PRINCETON — The Gibson County Economic Development Commission and Gibson County Council will be asked to review and approve a funding mechanism for the Toyota-Gibson County YMCA project next month.
Both boards meet July 13 (commission at 8:30 a.m. and council at 9 a.m.) to consider the resolution approving a “forgivable loan” that makes use of $13.2 million in Patoka-Union Township tax increment finance district revenue available for the project.
Gibson County Redevelopment Commission and Gibson County Commissioners have approved the project and use of the TIF revenue. Redevelopment Commission Attorney Jim McDonald explained Tuesday morning that the council would act as a conduit for the approval of money coming out of the redevelopment fund.
“Once the YMCA completes the project and fulfills its commitment, then the loan is forgiven,” he explained.
McDonald told the council that people from across the county were involved in the planning. “This is one of the largest projects coming into the county that is going to be a change in the health and wellbeing of our citizens, and everyone is excited about it coming to town,” he said.
North Gibson School Corporation and the YMCA of Southwest Indiana are working out a building transfer for the former Lowell Elementary property that should be finalized this week, he said.
In addition to the TIF revenue, private donations (including a $1 million Toyota Indiana donation), new market tax credits and Regional Cities funding will finance the estimated $16 million project reported YMCA of Southwestern Indiana Chief Operating Officer Jennifer Brown.
Brown detailed the study which demonstrates the sustainability of the project, and plans for construction and programs. The project, which involves renovation of the school building and addition of an auxiliary gym, new entrance and pool on the west side of the property, would open sometime in June 2022.
The Toyota-Gibson County YMCA would be operated by a local board of volunteers from across the county.
Brown said the city is working to make some parking accommodations that would help the YMCA, the Princeton Community Theatre and the Knights of Columbus.
Before the project is completed, YMCA is partnering to provide child care for North Gibson summer school and before/after school child care. Brown said YMCA is also writing a three-year $300,000 21st Century Learning Center grant with North Gibson to serve children in grades 1-6, and is applying for an i-learning reading grant.
In addition, school districts are committed to bus students to the YMCA for swimming lessons, said McDonald, and a generator is part of the schematics to assure the facility can be used as an emergency shelter. “This is just a win-win-win for Gibson County, in my opinion,” he said.
Council members had questions about who makes decisions in choosing contractors. Brown said the YMCA has architects and engineers working on the project, which will come to the redevelopment commission for public bidding process. McDonald said the redevelopment commission will receive monthly construction updates on the project.
In other business at Tuesday’s monthly meeting:
• The council appointed Larry Wira to the Gibson County Economic Development Commission.
• Members voted to advertise an additional appropriation of $200,000 for pre-design and schematic design of the proposed Gibson County Correctional Center. Some $17,249 would pay a pre-design services invoice from American Structurepoint, and the remaining funds would be available for the $150,000 contract with RQAW for design services. A $40,000 invoice from RQAW would be paid from those funds if the additional appropriation is approved.
• The board approved a resolution approving additional appropriations for several funds including $900 for the general fund, $25,000 for Drug Free Communities, $4,500 for medical care of inmates and $13,000 for Local Income Tax correctional rehabilitation facilities.
• Gibson County Treasurer Mary Ann O’Neal reported 98% of the spring property taxes have been collected and disbursements to taxing units are expected to be distributed this month.
O’Neal asked the council to allocate $2,000 for part time help for the fall tax collection season, noting that the funding for part time help was taken out of the 2021 budget, but the help is needed. The board agreed to advertise for the additional appropriation.
O’Neal also noted that there was no delinquent property tax sale last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but she sent courtesy letters to property owners and collected about $140,000 to keep the properties from going to tax sale. She expects to arrange for an online tax sale in September.
• The council approved transfers of $24,000 in the public defender office budget from funds to cover trial attorney fees for the Wilson murder trial; $1,447 for overtime in the sheriff’s office and $5,000 for overtime for vaccine clinics at the health department.
• The council opted to wait on paying an invoice from Ice Miller for legal services related to Tenaska’s proposed Gibson solar farm until the company is prepared to reimburse the county. Council President Jeremy Overton reported that he was informed Tenaska will pay the Ice Miller invoice after commissioners sign off on an economic development agreement with them.