Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Hospital Economic Development fees to go to County RDC; Armstrong named to park board

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By JEFF SCHULTZ

The Porter County Redevelopment Commission will get a source of income as the Porter County Council voted 5-2 Tuesday on a measure that would direct the money paid by Porter Health Care Systems for economic development to the RDC.

As part of the 10-year abatement agreement between the County Council and the hospital, the hospital must annually give the County 10 percent of taxes abated, which is capped at $100,000. According to the agreement, the amount can be distributed to one or more public or non-for-profit entities to promote economic development within Porter County.

The hospital is currently in its third year of abatement which means next year the County RDC could receive up to $300,000 now that the abatement has been reestablished by the County Council this year.

County Council member Jeremy Rivas, D-2nd, who currently serves on the RDC said in July the hospital money would go to the commission.

The RDC has not had its own funding source since its inception two years ago and has been waiting to see if the Council would transfer the money so it can develop its budget for 2015, said County Council member Jim Polarek, R-4th, who also has a seat on the RDC.

Voting to grant the funds to the RDC were Polarek and Rivas along with Council members Karen Conover, R-3rd, Jim Biggs, R-1st, and President Dan Whitten. Dissenting were Council members Sylvia Graham, D-at large, and Robert Poparad, D-at large.

Both Graham and Poparad said they would not support the measure because there was no budget by the RDC showing how the money would be used.

The RDC is currently considering implementing an economic development finance area around the Porter County Regional Airport in a possible partnership with the City of Valparaiso’s Redevelopment Commission.

New Park Board member

Also during their regular meeting, the Council gave unanimous approval to appoint Porter Township resident Drew Armstrong as their Democratic representative on the County Park Board.

Armstrong works as a surveyor/engineer and has been involved with the Northern Indiana Historical Power Association which puts on events at Sunset Hill Farm County Park.

He replaces Erik Kozuszek who resigned from the board after being appointed in January this year.

In another parks related matter, the Council voted in favor of reducing an appropriation of $6,535 in full-time salaries this year after the departure of Parks Manager Matt Howton as well as approving a request to use $19,451 in County cumulative capital development funds to purchase new software for the parks department.

 

 

Posted 10/29/2014

 
 
 
 

 

 

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