C.P. council advances funding mechanism for city improvement projects

2012-11-14T19:13:00Z C.P. council advances funding mechanism for city improvement projectsSusan Erler susan.erler@nwi.com, (219) 662-5336 nwitimes.com
November 14, 2012 7:13 pm  • 

CROWN POINT | A mechanism for funding city improvement projects will advance after approval was granted Wednesday by the Crown Point City Council.

The board met in special session with four of seven members present and affirmed measures approved  earlier this week by the city's redevelopment and plan commissions.

Plans are to borrow $5 million through a bond issue and pay it back with revenue from Crown Point's two tax increment financing districts, one on the east side and the other surrounding the city-owned sports complex on East North Street.

The money will pay for an ongoing second phase and possible third phase of improvements to the sports complex and a possible community activities center for hosting festivals and events in or near the downtown.

The sports complex third phase and the downtown project are in early, conceptual phases, Mayor David Uran said.

A resolution authorizing a bond issue of up to $5 million was approved Wednesday by the City Council and on Monday by the Redevelopment Commission.

A public hearing is expected in December.

The first $2 million generated by the bond issue will be used immediately, and the rest would be used as needed for the remaining projects, Uran said.

Finalizing the funding mechanism at this time locks in low interest rates, Uran said.

Also approved by the council Wednesday and earlier this week by the redevelopment and plan commissions were amendments to the resolutions that first created the tax increment financing districts.

The amendments draw the sports complex and downtown projects into the tax increment financing areas, officials said.

In a TIF district, increased property tax revenue stimulated by redevelopment is used to pay for improvements within the district.

Three new softball fields were added to the sports complex in the $3.5 million second phase of work, which will include new restroom and concession areas.

A $4 million first phase added two artificial turf football/soccer fields, improved access and other amenities to the complex.

Local business and philanthropist Dean White donated a total $3.1 million in matching funds through his Dean and Barbara White Family to help cover costs of the first and second phases of sports complex work.

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