Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Marquette Greenway construction begins this year, Burns Harbor TIF board told

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By LILY REX

Construction on one section of the Burns Harbor portion of the Marquette Greenway Trail is set to begin this year, Consultant Tina Rongers reported at Wednesday’s Burns Harbor Redevelopment Commission (RDC) meeting.

Rongers reported construction on the portion of the Marquette Greenway that runs west from Ind. 149 to the Town’s border with Portage will be finished by the end of 2020. This portion of the Trail, called Phase 3, is being funded with a $1.78 million Next Level Trails grant from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR).

Rongers, who has led the charge in the RDC acquiring $3.6 million in grants for the Town’s Marquette Greenway project, reported she continues to work with Arcelor Mittal on a 60-acre land donation for Phase 3 of the trail and complete quarterly reviews for grants. Construction management grants from SEH, one of the engineering firms on the project, will also be available later in the process, Rongers said.

Construction will soon follow after the completion of tree clearing for Phase 3’s trail corridor. Homer’s Tree Service Inc. was awarded a contract at an RDC special meeting Jan. 29 to clear trees to create the trail corridor for $164,024. Tree removal is being limited as much as possible and must conclude by March 31 to protect bat habitat.

RDC President Eric Hull asked what the timeline is for the 60-acre land donation. Town Attorney Clay Patton said he’s in the process of working with Arcelor Mittal to clarify the legal description of the parcel to be donated.

Burns Harbor has netted $3.6 million in grants for the $4.9 million trail project, between the IDNR’s Recreational Trails and Next Level Trails programs and a Congestion, Mitigation, and Air Quality (CMAQ) grant from the Federal Highway Administration. The remaining $1.3 million cost of the project is coming out of the RDC’s budget, which is comprised of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) money.

In other business, RDC member Toni Biancardi reported Holladay Properties, the master developer on the Westport development, presented a concept plan to the Burns Harbor Plan Commission that is currently under review. If the Planners are satisfied, Holladay will advance to officially applying for a PUD in March.

The RDC also approved transferring $50,000 of its Tax abatement funds to the Town’s non-reverting ambulance fund for EMS worker salaries. $50,000 should maintain the fund through June, and the RDC is prepared to contribute another $50,000 later in the year, according to member Nick Loving.

 

 

Posted 2/17/2020

 
 
 
 

 

 

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