Carmel joins program to collect unpaid city debts through state tax refunds

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The Carmel City Council met Sept. 21 to discuss a debt collection program, a relocation of city court and vehicle weight restrictions, among other matters.

What happened: The council approved a resolution authorizing the city to participate in the Indiana Debt Set-Off Program.

What it means: The program allows the city to collect monies owed from individual debtors through their state tax refund. Benjamin Legge, the city’s assistant corporation counsel, told the council the program is expected to save time and money for the city’s legal department, which often goes to court in attempts to collect debts such as utility bills and damaged city property. Debtors are permitted to go through an appeals process.

What’s next: The only cost to the city will be to send out letters to debtors.

What happened: The council approved a relocation of the city court.

What it means: City court is moving from the second floor of City Hall to a space in the 400 block of Gradle Drive. The move will provide more space for social distancing in court and provide more space for employees in City Hall to spread out. It also will have enhanced security features that weren’t available at City Hall.

What’s next: The court is expected to remain on Gradle Drive until it can be moved into an expansion of the Carmel Police Dept. headquarters. A timeline for the expansion has not been set.

What happened: The council approved an ordinance adding vehicle weight restrictions to certain streets.

What it means: No vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of 19,501 pounds or more will be permitted on E. Smoky Row Road from Keystone Parkway to Gray Road, Main Street from Keystone Parkway to River Road, 126th street from Keystone Parkway to River Road, Carmel Drive from Keystone Parkway to 126th Street, 116th Street from Keystone Parkway to the city’s east boundary, 106th Street from Keystone Parkway to Gray Road, and Cherry Creek Boulevard from Hazel Dell Road to River Road. Exceptions include local deliveries, trash removal and recreational vehicles.

What’s next: Restrictions on Hazel Dell Parkway were removed from the list, but councilor Sue Finkam said she plans to propose another amendment to add it back in. “By not allowing Hazel Dell into this we’re effectively creating a truck route on Hazel Dell Parkway,” she said.


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