Valpo tax increase going toward fire protection
By James D. Wolf Jr. Post-Tribune correspondent February 25, 2013 9:38PM
Updated: February 25, 2013 10:49PM
VALPARAISO — The Major Moves fund has been earmarked for its last fundings, a tax increase is likely for a fire protection territory with Center Township and the city put $100,000 towards a consultant to make a new strategic plan,
The City Council on Monday passed the second readings for these ordinances, although the fire territory will require one more reading on March 25.
The Center Township Board of Trustees also passed a matching ordinance on Monday and on Feb. 11 and is expected to pass the third at 2 p.m. on March 25.
The territory is designed to even the costs paid for fire protection between the city and township residents.
Valparaiso has provided fire protection to the township for about a decade, and the township residents’ cost was supposed to gradually increase until it evened out.
However, the state tax caps interfered with that system. Under the territory, a $100,000 house in the city will pay an additional $3.36 in property taxes for 2014 and $2 in 2015.Houses worth more than $135,000 wouldn’t incur an increase.
In the township, a $100,000 house would see an initial property tax increase of $41.94 in 2014, while a $150,000 house would see an increase of $83.55. In 2015, the increase will be $2 for $100,000 home and $4 for $150,000 homes.
The remaining $50,392 in Major Moves money, which came from the sale of the Indiana Toll Road, will be split to finish paying for the work on Sturdy Road and Evans Avenue and for pathways in the city. The Campbell Street pathway will be completed with that money.
The $100,000 for new strategic plan consultants ACP Vision and Planning of Columbus, Ohio, will come from the Riverboat Fund, and another $100,000 will come from the fund next year.
The firm will create a 20-year plan for the city’s future.
The Riverboat Fund has a $788,516 balance, Clerk Treasurer Sharon Swihart said. The city gets about $173,000 a year, which may lessen due to downstate changes.
Also at the meeting, the council approved a change in the downtown façade improvement grants, allowing grants for improvements to some buildings’ rears.
Building owners that have gotten the grant to improve their front entrance would be eligible for up to $25,000 for rear improvements, too.
As with the grants for up to $25,000 for fronts of buildings, the back improvements must be to the outside façade, and the city will only reimburse half the costs put in.
Other approved changes in the façade program include all contracts getting building permits and grant applicants giving easements right-of-ways to Valparaiso if requested.