The Duneland School
Corporation has proposed an agreement with the Burns Harbor Redevelopment
Commission (RDC) where the RDC would contribute more money to DSC than it
has in the past.
The Burns Harbor
RDC has been contributing approximately $50,000 of its Tax Increment
Financing (TIF) revenue to the Duneland School Corporation every February
and August for several years as part of an arrangement to lessen the impact
of the Town’s TIF district on school funding.
The Board is in the
process of negotiating a new agreement with DSC, since Clerk-treasurer Jane
Jordan can’t calculate the payments the way she used to due to a State
mandated change in the way school funds are organized. She used to calculate
the contribution based on how much tax revenue DSC would not receive for its
capital projects fund due to the Town’s TIF area.
The Board paid
approximately $110,000 this year. The typical yearly contribution has been
around $100,000 since the agreement began.
Town Attorney Clay
Patton reported at last week’s RDC meeting that he reviewed a proposed new
agreement from DSC. He said it’s good from a legal standpoint and hasn’t
changed much. However, DSC has proposed that the RDC contribute 15 percent
of its total TIF and tax abatement fee revenue per year instead of
calculating different numbers for the two payments.
Revenue the RDC is
awarded in grants would not be subject to the 15 percent, and DSC would
commit to directing a certain amount (a flat $10,000) of the contribution to
Yost Elementary each year, as the Board requested.
The Board members
noted that 15 percent would represent a significant increase in the
contributions. RDC member Toni Biancardi suggested a committee look over the
agreement and report back next month. She and member Nick Loving
The RDC receives
its TIF and tax abatement fee revenue twice a year, in June and December,
and the June disbursement tends to be larger, according to Jordan. The
disbursement for June 2019 was $276,070.89 in tax abatement fees and
$501,348.13 in TIF revenue for a combined $777,419.02. 15 percent of that
number alone would be $116,612.85.
After member Brad
Enslen evaluated all the wayfinding signs in Town and researched options for
new ones, he reported that he thinks the RDC should hold off on new signage
until they know more about what’s going to be where in the new Westport
Enslen did suggest
the Town work on fixing signs that point to things that no longer exist as a
band-aid solution. He also suggested the Town put up a couple signs
directing people to the South Shore Stations from northbound Ind. 149.
wouldn’t point to something outside Burns Harbor,” Enslen said, “But we’re
supposed to be a green community. We’re attracting people that may want to
commute into the city, and we’re also trying to lure in corporations, and
they want to know how easy it is to get into the city.”
The Board will
invite representatives of overlapping taxing units--the Town, the County,
the Airport, DSC, Westchester Public Library, and Westchester Township--to
its December meeting. Jordan said State law requires the RDC to invite
overlapping taxing units to one of its meetings, where it must share
information about its budget for TIF funds and tax abatement fees, plans and
projects the funds may go toward, and how each taxing unit is affected by
the Town’s TIF area.