Chesterton Tribune


Former water park being added to Porter TIF district

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The Porter Redevelopment Commission took the first of several steps needed to expand the townís TIF allocation area by 38 acres, most of it the former Splash Down Dunes waterpark slated for a nearly $2 million upgrade under new ownership.

Finalizing the TIF expansion by Dec. 31 means property taxes collected there based on improvements made after March 1, 2012 will go exclusively to the RDC for its use.

Other land included in the expansion, which takes in four parcels along U.S. 20, are the Quick Stop convenience/fuel store at Waverly Road as well as a vacant irregularly shaped parcel between the Quick Stop and the waterpark.

Acquired by Seven Peaks Marketing, a waterpark/amusement center operator in Utah, the renovated Splash Down Dunes is slated to open under a new name for Memorial Day, 2013.

Town attorney Gregg Sobkowski said the RDCís action Tuesday also details infrastructure and site improvements totalling $6.2 million proposed along the U.S. 20 corridor.

Sobkowski and RDC president Elka Nelson said new tax revenue generated from the TIF expansion would fund about 13 projects including road improvements, traffic signal upgrades and installation of fiber-optic lines to make commercial land along U.S. 20 more attractive for development.

The RDCís resolution now advances to the Porter Plan Commission, which will make a recommendation to the Town Council. Once approved, the TIF expansion would return to the RDC for a public hearing, likely in November. A tax impact analysis also needs to be prepared and notice given to overlapping government units before final action is taken.

In other RDC business, resident Jennifer Klug suggested that bricks from the turn-of-the-century Porter brickyard, for which the new Brickyard hike/bike trail is named, be used to erect some form of commemorative stop along it. RDC member Joe Simanski said itís a great idea. Public Works supervisor Brenda Brueckheimer will be asked for input.

RDC member Greg Stinson was absent.



Posted 9/26/2012