Council approves fund for Gary building department
By Michelle L. Quinn Post-Tribune correspondent March 13, 2013 10:08PM
Updated: April 15, 2013 11:24AM
GARY — The city building department now has its nonreverting fund, but more of the proceeds will go toward implementing and running the city’s rental unit database than originally anticipated.
Building Commissioner Steven Marcus told the Common Council at its Wednesday night meeting the one-time $75 registration fee for all the city’s rental units will go into the fund and will be used ameliorate code violations as well as implement the new system the department is creating to keep track of property owners and code violations. Its startup cost, according to Councilwoman Marilyn Krusas, D-1, was considerably less.
“I did notice in the budget there’s $100,000 listed under professional services,” Krusas said. “In prior discussions, wasn’t it $30,000?”
Marcus said the $100,000 would go toward the database’s creation as well as the software, consultants and tracking of the database, which will be done off-site. No firm has been hired yet to do the job.
“That seems a bit expensive,” Krusas said.
The council passed the nonreverting fund 8-0, with Councilwoman Kim Robinson, D-5, absent.
The council also passed an ordinance approving the Public Safety early retirement policy and one establishing a new department and budget in the Fire Department’s FEMA grant that allows the department to purchase equipment.
The fire department will purchase monitors, defibrillators and communications equipment, among other items, with the $572,534 grant.
An ordinance that would have authorized the city to issue revenue bonds for the Kirk Yard Project was tabled, while resolutions allowing Stanrail Corp. a tax abatement for expansion and improvement to its Martin Luther King Drive property was referred back to the Finance Committee since representatives from Stanrail did not attend the last finance committee meeting. If they fail again to show, the council will either defer the matter or remove it from the agenda altogether, said ordinance co-sponsor and Council President Kyle Allen.
The Gary Finance Committee will meet at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the Cleo Wesson Lounge.