Board member John Marshall asked the Porter Redevelopment Commission to open
negotiations over a possible annual payment to the schools to replace
revenue it doesnít collect because of Porterís TIF district.
He also said a
similar revenue-sharing request will be made of the Chesterton Redevelopment
specifically asked the Porter RDC to designate a member to participate in
talks with a School Board representative and Duneland administrators.
After a long pause
RDC president Jeannine Virtue said members would determine who has the
ability to meet with school officials. ďWeíll see what we can do about
that,Ē she told Marshall.
He was attending
his first meeting as a non-voting RDC member replacing Ron Stone as the
School Boardís representative.
Porter could use Dunelandís recent agreement with the Burns Harbor RDC as a
framework for discussion. Burns Harbor earlier this year agreed to enter
into a contract with Duneland giving the schools up to $135,000 a year for
10 years in return for providing educational services to the town.
Marshall, Dunelandís capital projects fund canít collect $148,863 a year it
otherwise would because Porterís RDC captures $44,583,276 in assessed
valuation for its exclusive use that isnít available to Duneland.
Marshall said state
law allows an RDC to spend up to 15 percent of the tax proceeds it receives
on an annual basis for educational/training programs. He noted the cities of
Portage and Valparaiso both allocate money annually to their respective
Marshall said he
asked to be on the Porter RDC because he previously lived in town and
ďPorterís always been a special place to me.Ē He is a non-voting RDC member
and canít make a motion, he explained, but the School Board asked Marshall
to bring the TIF-sharing allocation to the RDCís atttention.
In other business,
the commission unanimously approved a contract not to exceed $5,500 with
Haas & Associates to design and oversee an extension of the Franklin Street
alley east of Hageman Avenue.
earlier this year of the Orchard Pedestrian Way hike/bike trail left some
Franklin properties without access to their homes other than by the trail
itself. A portion of the alley was built east of Hageman but another
property owner has requested it be extended farther to his home.
Warren Thiede of
Haas said it will take about six to eight weeks to receive proposals from
contractors. No commitment was made the work would be done at that time.
Virtue defended the RDCís previous decision to give $400,000 to Porter
County to help pave the Calumet Trail north of U.S. 12. She said because
that hike/bike trail is being upgraded, Porter decided to eliminate its
planned trail along the Munson Ditch right-of-way at a $1 million savings.
Munson trail work
would have been financed with a Northwest Indiana Regional Development
Authority grant to Porter earmarked for trails. ďWe couldnít use it to pave
streets or anything other than trails,Ē said Virtue.
The RDA has
approved the money transfer.
Porter director of
development Mike Barry said in 2010 Porter gave Porter County $125,000 to
help fund a portion of a trail from the county Visitor Center through
Indiana 49 and U.S. 20.
At the conclusion
of the discussion the RDC voted 5-0 to enter into a memorandum of
understanding with Porter County transferring the $400,000
In a related matter
Barry said drawings are 90 percent complete for the missing section of the
Orchard Pedestrian Way hike/bike trail from the Orchard Apartments to over
Interstate 94; the RDC is awaiting verification that the RDA will pay for
He also noted a leg
of the Dunes Kankakee Trail between U.S. 12 and Porter Countyís portion is
out to bid. RDA money will be used.