Two proposals were received Tuesday from independent financial advisors
seeking the job of helping Burns Harbor place the ArcelorMittal steel plant
in a new taxing district.
Cender & Company LLC of Merrillville and H.J. Umbaugh & Associates of
Plymouth both submitted qualifications and pricing.
Commission member Jim McGee said Umbaugh has worked for the town on several
occassions for many years, but member Mike Perrine said thatís no reason to
automatically hire them again.
The Burns Harbor Redevelopment Commission set a special 8 a.m. Aug. 24
meeting to consider the proposals.
The commissionís scope of services sought are related to general financial
advice and creation of a new tax-increment financing or TIF district
encompassing most if not all of the Mittal plant north of U.S. 12 as well as
undetermined land along Indiana 149 south of the mill.
The town also is seeking help in determining the financial and practical
feasibility of refinancing approximately $3.5 million in outstanding sewer
bonds. The town wants to determine if issuing new bonds could help reduce
property taxes and/or generate funds for future capital improvements or
Burns Harborís contracted engineering firm is finalizing a list of proposed
capital improvements for the whole town that likely will be discussed at the
Aug. 24 meeting. A plan to make specific improvements within the new TIF
area is part of the required steps needed for its creation.
Resident Gayle Van Loon asked if a copy of the entire capital list would be
available to the public. She was told yes, and at some point it will be
posted on the town website at www.burnsharbor.org.
The new TIF district is proposed to connect to an existing Burns Harbor TIF
district comprised of a large, undeveloped tract of land Mittal owns west of
the town hall complex. Large industrial parcels both east and west of
Indiana 149 south of U.S. 20 also are in TIF zones.
One reason to establish TIF areas is that property taxes resulting from new
development or improvements in those zones stay in the town and generally
are not shared by other taxing jurisdictions like the Duneland School
The Duneland School Boardís non-voting representative on the Redevelopment
Commission, John Marshall, was absent Tuesday as was commission and Town
Council member Louis Bain.
Redevelopment Commission attorney Charles Parkinson said Burns Harbor has
until March 1 to finalize paperwork on the new TIF and have it become
effective in the next tax cycle. A public hearing would be part of the
Regarding the submissions from the financial consultants, Cender proposed
not-to-exceed $12,000 to establish the new TIF district; Umbaugh proposed
$10,000 without further authorization by the town. If the outstanding sewer
bonds are refinanced, Cender quoted $25,000 to do that work and Umbaugh a
likely range of $15,000 to $22,000.
Additional fees for other services, and hourly rates per professional
services required, also were identified.