Urschel Laboratories Inc. is going to constitute its own tax increment
As Chesterton Town Attorney Chuck Lukmann explained at the Redevelopment
Commission’s meeting Monday night, the current TIF district in which the
Urschel Laboratories’ 40- to 50-acre site is located will expire in about 18
But the financing mechanism which is making it possible for the company to
re-locate to Coffee Creek Center will have a lifetime of 20 years.
For that reason, Lukmann explained, the Urschel Laboratories property needs
to be “carved out” of the current TIF district—or “economic allocation area,
as it’s technically termed—and then designated a brand-new TIF district.
To that end, the commission voted 5-0 to hold a special meeting at 6:30 p.m.
Monday, Feb. 11, to amend the original economic development plan which
established the TIF district.
The financing for the project will work this way.
The newly reconstituted Chesterton Economic Development Commission will—per
state law—issue up to $25,860,000 in tax-exempt bonds. Urschel Laboratories
will then purchase the whole of that issue. For the 20 years following
completion of the project, the company will repay those bonds with 85
percent of the taxes on real and personal property which it would
have paid to the town as property owner in a TIF district—that is, in the
company’s own TIF district.
A large portion of that sum $25.9 million will be used to install
infrastructure: $3 million for a bridge over Coffee Creek, to make the site
accessible in the first place; some $2 million for sewer and water
infrastructure; and an unknown amount for road improvements.
Over those 20 years, the town will nevertheless receive an estimated
$4,566,455 in property tax revenues from Urschel Laboratories—that is, the
15-percent balance of the company’s tax obligation.
Later in the evening, at the Town Council’s meeting, Town Manager Bernie
Doyle reported that meetings with the Urschel Laboratories’ “transition
team” are “going very well.”
In other business, members voted 5-0 to appoint the following to a Dickinson
Road Extension Stakeholders Committee: Member Jim Ton, Town Council Member
Emerson DeLaney, R-5th, Town Manager Doyle, Town Engineer Mark O’Dell,
Chesterton/Duneland Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Heather Ennis,
Advisory Plan Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals Member Fred Owens, and
Franciscan Alliance representative Scott Mundell.
The point of the Stakeholders Committee—created at the urging of DLZ
contractor Mike Jabo—is to forecast the kinds of development which the town
could like to attract to the Dickinson Road extension area, 20 to 25 years
from now, and to project the traffic volume and patterns which that
development may cause down the road.
“We have to look into our crystal ball,” Jabo said.
The Stakeholders Committee will hold several brainstorming sessions, then
forward the data to the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission,
in the hope that NIRPC will include the project in its 2040 Plan, thus
making it eligible for federal funding.
The Dickinson Road extension would link Indian Boundary Road to East Porter
Ave. by way of Council Drive.
Ind. 49 Utility
Meanwhile, O’Dell reported that work on the Ind. 49 utility corridor project
is proceeding “smoothly” and is right now on track to complete the work on
schedule, by the end of June. “It’s moving along pretty good,” he said.
The general contractor, LGS Plumbing Inc. of Crown Point, has finished the
bulk of the jack and boring beneath the Indiana Toll Road and Ind. 49 and
probably this week will complete installation of the actual carrier pipe. In
the next month or so, all the pipe should be in the ground.
Work has also begun on the water main in the south end of the project area.
The idea behind the Ind. 49 utility corridor project is to open commercial
development of the stretch south of the Indiana Toll Road by installing
sanitary sewer, stormwater, water, and fiber optic infrastructure. Porter
County has partnered with the town with a payment of $742,409, to upsize the
sanitary sewer pipes sufficient to serve property outside Chesterton’s
corporate limit. Total project cost: $2,880,865.
Members voted 5-0 to pay the following claims: $29,723.92 to DLZ;
$419,560.06 to LGS Plumbing; and $10,517.22 to Harris Welsh & Lukmann.