The Porter County
Redevelopment Commission heard another plea from Liberty Twp. resident Tim
Cole to establish a tax increment finance (TIF) district along the U.S. 6
corridor and as the commission met last week advance the proposed TIF area
at the Porter County Regional Airport.
Before Cole spoke,
RDC president Ric Frataccia reported that the County Plan Commission voted
in favor of the declaratory resolution 7-1 to create of a TIF district
consisting of the airport and the surrounding areas near Ind. 49 and U.S. 30
covering nearly six square miles. It also includes industrial zoned land
close to Washington Twp. School on Ind. 2. Legal consultant Gregg Sobkowski
said the declaratory resolution will now move to the County Commissioners
and will be heard at their upcoming meeting on March 4 at 1 p.m.
resolution is required to move forward with a confirmatory resolution
finally approving the designation of a TIF zone. That would require a public
hearing, Sobkowski said.
Frataccia and the
other RDC members present Š Bob Thompson, Dave Burrus and County Council
member Jim Polarek, R-4th Š voted to schedule the public hearing for
Thursday, April 17, contingent on the Commissioners’ approval of the
declaratory resolution. At the suggestion of Polarek, the hearing will be
held in the evening at 6 p.m. rather than at 8:30 a.m. for the convenience
of those wanting to speak.
district would be the first TIF district in unincorporated Porter County.
New assessed value
from development in the TIF zone would generate revenue for the
Redevelopment Commission for infrastructure or other public projects serving
the area. The County RDC has agreed to allow 40 percent of the new tax
revenue to go to existing taxing units including the East Porter County
County Planners want to focus on projects specifically related to the
airport such as runway expansions. About $30 million in potential projects
have been identified in the airport master plan.
Liberty Twp. TIF
In the public
comment portion of the meeting, Cole presented his statement formally
requesting the RDC restart the discussion on a TIF area in Liberty Twp. that
includes the Porter Regional Hospital campus.
Cole said more of
his neighbors, about 20 or so, have also taken an interest in seeing that
the RDC get going on that particular TIF district.
to the idea because of what harm it could do to the Duneland Schools, Cole
said residents have changed their minds seeing how the RDC is cooperating
with the East Porter County schools and believe having a TIF would bring
managed growth to Liberty Township.
“That’s what we’re
looking for in Liberty Township. We think what you have done for Washington
Twp. has pretty well done that,” he said. “I think you have a well developed
Cole, who also
represents the Woodville Foundation, said he feels there is great potential
for new businesses in the shelved economic development plan for the area
between Meridian Rd. and Calumet Ave. The north/south boundaries include CR
900N and CR 700N. The TIF would also include the entire section of the U.S.
6 corridor plan.
He said he and the
other supporters would like to see the character of the area shift from
“rural to business community.”
Frataccia said the
commission will consider Cole’s request.