the Porter County Redevelopment Commission and the City of Valparaiso’s RDC
progressed this week toward establishing a tax increment finance district
around the Porter County Regional Airport.
The County RDC met
Thursday, two days after a joint meeting at the Valparaiso Schools
Administration Building to discuss the partnership.
summer, the County RDC was prepared to submit their final resolution to
create a TIF with language that stated 40 percent of the new assessed values
in the TIF area would be passed on to East Porter County Schools and other
taxing units, but Valparaiso RDC Executive Director Patrick Lyp approached
the board with a proposal for an “airport redevelopment zone” combining each
puzzled county RDC members Jeremy Rivas and Jim Polarek, who asked why the
project should be derailed after months of planning and discussion had
already gone in to the confirmatory resolution.
On Thursday, RDC
president E. Ric Frattacia said both the County and the City commissions
agreed this past week to protect the schools.
The one objection
the city had, Frataccia said, was to language giving the school district the
authority to veto changes the RDC might make on the 40/60 allocation
agreement. That language could change, he added.
discussions will continue between Lyp, County RDC member Bob Thompson,
financial adviser Dan Botich and the RDC’s attorney Gregg Sobkowski.
A draft of the
partnership is expected to be presented to the County RDC at its next
meeting, set for Oct. 23.
The goal of the
Airport TIF would be to set an example of how different RDCs can work
together on proposed TIF areas in the future, Frataccia said. An area of
concern is at U.S. 6 in Liberty Twp. near Porter Regional Hospital, which is
within the boundaries of the Duneland School Corporation.
the commission that state statute allows RDCs to grant 15 percent of its TIF
revenue to respective schools or other educational instructions whose
curriculum promotes economic development. Polarek said he would like the
40/60 percent plan maintained so that other taxing units like the fire
departments and libraries can also benefit.
member and Duneland School Board president Ralph Ayres said the commission
can study the language in resolutions of other local TIF resolutions that
pass money on to schools.
Ayres said schools
are the cornerstone of economic development because when businesses locate,
they want to know the quality of education in an area.
“The schools are a
big part of the question,” he said. “How they can be included I think should
be a part of this.”