Chesterton Tribune

Maximum bond issue of $3M okayed for Indiana 49 utility project

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By KEVIN NEVERS

A maximum of $3 million will be raised through a municipal bond issue to finance the Ind. 49 Utility Corridor Project.

At its meeting Monday night, the Chesterton Redevelopment Commission voted 4-0 to adopt a 28-page resolution authorizing the bond issue and setting its terms. Member Ed Schoenfelt was not in attendance.

Although the resolution authorizes an issue of up to $3 million in bonds, Town Attorney Chuck Lukmann expressed the hope that not quite that much is necessary. “We hope it’s closer to $2 million.”

A number of factors would determine how much is floated, Lukmann noted: whether the Porter County Council opts to participate in the project; how much cash on hand the commission would feel comfortable in spending; and, of course, how favorable the bids are.

Still, DVG Inc., the project’s contracted engineering consultant, has estimated the cost of extending sanitary sewer, stormwater, water, and fiber optic infrastructure under the Indiana Toll Road, across Ind. 49, and to the town’s southernmost limit at $3.6 million.

The resolution caps the interest rate on the bonds at 6.5 percent, but Lukmann indicated that the rate should be lower, since as an incentive for buyers the bonds are tax exempt.

The bonds will not be repaid with residential property taxes, Lukmann emphasized, but through the tax increment on developed commercial property in the TIF district.

Meanwhile, members voted 4-0 to approve the construction plans for the project and to advertise for bids, with the bids to be opened at the commission’s next monthly meeting, at 6:15 p.m. Monday, June 25.

Members also voted 4-0 to hold a public hearing at their next meeting on an additional appropriation, which would permit the expenditure of the bond proceeds on the project.

One last bit of news: Lukmann reported that all easements necessary for the project have been acquired.

“We’ve finally brought this project to the table,” Town Council Member Sharon Darnell, D-4th, said at the end of the council’s meeting, later in the evening. “We’ve worked very hard. This is huge for the future of Chesterton and the area around it.”

Dickinson Road Extension

In other business, Town Engineer Mark O’Dell announced that he and Town Council Member Jim Ton, R-1st, were scheduled to meet today with representatives of the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission, on the subject of the Dickinson Road extension.

“We’ll see what NIRPC thinks of funding and feasibility,” O’Dell said.

O’Dell added that two options will be discussed: a three-lane roadway, connecting Indian Boundary Road to East Porter Ave., and a four-lane roadway, both cutting overland from the southern terminus of Council Drive.

1st American Management Company

Members also voted 3-0 to invite a quote from 1st American Management Company—already maintaining the landscaping of the South Calumet District—on the cost of keeping the northwest corner of the intersection of Ind. 49 and Indian Boundary Road mowed.

A Town of Chesterton welcome sign is sited at that corner and Town Manager Bernie Doyle noted that INDOT, which has the responsibility for mowing it, does so at its own convenience, with the result that the welcome sign tends to get overgrown.

O’Dell added that the town has already mowed that corner once this year, when weeds hit around three feet in height.

Ton abstained from the vote.

Claims

Members voted 4-0 to approve the following claims: $30,548 from DVG Inc.; $180 from Sternberg Lanterns Inc.; $710 from DLZ; $14,295 from Midwestern Electric Inc.; and $893.75 from Harris Welsh & Lukmann.

 

Posted 5/30/2012