Lake Station to market downtown business distict by re-establishing EDC

2012-11-15T20:15:00Z 2012-11-15T20:59:05Z Lake Station to market downtown business distict by re-establishing EDCDeborah Laverty deborah.laverty@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2223 nwitimes.com

LAKE STATION | The city will be re-establishing its Economic Development Commission after a longtime hiatus, Mayor Keith Soderquist said.

The new commission will be formed starting in January with the purpose of bringing new businesses to the city and overseeing improvements to existing businesses, Soderquist said Thursday at the City Council meeting.

"We have a lot to offer," Soderquist said.

Work by the newly formed commission also will include selling off city-owned property at Central Avenue and Ind. 51, the site of the former Police Department, City Court and City Hall.

The new City Hall and Police Department are at 1969 Central Ave.

Soderquist also presented remodeling plans for Ace Hardware on Central Avenue.

Soderquist invited comments from council members on what requirements they'd like to see when it comes to improvements to other downtown businesses.

"It's an open discussion. We should get consensus," Soderquist said.

Councilman Todd Rogers, D-3rd, said any requirements the city makes for improvements should be cost effective for businesses.

"We don't want a pole barn, but they don't need to make it a Taj Mahal," Rogers said.

Councilman Rick Long, D-5th, applauded the decision to re-establish the Economic Development Commission.

"This will bring new businesses to the downtown. It's what we need," Long said.

In other business, Ray Ostrander, the city's superintendent of public works, announced he will be stepping down at the end of the month.

"I'm leaving the position after three years," Ostrander said.

Council members and Soderquist complimented Ostrander on a job well done.

Soderquist said he has someone in mind to replace Ostrander but declined to say who that person is at this time.

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