MERRILLVILLE | The town wants developers of unfinished subdivisions to complete infrastructure work in their communities.
Merrillville Public Works Director Bruce Spires said the town encountered a situation this summer involving a residential subdivision in Merrillville in which an out-of-state developer went bankrupt and never finished roads in the community.
The development had a $100,000 performance bond, which Merrillville pulled to complete roadwork there, Spires said.
"It wasn't close to what we needed," he said of the funds.
The situation forced Merrillville to use $90,000 of town funds to finish the roads.
The roadwork wouldn't have been finished if Merrillville didn't complete it, Spires said.
To avoid similar situations, the town has instructed Town Engineer Jonathon Derwinski to contact developers of other unfinished subdivisions to find out their plans to complete infrastructure work in their communities.
"It's important to get these guys to finish what they started," Town Council President Shawn Pettit said.
Derwinski also will determine the status of performance bonds associated with the communities, Spires said.
He doesn't want the town to encounter problems if performance bonds aren't large enough to handle infrastructure improvements in unfinished subdivisions. He also is concerned bonds could expire if Merrillville waits too long to address the matter.
"We have to make sure we're protecting ourselves," Spires said.
Pettit said he understands the economy might have affected residential developments, but infrastructure work still needs to be finished.
Roads, curbs and sidewalks in residential subdivisions must be built to town specifications and comply with Americans with Disability Act regulations before Merrillville can accept them into the town's inventory.
Merrillville would be responsible to maintain the roads once they are accepted. The town also would provide other services, such as plowing during the winter, after the roads are in Merrillville's inventory.