WFIU/WTIU’s Gretchen Frazee sat down with Greencastle Mayor Sue Murray this week to talk about new laws that went into effect this week, changes to the downtown parking, and the city’s plans for Fourth of July.
You can listen to the full conversation by clicking on the play button above.
Here are some of the highlights.
Frazee: Let’s start off by talking about the laws the legislature passed this year and a lot of them are going into effect this week. Are there any you have been keeping your eye on?
Murray: I think as a mayor I would be negligent to say it wasn’t the business personal property tax and the implication of that without recouping those dollars back in again.
Frazee: As a part of that bill they allow counties to opt out of the business personal property tax. Is that a conversation you have had with people in the community about whether that might attract more business here to Greencastle?
Murray: There are a lot of questions about whether the business personal property tax would make the difference in a business coming to Indiana or a community. It’s about a trained workforce and the other incentives we can give people in terms of quality of life that you compromise if you make some of those changes.
If you pit county against county, we’ve gone to a regional approach for economic development. One county having a business personal property tax that they’ve opted out of, does that give an unfair advantage? I don’t think it’s been proven but the perception is probably going to be, and if it does occur, which it hasn’t in our region, I can see that that spirit of cooperation that folks have been working hard to build is probably going to be diminished.
Frazee: The city awarded a contract for its downtown parking lots.
Murray: Finally. Three years. Right now we are waiting on a release of funds from the Indiana Community Housing and Development Authority. We’re going to be changing parking ordinances.
Frazee: Changing parking ordinances? What does that entail?
Murray: There are a lot of downtown merchants who are sure business is being prohibited by employees who are getting in their car and moving their care to another spot [that is two hour parking]. What we’re going to do is the 294, two-hour parking spots we have, I’m going to take an ordinance to council saying we’re really going to limit those to two-hour parking, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Technology is available through our police department to track, so if they know that my license plate has sat in one of those and I move to another one, I’m going to be subject to a ticket.