CROWN POINT | The City Council will support the South Shore Line expansion with proceeds from its county economic development income tax revenue — it just isn’t sure how much yet.
U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky pitched support for the expansion during a Crown Point City Council meeting Monday, just as he has at board meetings with different cities and towns across Lake County.
The municipalities are being asked to set aside a portion of their proceeds from Lake County's new economic development income tax for the $571 million project. Crown Point's share of county economic development income tax revenue is projected to total nearly $667,000 this year. Ten communities and Lake County have already pledged a total $3.2 million annually.
Mayor David Uran said they plan to have an amount for Visclosky soon.
Some council members were concerned about how a train in Dyer will benefit Crown Point.
Councilwoman Laura Sauerman said both of her sons live and work out of state and mass transit in the area would not have made a difference.
“It had more to do with the job market in the communities they were looking at for their skills and education,” she said.
She supports a commitment, but at a lower investment from Crown Point compared with cities such as Gary and Munster.
Councilman Bill Feder said 10 corporate headquarters could be built locally that would bring in thousands of jobs for the same amount of investment for the expansion.
Councilman Andrew Kyres supports the expansion and said it’s a way to integrate the local economy with a big, regional hub “and in order to do this we have to make an investment.”
“At the end of the day what’s good for one region or one city or one town the other town is going to benefit,” he said. “This is an opportunity that I would hate we not take advantage of.”
The first trains are not expected to run on the proposed 8-mile extension to Dyer until 2023. Construction could start in 2020. The project has an estimated price tag of $571 million.