Following is the text from the Spring, 2009, City of Indian Hills Newsletter:
WOW! WHAT A STORM!
Our crews have been doing a great job of cleaning the City's common areas and the roads. Now we are waiting for Metro Public Works crews to remove storm debris from the public rights-of-way throughout the Louisville area. As you probably have read in the newspaper and seen on TV, Metro will come through the entire county to pick up debris. Branches must be cut into six-foot lengths and placed curbside.
They are doing this by grid section and this is the explanation: Metro is divided into six grids, A through F. Each grid is divided into Subsections. Indian Hills is in Grids C3 and E2. The E section has fifteen subgrids and the C section has seven subgrids. The collection is being started in the highest number in the section, working toward the lowest group. Since we are in the lower part of each section, it will be awhile before our debris gets collected. So please be patient!
Many of you have had private contractors clean your lots and haul away the debris, and many more have taken the debris to the landfill at Hubbards Lane; this is very much appreciated. For those of you who have incurred a loss, there may be a tax deduction which may be taken against our 2008 taxes, even though the loss is in 2009, and we think it is because we are in a Federal Disaster Area declared by the President. While we do not give tax advice, you may want to consult a tax preparer or accountant about this tax deduction. We are told this is covered in IRS Publication #547.
Who would have thought that in a 6-month period we would have two major severely damaging storms in our community? As for the September storm which came about because of Hurricane Ike, we were able to secure FEMA money to cover approximately 87% of the City costs. This helps a great deal with our budgeting for the coming year.
If we find that we will receive FEMA money once again for the ice storm, we may decide to start collecting the remaining debris on our own, instead of waiting for Metro, which could be a month or more in the future.
We are indebted to Public Works Director Jim Graven and his crew for the great work they do in a timely manner to keep our roads open during snow storms, ice storms and when trees block our roads.
We also give accolades to our Police Department. Not only do we have a low crime rate in the City, but since they operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, they are generally the first to know of the needs of our City for tree or snow removal. They can quickly alert a crew for action day or night. This is of great value to you as residents of Indian Hills.
Our Doctor of Dollars Councilman Lyle Spalding is currently working on our budget for 2009-10 which runs from July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010. While all of our budgets are important, this one takes on particular significance because of our expiring garbage contract, which is our second largest City expense at about 25% (next to the Police Department as #1). This contract comes up for renewal on June 30, 2009. The anticipated increased cost of garbage removal and the additional cost of the two large storms this fiscal year could necessitate a City tax increase. We have had no tax increase since the tax amount was established at the merger of our four cities in late 1999.
We always look for ways to hold down our taxes, and two ways to do that are through cutting expenses and increasing income. We do a good job of holding expenses to a minimum; all of the members of your City Council serve with no stipend.
Our City income comes from two large sources: property taxes and insurance premium taxes. We have no control over property tax assessment, as this comes from the PVA and is based on the value of your home, but we can influence the insurance premium tax fees by making sure the tax collected is paid to the correct government, which is Indian Hills. This tax amounts to about 10% of our budget.
In the past the City received this payment only if residents advised their insurance provider(s) to remit the tax to Indian Hills. If not notified, the provider made the payment to Louisville Metro. Previously we had no way to know whether we were getting the insurance taxes due to us. However, in 2008 the legislature authorized consolidation and disbursement of your taxes on the State basis, but proper distribution is dependent on the KY Department of Insurance properly determining the "location of risk." Effective December 31, 2008 insurance providers must provide municipal tax in the premium charge or they can absorb the cost and pay it themselves. They must identify the amount of the charge and the name of the taxing jurisdiction. As a City, we believe that this change in the statute provides Indian Hills additional revenue without additional cost to our residents. As residents we can now identify where our insurance premium tax is being sent. While the City has taken steps to insure the Department of Insurance has accurate location information, the magnitude of the data does present some potential for error.
So what can you do? Verify on your recent insurance premium notice that any insurance premium tax is clearly identified as being paid to Indian Hills. If it says something other than Indian Hills such as "Metro Louisville", please put a note on your tax premium that the tax should be paid to Indian Hills and notify your insurance carrier OR notify your City Council, and we will be glad to follow up on this.
As mentioned above, our garbage contract expires on June 30, 2009. Our Sanitation Committee, headed by Councilman Joel Deming, the Guru of Garbage, has prepared the request for bid proposals with the help of Attorney Foster Haunz. These will be distributed and published in short order.
In the most part, we have been extremely pleased with the current sanitation provider, Rumpke, which has been very accommodating and responsive to our requests. We have had some issues during the past storm when their large trucks could not navigate our areas. In these instances, we would not have wanted them to attempt difficult navigation from a safety standpoint. (The last thing we wanted was a large truck stranded in someone's front yard).
To those of you who have yard waste contracts with Rumpke, we advise you that the service will begin on March 17 and end on December 15.
SPEED LIMIT IN INDIAN HILLS
Message from Mayor Eifler: At our January Council meeting, the speeding topic was discussed, Councilman Steve Gruebbel has provided the following statistic:
One of the longest streets in Indian Hills is Indian Hills Trail ... it's 2 miles. if you drive the 25 MPH speed limit for those 2 miles, it will take you 4 minutes and 48 seconds. If you exceed the speed limit by 40% and drive 35 MPH, it will take you 3 minutes and 26 seconds, saving you 1 minute and 22 seconds. Other streets in our City are even shorter, meaning the time savings associated with speeding thereon is even less. Why would anyone potentially endanger their own property and well-being and that of their neighbors for such a miniscule benefit? As a point of reference, the cost for a citation in this example would involve a fine of $20 plus court costs of $134 - that is $154 total. So those few seconds you save could be very expensive even if your actions don't result in property damage or injury. Incidentally, fines from speeding tickets do not accrue to the City ... they are paid to the State ... so we have no incentive beyond public safety to issue citations.
I would like to take this opportunity to inform (or remind) everyone of extra services provided by the Indian Hills Police Department. These services are in addition to the 24-hour patrols, criminal and accident investigations, and responding to calls for service.
Storms such as we have had during our fiscal year bring out the best and worst in people. I will share a good story with you:
I received a call during both storms from Chris Caldwell, a resident of our city who is the Pastor of Broadway Baptist Church, our neighbor to the south. During both storms he offered our residents who were without power the use of the church's facilities as a place to shower, a place to get warm, a place to rest, a place to charge up a cell phone or computer. This kindness was gratefully used by a number of our folks. Our public thanks to Chris Caldwell and Broadway Baptist Church. It is great to have good neighbors!
AND BEAR WITH US ON THE CLEANUP.