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HAMMOND | The City Council voted Monday to grant a 10-year tax abatement for the construction of a new Hampton Inn at 2842 Carlson Drive near Kennedy Avenue.

A $12.5 million project, the new 120-room hotel will employ about 20 to 25 people, said Phil Taillon, executive director of Hammond Planning and Development.

“We think it’s a good development for that area,” he said.

Construction is scheduled to begin in August.

The council also approved a resolution for the just over $1.6 million purchase of new Motorola radios for the city’s police, fire and EMS in anticipation of the year-end E-911 consolidation.

The new radios will be put in use now with the city’s current system and then be adapted to the county system when the consolidation goes into effect.

The city’s current radios, which are about 12 years old, will be used for the streets and park departments.

The council also passed an ordinance requiring motor vehicle repossession agents who operate in Hammond to have a business license. The agents must also notify the Hammond Police Department within two hours of repossession with the identity of the repossession agent, their company, the name and address of the person in possession of the property and the name and address where they believe the property will be found. The agents must also provide a copy of the repossession order for the police.

There were about 1,000 vehicle repossessions in the city last year.

In other news, the council failed to move forward motions by Councilman Homero “Chico” Hinojosa, D-6th to subpoena city officials in an effort to release financial information regarding the Festival of The Lakes.

Things got somewhat testy between several members of the council regarding the motions by Hinojosa and other matters, with Councilwoman Janet Venecz, D-at large remarking that “it’s obvious from some of the activity here this evening that we are approaching election season.”

Hinojosa said his motions weren't political but about "accountability."


Lake County reporter

Rob covers urban affairs and other matters in Crown Point, St. John, Winfield and beyond. Previously he covered Valparaiso, Hammond, Gary and East Chicago. He's also written for various magazines and pens a culture blog for The Times.