The owner of 157
Franklin St. in Valparaiso, the former Porter County Jail, has declined the
Porter County Commissioners $2.5 million offer to purchase the four-story
building, Commissioner Jeff Good, R-Center, said at Tuesday’s meeting of the
Board of Commissioners.
The purchase was
one of the six components the Commissioners outlined in their $30 million
capital upgrade plan, presented publicly to the County Council in June. Good
said then that the building has the potential to house IT and election
equipment and available office space for the courts.
Good on Tuesday
said the results of two appraisals came in at a difference of $200,000, the
average of which was $2.5 million which is the most the County could offer
“The County made
the offer. It was not accepted,” said Good. “You know we’ve always talked
about a plan B, which we have, and we are now researching and looking into
filling in the courtyard here (at the County Administration Building).”
The courtyard area
is on the southwest side of the building adjacent to the parking garage.
Good said the
Commissioners are eyeing the possibility of adding an additional level to
the garage after learning the building foundation can support it. The total
price tag for the build-out would be roughly the same amount spent had the
County proceeded with acquiring and renovating the former jail building.
perspective, the (capital projects) plan has not changed,” Good said. “We
can get the same space and continue on with the same program we had before.
It’s the same thing, just a different building. The rest of the plan stays
The County Council
at its August meeting voted 6-0 in favor of proceeding with a bond issue for
the $30 million plan on first reading. The bond, if approved, will be paid
back over 20 years with earnings from the investment of the Porter Memorial
Hospital sale proceeds or local income tax at $2.1 million per year.
The Council will
vote to adopt the measure on second reading at its upcoming meeting on
Tuesday, Sept. 26.
read a prepared statement reaffirming the Commissioners stance to not accept
Portage City Officials’ proposal to build a new building in downtown Portage
as opposed to remodeling the North County Complex on Willowcreek Ave. A copy
of the statement was emailed to news media and appears in today’s
Also on Tuesday,
the Commissioners approved a proclamation by members of the Porter County
chapter of Disabled American Veterans to declare a National Forget-Me-Not
Drive Day, which took place on Sept. 16.
Mitch Mullins, Barbara Anne Smith and Jeff Brooks along with Porter County
Veterans Affairs Director Jim Atkinson said in the proclamation the
Forget-Me-Not Flower is used as symbol of remembering the sacrifice and
service of the military to preserve the freedoms of our nation.
Mullins said there
are 1.3 million members of the DVA and the Porter County Chapter, which was
chartered two years ago, has 117 members currently. The donations to DVA
help transport disabled veterans to and from medical treatments.
“Keep doing good
out there,” Good told the group, which was followed by applause from those
in the audience.
Septic Smart Week
adopted another proclamation for Septic Smart Week in Porter County by the
Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems Program (MS4).
Rich Hudson said this week is to educate where water flows within the
county. The northern half mostly drains into Lake Michigan, he said, and 90
to 95 percent of properties in the unincorporated areas are on septic
systems. This week encourages residents to take care of their septic
“It’s to bring
awareness that a septic system maintenance program is very important to
preveny illicit discharge,” Hudson said.