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Valpo redevelopment panel adopts plans for Pratt, SJBZ projects

Updated: November 12, 2013 6:17AM



VALPARAISO — Improvements on two parcels being annexed by the city will be paid by the tax revenue generated by the new development on that land.

The Valparaiso Redevelopment Commission on Wednesday passed the first reading of a resolution for land to be developed by SJBZ Porter Holdings at the southeast corner of Ind. 49 and County Road 400N and land to be developed by Pratt Industries for a paper recycling plant north of the Porter County Fairgrounds.

The city will put in roads and sewers for the more than 46 acres of business park in the SJBZ development as well as infrastructure for the 33.4 acres Pratt will develop.

The resolution expands tax-increment financing areas to include these developments, so all increased tax revenue will go to the city to pay for those improvements.

No other governing bodies will see money from the increased taxes until the tax-increment financing ends.

The resolution passed the commission but must go before the Plan Commission on Nov. 12 and the City Council on Nov. 25.

One commission member, City Council Member John Bowker, had concerns about the resolution mentioning the luxury apartment complex on the SJBZ property.

The redevelopment commission is paying for road and utilities going through the business park only to the north, not for the apartments, said financial consultant Dan Botich of Cender and Co.

Although the apartments are included in the expanded TIF because it’s one development, the city can’t put money into or allocate money from the residential areas.

The resolution will go on the city’s website by week’s end, Summers said.

Also at the meeting, the commission members approved a landscaping plan for the Vale Park Road overpass of Indiana 49, to begin in fall and continue in spring.

The members approved using $7,000 to begin planting trees in the area, which is money saved from the landscaping of the Silhavy Road and Vale Park roundabout.

Autumn is an ideal time to plant trees, said Rob Szrom, president of Lakeshore Landscaping Inc.

Executive Director Stu Summers also plans to budget $70,000 for the rest of the work in 2014.

The plan will be to reforest the northwest corner of the interchange by Audubon subdivision, put native plants on the roundabout islands on either side of the bridge and put trees along Vale Park.

Because of the speed people travel along both roadways, it doesn’t make sense to spend money on elaborate landscaping, Szrom said



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