Valpo hopes to take ownership of dome
By Amy Lavalley Post-Tribune correspondent August 20, 2013 6:04PM
Michael McArdle/Post-Tribune The old Natural Oven building off of State Road 2 just East of Indiana 49 is up for auction.
Updated: September 22, 2013 6:29AM
VALPARAISO — The city is asking that an empty dome building up for Porter County’s tax sale return to the city if no one buys it, so the structure can be demolished and the land redeveloped.
“The city’s goal is to put it back on the tax rolls,” attorney Patrick Lyp told the Porter County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday.
The dome, on the city’s southeast side, went up around 2000 and housed a Natural Ovens Bakery facility and then Livemercial, which declared bankruptcy in 2010.
Back taxes owed on the property are $1.4 million, making it unlikely someone will buy it at the county’s tax sale on Oct. 29, Lyp said.
Handing the dome over to the city, assuming it doesn’t sell, is to the benefit of all involved, said Board of Commissioners President John Evans, R-North.
“We’re never going to sell it,” he said.
The city’s redevelopment commission would assume the $350,000 it will cost to demolish the building, which has mold and water damage, and prepare the site for new development, Lyp said.
After the tax sale is over, Lyp will come back to the commissioners with a proposal for transfer of the building.
In other business, commissioners will approach the county’s park board in the coming weeks about donating land at Sunset Hill Farm County Park for a new animal shelter.
Evans said he and Commissioner Laura Blaney, D-South, would attend the next park board meeting about a donation of three to four acres of land at the northwest corner of the park, at U.S. 6 and Meridian Road in Liberty Township.
“Sunset Hill is the most centrally located property owned by the county,” Evans said.
County officials previously discussed locating a new shelter at the intersection of Indiana 130 and Indiana 149, on land also owned by the county.
In the spring, commissioners earmarked $1.5 million in hospital interest proceeds toward a new shelter but have not approached the Porter County Council about the funding.
The commissioners wanted to have something concrete before approaching the council, Blaney said. An anonymous donor, who has offered to make a significant contribution toward a new shelter, is still on board with the project and prefers Sunset Hill to the previous location, she said.