiana changes the rules relating to those items,” City Attorney Renee Kabrick said in her description of the request.

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