LOWELL | Tri-Creek Schools Superintendent Debra Howe said she would like the town to waive $110,000 in public works fees for the learning center project, but that's a large chunk of change for the town, councilmen are arguing.
The Lowell Town Council has agreed they should meet soon with Howe and those associated with the project to discuss the matter.
Lowell Public Works Director Greg Shook said he would like some numbers from other "learning centers" associated with Ivy Tech, Tri-Creek's partner in the project, to learn how much water might be used by the facility, which is set to be built on the former Lowell Middle School site.
Council Vice-President Craig Earley, D-1st, noted Tri-Creek made the same request of Lake County when the new Lowell Middle School was built, but a waiver was denied. He said the fees are how the town funds its building department, and the town utilities need the money.
While recognizing the Tri-Creek Learning Center is "pretty important" and will be an asset to the community of Lowell, Councilman Phillip Kuiper, D-4th, said it should be understood that Tri-Creek encompasses far more than the small town of Lowell. It covers three townships that run west to the state line, east to the Porter County Line, south to the Kankakee River and north to Cedar Lake's borders.
The $110,000 consists of a $95,000 sanitary sewer hook-up charge, a $5,000 water tap fee and $10,000 for building inspections.
Shook said he will arrange a work session with Tri-Creek officials.