Redevelopment Commission has decided not to pursue the purchase of
the house and property at the southeast corner of South Calumet Road and
East Porter Ave.
Members made it
official--walking away from the much-discussed acquisition--by unanimous
vote at their meeting Monday night.
Two appraisals of
the property sought by the commission valued the property at $195,000. The
problem: the expense of the project as envisioned would have cost
significantly more than the price of the house, chiefly because the
intersection is utility-rich, including a 16-inch storm sewer, a 16-inch
sanitary force main, a water main (along with a fire hydrant, which would
have to be re-located at the town’s expense); and--also buried
underground--fiber optic conduit, a telephone line, and a natural-gas line.
improvements proposed for the intersection would only have enhanced the
southeast corner, as the other three are--as Town Engineer Mark O’Dell told
the commission in July--“solid,” that is, with no potential right-of-way
available for acquisition and no further room for expansion.
been proposed: a dedicated right-turn lane for motorists northbound on South
Calumet Road to turn onto eastbound East Porter Ave.; a dedicated right-turn
lane and combined through-and-left turn lane for motorists westbound on East
Porter Ave. approaching South Calumet Road.
As Member Emerson
DeLaney noted on Monday, “Town Engineer Mark O’Dell said it could be rather
quite expensive to pursue purchasing that. Moving the utilities would cost
more than the house is worth.”
“It seems costly
given the challenge there regarding the utilities,” Member Nick Walding
concurred. “And it would only improve one corner.”
“The real benefit
to the town would be the acquisition of all four corners,” non-voting
Duneland Schools rep John Marshall added. “Failing that, the cost outweighs
Marshall also urged
his voting colleagues to take action on Monday, right away. “I think it’s
important for the voting members to take care of this tonight,” he said. “To
be fair to the property owner, we’ve kind of tied her hands.”
Indeed, at the
commission’s July meeting, the property owner pleaded with members to make a
decision soon, as the publicity over the proposed acquisition scared off at
least one potential buyer as well as chased off a tenant.
In the future, Town
Attorney Chuck Lukmann said, it’s permissible under Indiana Code for the
Redevelopment Commission to meet in executive session when discussing the
possible acquisition of property.