The Chesterton Town Council has taken the next couple of steps in finalizing
the financing for Urschel Laboratories’ re-location to Coffee Creek Center.
At their meeting Monday night, members first voted 4-0 to “carve out” the
157 acres which the company is purchasing at Coffee Creek Center from the
original tax increment financing district; then 4-0 to declare those 157
acres a brand-new TIF district.
Member Jeff Trout, R-2nd, was not in attendance.
It’s necessary to create a new TIF district for the property because the old
one—designated nearly a decade and a half ago—is due to expire in about 18
years. The financing arrangement, however, has a lifetime of 20 years and
that clock will begin ticking only after the actual construction has been
That business done, members then voted 4-0 to approve on first reading an
ordinance authorizing the issuance of up to $25,860,000 in tax-exempt
economic development bonds.
The arrangement will work like this, as the Chesterton Tribune has
Urschel Laboratories Inc. will pay all costs associated with the
project—including the acquisition of land, the construction of the facility,
and the installation of infrastructure—with its own liquidity, that is, with
cash which it has on hand.
Then the company will recoup a portion of its total costs—up to $25.86
million of them—through the 20-year, 85-percent break which the town is
granting on real and personal property taxes which the Urschel Laboratories
would normally have paid as a property owner in a tax increment financing
In other words, the company is not so much repaying the bonds—inasmuch as no
money is actually being made over to Urschel Laboratories—as it is recouping
its costs, up to $25.86 million of them.
Town Attorney Chuck Lukmann has said that the town still expects to receive
an estimated $4,566,455 in property taxes over the 20 years of the
Two public hearings have been scheduled on the “carve-out” and the new
Urschel Laboratories TIF district, at 6 p.m. Monday, March 11.
In other business, and at Town Manager Bernie Doyle’s recommendation,
members voted 4-0 to approve a four-year contract with Civic Plus of
Houston, Texas, for the development of a new municipal website.
The total price of that contract: $30,266, or $8,622 for the first three
years and $4,440 for the fourth year.
Member Emerson DeLaney, R-5th, did want a termination-for-convenience clause
in the contract, under which the town may cancel the contract at any time
without penalty, after paying Civic Plus for all work done to date.
Generally, though, DeLaney spoke to the importance of a solid municipal
website. “As our community grows and people come here, in this day and age
it’s a tool for their use,” he said.
Meanwhile, members voted 4-0 to spend around $2,500 for a review of the
town’s municipal health insurance coverage, to be conducted by Steve Brady
of the Heritage Advisory Group.
At the council’s last meeting, Brady said that such a review could lead to
the reduction of health-insurance costs.
“We expect to save at least that much money if we’re going to spend that
much,” said Member Jim Ton, R-1st.
Members also voted 4-0 to advertise for bids on this season’s asphalt
Those bids will be opened at the council’s March 25 meeting.
New Dump Truck
Then, at Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg’s recommendation, members
voted 4-0 to award the contract for a new dump truck to low quoter Truck
City of Gary, which submitted a quote of $149,082.
Members then voted 4-0 to authorize a lease-purchase agreement for the
acquisition of that dump truck.