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.
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
Also during their
regular meeting, the Council gave unanimous approval to appoint Porter