The Porter Redevelopment Commission initiated the process Tuesday to include
all of the former Splash Down Dunes property in the townís TIF allocation
The 32 acres recently was acquired by Seven Peaks Marketing of Utah with
plans to make $1.5 to $2 million in upgrades at the U.S. 20 waterpark and
reopen it in 2013.
Once included in the TIF area, property taxes collected on new development
there will be reserved solely for the RDCís own use.
RDC president Elka Nelson said there was confusion whether the waterpark
itself on the east side of Wavely Road previously had been designated as
part of the existing TIF, but no record it had could be found.
It now will be added as well as a separate parcel on the west side of Wavely
where the venueís parking lot is located --- if that lotís not already in
the TIF now. Previous documentation needs to be confirmed, said Nelson.
The RDC voted unanimously with member Joe Simanski absent to authorize town
attorney Gregg Sobkowski to draft a declaratory resolution for consideration
Aug. 28 to expand the TIF area. Sobkowski said approvals must be sought from
both the town Plan Commission and Town Council among other steps needed.
On another matter, the RDC agreed to pay not to exceed $45,000 to have a
culvert installed under Ackerman Drive in Hawthorne Park subject to
agreement with the Town Council and Park Board. The improvement is tied to
the RDCís planned Orchard Pedestrian Trail along Waverly Road, a segment of
which will pass through the park.
A separate culvert under Franklin Street will be funded as part of the
Project manager Warren Thiede of Haas & Associates said the $45,000 figure
will cover construction, design and permitting. Orchard Trail construction
is slated to begin next year.
Earlier in the evening, Thiede presented and the Porter Stormwater
Management Board approved paying up to $6,000 to complete design on a
proposed detention basin at A&N Storage needed to address long-standing
drainage problems on Waverly Road south of the Amtrak line.
An easement from A&N will be required, and the board voted to initiate that
process as well.
Having the town build the detention basin --- estimated to cost about
$49,000 --- should avoid further trail delays due to drainage, said Thiede,
as well as resolve a problem area on the Stormwater Boardís MS4 master plan.
Trail construction had been anticipated this year; the detention basin needs
to be built before the trail.
Voting 4-0 the RDC authorized the Porter Police Department to temporarily
use a portion of the town-owned Brickyard parcel at the southwest corner of
Beam Street and Sexton Avenue as a firing range to train for periodic
Area police departments previously trained at the Burns Harbor Police
Department firing range until residents there complained and its use was
restricted to that department only.
Nelson said the RDCís approval for Porterís range is contingent on the
Indiana Department of Environmental Management concurring with that use.
Contamination at the Brickyard, a former industrial site, led IDEM to have
tests conducted and limit what activities can occur at the Brickyard.
RDC member Jeannine Virtue said Porter police will take several precautions
so the firing range will be safe. Member Greg Stinson agreed the range
should be extremely safe due to the Brickyardís topography.
Once an operating turn-of-the-century brickyard, excavation for clay has
left steep elevation changes and significantly lower areas on the site.
Nelson said only Porter police will be allowed to use the Brickyard range.