Valparaiso looks to boost growth along U.S. 30
By James D. WOlf Jr. Post-Tribune correspondent June 17, 2012 8:22PM
Updated: June 17, 2012 10:36PM
VALPARAISO — Now that the city has responsibility for the west end of Lincolnway and the $24.5 million that comes with it, it wants to be able to encourage growth there and along U.S. 30.
The city last year approved a plan to divide U.S. 30 and areas adjacent into eight development zones, but along U.S. 30, many areas don’t have sanitary sewers, water or other infrastructure.
In order to be able to put those things — or any other city services and amenities — into those areas, the Redevelopment Commission wants to extend the Tax Increment Financing districts.
The city can’t use the $24.5 million for much other than traffic-related work, such as sidewalks, curbs and safety measures. But money raised from the TIF new district will allow the city to do other work that would make properties ready for development.
“It’ll complement the federal money being invested on the highway,” Stu Summers, Executive Director of the Redevelopment Commission said.
The commission members passed a resolution Wednesday to expand the TIF districts, and from there it goes to the Plan Commission July 11, the City Council July 24 and back to the commission Aug. 8 for a “confirmatory resolution.”
When it passes, the TIF will include:
U.S. 30 from the eastern city limits to Hayes-Leonard Road on the west end of the city.
Lincolnway/Indiana 130 from the current TIF district starting at the Silhavy Road roundabout through the city, then extend it from about Stoner Road to west city limits.
Silhavy between U.S. 30 and Lincolnway
The Washington Street/Indiana 2 intersection with 30, from Monroe Street south to the old Fetla’s Trading Post building.
Summers noted that this measure will only put the public right-of-ways along the roadways into the TIF district.
Private properties, such as the old Fetla’s, won’t be in it and eligible for improvement funding.
Parties interested in turning Fetla’s into an indoor gun range are requesting city annexation.
The money the city received when it accepted responsibility for the western part of Indiana 130 is in three parts. The $2 million Valparaiso received last week went into the Rainy Day fund. The largest part, $18 million, is in federal aid highway funds, and the remaining $4.5 million is Supplemental Matching Federal Resources. Those last two are for the traffic improvements. The $4.5 million can be used as the city’s 20 percent matching funds that most federal grants require, Summers said.