Chesterton Tribune

Chesterton moves to create new TIF district south of the Toll Road

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By KEVIN NEVERS

The Chesterton Redevelopment Commission acted at its meeting Monday night to create a brand-new tax increment financing district.

Members voted 5-0 to adopt a declaratory resolution—which will now go to the Town Council and Advisory Plan Commission for approval—which would establish a new TIF district south of the Indiana Toll Road encompassing approximately 142 acres on either side of Ind. 49 commonly known as the Rossman and Pope properties.

Members were acting on the advice of Town Attorney Chuck Lukmann, who at their last meeting warned of the possibility that the indoor sports complex envisioned by Persistence LLC may not in fact come to fruition. Under Indiana Code, a TIF district may only be expanded if an out-of-state business commits to re-locating to an area within the expanded district, and to date Lukmann has heard no “concrete word” of Persistence LLC’s intention of leaving Matteson, Ill., for Chesterton.

But because the so-called Ind. 49 utility corridor project will depend at least partially on TIF funding, it’s essential that the area be in a TIF district. So if the current TIF district can’t legally be expanded, the commission intends simply to create a new one.

Under the declaratory resolution, TIF funds would be authorized for roadway improvements and the installation of water, sanitary sewer, and fiber optic utilities.

Downtown in the Dark

In other business, members voted 4-0 to make up to $5,000 in TIF funds available to repair a string of decorative street lights along South Calumet Road, between West Indiana Ave. and Broadway, which have mysteriously gone out. President Ed Schoenfelt was not in attendance.

“We’ve got a major problem here somewhere,” Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg reported. “And it’s pretty dark in that area.”

A Balance

Schnadenberg also reported that, of the $200,000 in TIF funds authorized earlier this year for paving and sidewalks in the Downtown, around $51,000 remains.

A portion of that balance could be used for the replacement of additional sidewalks along South Calumet Road or it could simply be left to revert, Schnadenberg said.

Claims

Members voted 4-0 to approve the following claims: $6,096.50 from DLZ; and $2,775 from Harris Welsh & Lukmann.

 

Posted 12/21/2010