Zionsville considers financing plan for new town hall

May 4, 2015

Zionsville has a financial proposal in place to build a new town hall, if that’s the plan officials pursue.

The Zionsville Town Council discussed a financial arrangement Monday night that would include constructing a new town hall on the land directly north of where the existing municipal building sits on Oak Street.

Under the proposal, the Zionsville Redevelopment Authority would issue bonds and lease the new town hall to the Zionsville Redevelopment Commission. Once the bonds were paid in full, the redevelopment commission would take ownership of the building, and then convey the facility to the town.

The bonds would not exceed $9.135 million, and the redevelopment commission would agree to semi-annual lease payments of $732,000.

“This does not put us on a track that can’t be changed,” town council President Steve Mundy said, pointing out that renovating the existing town hall is still an option.

A variety of funds would pay for the bonds, including tax increment financing district revenue, food and beverage taxes and the town’s cumulative capital fund. The town also would pledge a special benefits tax to back the bonds, should the other sources of repayment fall short. However, town officials don’t believe the special benefits tax would be necessary—it’s pledged to capture a better bond rate.

Earlier this year, town officials weighed the options for improving the town hall and approved a tax increment financing district surrounding town hall as a way to capture new tax revenue from nearby developments. The 38-acre economic development area stretches northwest from the municipal building to Quail Run Apartments along Ford Road. The Starbucks just west of the town hall is within it, but the adjacent Boone Village shopping center is not.

The existing town hall, which is a 45-year-old church, would be sold to a private developer for commercial use. The new tax revenue generated from that project would help pay for the new structure.

“We would make sure it’s something appropriate and respectable,” town council member Jeff Papa said of the commercial development.

Zionsville has used the former church as a municipal building since 2003. Replacing the 27,700-square-foot town hall would cost an estimated $7.5 million, assuming the new facility is about 38,450 square feet. Renovating the old church would cost about $3 million, according to estimates presented to the Zionsville Plan Commission earlier this year.

“We’re trying to look at the very long run—which method comes out best?” Papa said.


Recent Articles by Lindsey Erdody

Comments powered by Disqus