Chesterton Tribune


New TIF district will be created for Urschel

Back to Front Page





Urschel Laboratories Inc. is going to constitute its own tax increment financing district.

As Chesterton Town Attorney Chuck Lukmann explained at the Redevelopment Commission’s meeting Monday night, the current TIF district in which the Urschel Laboratories’ 40- to 50-acre site is located will expire in about 18 years.

But the financing mechanism which is making it possible for the company to re-locate to Coffee Creek Center will have a lifetime of 20 years.

For that reason, Lukmann explained, the Urschel Laboratories property needs to be “carved out” of the current TIF district—or “economic allocation area, as it’s technically termed—and then designated a brand-new TIF district.

To that end, the commission voted 5-0 to hold a special meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 11, to amend the original economic development plan which established the TIF district.

The financing for the project will work this way.

The newly reconstituted Chesterton Economic Development Commission will—per state law—issue up to $25,860,000 in tax-exempt bonds. Urschel Laboratories will then purchase the whole of that issue. For the 20 years following completion of the project, the company will repay those bonds with 85 percent of the taxes on real and personal property which it would have paid to the town as property owner in a TIF district—that is, in the company’s own TIF district.

A large portion of that sum $25.9 million will be used to install infrastructure: $3 million for a bridge over Coffee Creek, to make the site accessible in the first place; some $2 million for sewer and water infrastructure; and an unknown amount for road improvements.

Over those 20 years, the town will nevertheless receive an estimated $4,566,455 in property tax revenues from Urschel Laboratories—that is, the 15-percent balance of the company’s tax obligation.

Later in the evening, at the Town Council’s meeting, Town Manager Bernie Doyle reported that meetings with the Urschel Laboratories’ “transition team” are “going very well.”

Dickinson Road

Extension Stakeholders

In other business, members voted 5-0 to appoint the following to a Dickinson Road Extension Stakeholders Committee: Member Jim Ton, Town Council Member Emerson DeLaney, R-5th, Town Manager Doyle, Town Engineer Mark O’Dell, Chesterton/Duneland Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Heather Ennis, Advisory Plan Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals Member Fred Owens, and Franciscan Alliance representative Scott Mundell.

The point of the Stakeholders Committee—created at the urging of DLZ contractor Mike Jabo—is to forecast the kinds of development which the town could like to attract to the Dickinson Road extension area, 20 to 25 years from now, and to project the traffic volume and patterns which that development may cause down the road.

“We have to look into our crystal ball,” Jabo said.

The Stakeholders Committee will hold several brainstorming sessions, then forward the data to the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission, in the hope that NIRPC will include the project in its 2040 Plan, thus making it eligible for federal funding.

The Dickinson Road extension would link Indian Boundary Road to East Porter Ave. by way of Council Drive.

Ind. 49 Utility Corridor Update

Meanwhile, O’Dell reported that work on the Ind. 49 utility corridor project is proceeding “smoothly” and is right now on track to complete the work on schedule, by the end of June. “It’s moving along pretty good,” he said.

The general contractor, LGS Plumbing Inc. of Crown Point, has finished the bulk of the jack and boring beneath the Indiana Toll Road and Ind. 49 and probably this week will complete installation of the actual carrier pipe. In the next month or so, all the pipe should be in the ground.

Work has also begun on the water main in the south end of the project area.

The idea behind the Ind. 49 utility corridor project is to open commercial development of the stretch south of the Indiana Toll Road by installing sanitary sewer, stormwater, water, and fiber optic infrastructure. Porter County has partnered with the town with a payment of $742,409, to upsize the sanitary sewer pipes sufficient to serve property outside Chesterton’s corporate limit. Total project cost: $2,880,865.


Members voted 5-0 to pay the following claims: $29,723.92 to DLZ; $419,560.06 to LGS Plumbing; and $10,517.22 to Harris Welsh & Lukmann.


Posted 1/29/2013