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Tax abatement advances for Burns Harbor concrete business

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By JEFF SCHULTZ

The Burns Harbor Town Council voted 5-0 to phase in a ten-year abatement requested by Masterlink Concrete Pumping, LLC rather than granting it for 100 percent each year.

A public hearing on a confirmatory resolution to create an economic revitalization area (ERA) at 347 Melton Rd. will be held during the Council’s next meeting on Jan. 11.

An ERA, which allows local governments to grant tax incentives on dilapidated properties, is required for the abatement request Masterlink is petitioning for. Masterlink owner Steve Slate said last month that he plans to refurbish the abandoned buildings, which were formerly an auto care business.

Slate submitted paperwork asking for a full tax abatement over 10 years for the improvements that will be made. He estimates the company will invest about $600,000 into the property.

Town Attorney Clay Patton told the Council that Masterlink will still have to pay property taxes in full on the land.

The property’s current estimated value is $106,500, Patton said. The statement of benefits form states that Masterlink plans to hire about seven new full-time employees.

Council President Ray Poparad said he doesn’t recall a time when the Council has given a full abatement to anyone and said he’d rather see it phased in. Traditionally, abatements have started at 100 percent and decrease by 10 percent each passing year, he said.

The Council earlier this year granted an abatement for 10 years on the rebuild of its power house with 100 percent for the first three years, 75 percent for years four and five and 50 percent for the last five years.

Council member Marcus Rogala suggested a similar approach for Masterlink’s request, putting the abatement at 100 percent for the first three years, 75 percent for years 4-6 and 50 percent for years 7-10.

The Council voted 5-0 in favor of Rogala’s motion and set the measure for a declaratory resolution hearing for the ERA.

Poparad asked that clauses be put in for the Council to review Masterlink’s compliance each year and that the Council could revoke the abatement if the company does not meet its commitments.

Ordinances and Resolutions

In other business, the Council voted in favor of adding to its fee table ordinance a $10 fee on manufactured tags, as recommended by the Plan Commission. According to the notice, a builder or owner of any structure containing a manufactured floor or manufactured roof must purchase and post tags before occupancy.

Another ordinance was approved on first reading for a clarification in the Sewer Rate ordinance for new construction.

Second readings on the ordinances will occur at the January Council meeting.

On another resolution, the Council approved an inter-fund loan to the Operation Pull Over grant of $1,003 received by the police department.

Bicentennial celebration

The Council also voted yes on a proclamation recognizing Dec. 11 as Indiana Statehood Day commemorating the state’s bicentennial.

Council member Andy Bozak has had the honor of reading resolutions aloud during the meetings but the Council felt it would be better to read the resolution at Sunday’s unveiling and dedication of its new historical marker at Shadyside Park at 18 Oak Leaf Lane.

The event is scheduled at 2 p.m. with speakers planned at the park, followed by a reception inside Town Hall from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Clerk-Treasurer Jane Jordan said that due to the extreme cold and snow forecast for Sunday, the event will likely move indoors quickly after the marker is unveiled. Attendees will still meet at the park but speakers will make addresses at Town Hall if the weather is too unbearable, she said.

“It’s northwest Indiana. You never know what you are going to get,” joked Council member Toni Biancardi.

The marker will sit on the original northern boundary line for the Indiana Territory.

Street Lights

In old business, the Council revisited its discussion of putting in street lights.

One light was replaced and a new light no longer needed at the corner of Stanley St. and Haglund Rd., according to Poparad, but Fire Chief Bill Arney said one is still needed at the entrance of Trail Creek subdivision.

“There are no lights there and it is pitch black,” Arney said.

Christmas cheer

Arney said the Fire Department on Saturday will be delivering gifts collected from its drive to two families in need this Christmas. The lights and sirens on the fire truck will be activated as the department makes their way.

In his monthly report to the board, Arney said BHFD responded to 36 calls in November with 22 hours and 13 minutes on scene. Thirty-two firefighters were trained for 68 hours and 30 minutes total. Total duty hours were 16. Vehicles traveled 1,091 miles.

The Council lauded the street department for getting the town roads plowed in last weekend’s winter storm.

Poparad wished everyone at the meeting a happy and safe holiday.

 

 

Posted 12/16/2016

 
 
 
 

 

 

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