Cender and Company online

We were asked to make sure all our followers know the best places to find our links and posts online:

We’re gearing up for an e-newsletter soon, leave a comment below if you want to be included in Cender’s Weekly Best Practices in Governing email.


Cender and Company in the news

East Chicago and Cline Avenue bridge


The East Chicago Indiana city council gave approval to the Mayor to begin the process of a public-private partnership to build a toll bridge for Cline Avenue.

Times Article

The agreement allows Mayor Copeland to proceed with a transfer of the state-owned 1.25-mile span over the Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal to a development group that will build, own and operate the new road. 

Is the Indiana legislature affecting your city or town?

March 2010 Update on Indiana Municipal Finance

(reprinted with permission from Indiana Municipal Consulting)

Once in a while it is good to spend a few minutes looking at the big picture in Indiana municipal finance, some links we found that are worth reading and pondering:

  • Hammond Indiana – Calumet Avenue Corridor Study – this is a survey for the public to give their input as the City of Hammond completes the plan for redeveloping the Calumet Corridor. (Via City of Hammond website). In the interest of full disclosure, Cender and Company is providing this analysis to the City, and you can see the background information and maps for this project at our website: Indiana Municipal Finance and Bond Consultants.
  • The Indiana Department of Local Government Finance (DLGF) issues weekly updates on the status of property tax bills in all 92 counties. We keep an eye on these updates as well as working to assist many of the northern Indiana counties with compliance.
  • Just across the border in Michigan’s lake country, Redamak’s opens today! (via #nwindiana twitter search)
  • The Illiana Expressway gained steam once again, at least the Lake County portion, when lawmakers on both sides of the aisle worked to pass legislation. (via Times)

What stories are you watching today, in economic development and municipal finance, Indiana is ahead of many states … but unemployment is hurting everyone.

Can Gary Indiana use land-based casino for recovery

The Indiana legislature has been looking at the casino industry closely this week, perhaps some changes are in store.  Ohio approved sweeping casino legalization in a referendum last month so competition will increase no doubt.

One community with the most to gain from sweeping changes would be Gary Indiana.  Gary has two casino boats, and the owner of those casinos filed for bankruptcy protection from creditors a few weeks ago.  One proposal that has circulated for the last couple years is a reform allowing at least one of those licenses to move a casino inland, off the water, and closer to the traffic on the interstate.

Times article for more details

A quick memory tour, due to the tax caps legislated in 2008 under HEA 1001, Gary filed in 2009 for Indiana Distressed Unit Appeals Board concessions on implementing those property tax caps.  The budgets of the City of Gary and related government agencies have been slashed.  Some have suggested they have been slashed too far.

The opportunity to pick up additional gaming revenue may be one of the only solutions for a community hard pressed already with budget cuts and increases in crime, homelessness, poverty, and property foreclosures.

New feature on Indiana Municipal Consultant site

Indiana Municipal News Today

For breaking news on the Indiana Municipal Finance front, it’s always worth checking out our facebook page: Indiana Municipal Finance Consultants

Merrillville looking to possibly shrink the parks department to just one employee in an effort to cut costs for 2010. This comes on the heels of recent investigation into a possible Indiana Distressed Unit Appeals Board (DUAB) filing, which may not be possible. The DUAB was created as an appeals mechanism when property taxes were capped at 1,2 and 3 percent by the legislature. Municipal entities in Indiana that are affected “may” be able to file for assistance in delaying the impact of this legislation. Our team worked with the City of Gary on their successful filing in 2009 which assisted them with the transition.

Yesterday was the first day of operation for the Mishawaka to Elkhart interurban trolley service.

Portage to release it’s comprehensive plan: From the Times

After months of work, the city’s newest comprehensive plan is ready for review.The plan, which is a road map guiding city officials on development, will be formally presented to the Plan Commission during a special meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday at City Hall.

“There are not a lot of huge changes. We got down into some more details than the 2002 plan,” said City Planner Joe Csikos, adding the plan takes more of a look at new development, rehabilitation of some of the older areas of the city and infill opportunities.

One focus for the future, said Csikos, is to not create any more subdivisions – the typical single-family residential developments on half-acre lots with similar houses dotting the streets. Instead, the plan focuses on creating neighborhoods within the city that are a mix of uses, vital developments with considerations for walkability, said Csikos.

Development of the newest plan began last summer when the city hired the consulting firm of SEH Inc. of Munster. A committee of officials, business members and residents also was formed. The committee held two public open houses to gather information and conducted a survey of residents on how they wanted to see their community develop.

That information is contained in the draft comprehensive plan. Csikos said the draft plan is available online for review at www.sehinc.com/online/portage/ and a copy is available at the planning office at City Hall.

Csikos said the public will have a chance to comment on the proposed plan at Thursday’s meeting. If the commission approves the document, it will be forwarded to the City Council for consideration at its Oct. 6 meeting.

Indiana Association of Cities and Towns

Cities and Towns Association

The pre-eminent organization for networking and information regarding Indiana Cities and Towns is the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns.

Some important resources there:

For more information call or check out the website:

Indiana Association of Cities and Towns
200 South Meridian Street, Suite 340
Indianapolis, IN 46225
(317) 237-6200

Northwest Indiana Cities and Towns

Indiana Cities and Towns

News today that affects our clients and potential clients:

“When asked what Northwest Indiana supporters of the Kernan-Shepard recommendations can do to promote his plans, Daniels’ said, “Make noise, please.”

Daniels’ push for implementing the recommendations of the Kernan-Shepard commission came just days after Senate legislation to enact the reforms was amended to exclude Lake County from a key provision to replace county commissioners with a single county executive.” From the Times

Hammond and Whiting discussing consolidating some services.

St. John and Dyer head to court over annexation battle.

Mayor of Portage still committed to consolidating 911 with county dispatch, to save money and to increase public safety. Head of fire union speaks out about not being included earlier.