The Porter County
Council will convene on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. for its regular monthly meeting
and afterwards will hold a special meeting to hold a hearing to decide the
fate of the 10-year tax abatement previously granted to Porter Regional
Earlier this month,
the Council voted 7-0 to make a “preliminary determination” that the
hospital was not meeting all the terms it had agreed to in the abatement
resolution granted in 2009.
Financial Officer Cheryl Harmon reported the new hospital at U.S. 6 and Ind.
49 in Liberty Twp. has met the demands of the Council in terms of new
full-time hires, new salaries, construction jobs, investment in new
technology, and to continue to provide EMS service for the County.
that has been in debate is the assessment value for the 430,000 square foot
hospital. According to the resolution for the tax abatement, the hospital’s
value of improvements should be at least $130 million.
Harmon had said
construction costs had been $130 million but Porter Hospital believes its
assessed value is lower by the standards set forth by the Indiana Assessment
Porter Hospital has
appealed the County’s 2012 and 2013 assessments and asserts the taxable
assessed value should be lower than $40 million.
Council members who
were part of the vote to accept the abatement five years ago said they had
heard the Porter’s CEO and attorneys say that $130 million would be the
assessed value which would be a benefit for Porter County taxpayers.
negotiations are taking place with County Assessor Jon Snyder on a possible
solution. She had said hospital officials were willing to accept an
assessment of $85 million, but the Council ended up rejecting that offer.
officials are expected to attend the hearing on Tuesday, as is Assessor
hearing, the Council will have the choice to revoke the abatement, its
attorney Scott McClure said. The hospital could appeal the revocation to the
Circuit Courts, he said.
The Council will
meet in Room 205 of the County Administration Building, 155 Indiana Ave.,
its regular business meeting, the Council will hear requests for transfers
and additionals from a few County departments.
Commissioners will request a transfer of $14,203 from PERF to Workman’s Comp
to cover a Workman’s Comp audit for the Sheriff’s Department. They will also
request a $2,500 in CEDIT funding assistance from furniture and fixtures to
equipment to deal with problems with a microwave repeater radio system
serving the County Sheriff’s Police, EMS, EMA, and the Highway Department.
Sheriff’s Department will ask the Council to approve title changes for its
Records Division Manager, Assistant Manager, and Data Entry Clerk.
Department seeks a transfer of $77,500 to vehicle repair and maintenance
from its Motor Vehicle funds it receives from the state. The harsh winter
weather depleted supplies and caused repairs to be needed on damaged
Probation Department seeks to reduce one of its salaries from $51,568 to
$30,839 as the position recently given up by a former employee will be
filled by an entry level employee.
In County Parks
requests, an additional of $9,900 is sought from the Parks Foundation grant
for new curriculum and supplies. The Parks Department will ask for a $5,800
transfer from Power to Workman’s Comp as there has been a shortage in
Also, the Council
will vote on whether to approve the first payout of employee longevity this
year, worth $179,250, from the money it receives from the state’s