MUNSTER | Fiscal year 2012 saw millions of dollars of continued community investment by the Redevelopment Commission which breathed new life into the town’s commercial corridor and brought various projects to completion.
That was part of the annual report submitted by Munster Clerk-Treasurer David Shafer and approved at the Redevelopment Commission’s first meeting of the year.
The Munster Redevelopment Commission includes all five members of the Town Council as well as a nonvoting member from the School Town of Munster board.
Required by state statute, the annual report chronicles the financial and project history of community improvements for 2012 using tax increment financing dollars generated from property taxes paid by businesses in the TIF district.
A portion of those property taxes is returned by the state to the commission to be used for improvements and redevelopment within the TIF district which extends along Calumet Avenue, Ridge Road, 45th Street and Main Street.
The commission received $10,551,607.35 in TIF revenue last year divided into eight funds.
Using the proceeds from economic bonds and TIF dollars previously available in those funds, the Redevelopment Commission expended more than $22 million, including $19,891,732.95 in capital outlays for various redevelopment projects, according to the report.
RDC projects completed in 2012 include the Munster Shops second phase, Community Park phase one, reconstruction of Fran-Lin Parkway and the methane gas-to-energy project at Centennial Park.
Community Park' second phase redesign and redevelopment continues using TIF funds.
Another ongoing project that used TIF funds to back economic development bonds is the Lake Business Center, which is being turned into a manufacturing/medical/office facility by Simborg Development.
The Redevelopment Commission also provided a $2 million TIF tax incentive for Land O’Frost to relocate its headquarters from Lansing to Munster last year. The total investment by Land O’Frost will be $6.4 million, the report states.
In other business, the Redevelopment Commission made final payment to Pangere Corp. for work on Community Park phase one. The total cost of the company’s work was $1,923,663.
The commission also voted to hire Cardno-JF News of Walkerton, Ind., as an environmental consultant to provide information about any wetlands in the 11 acres purchased by the town at the west side of the Lake Business Center.
When the town purchased that property from Simborg Development in 2011, Simborg was given a year to determine whether there were wetlands within the parcel and/or produce a waiver to the town, said Attorney Eugene Feingold.
That date of Dec. 21, 2012, passed without either being done, Feingold said.
“Now we will have it done,” he said.
JF News will complete two tasks at a cost of $8,380. One is to locate and map any wetlands. The second will be to determine a cost to fill the wetland and mitigate the acreage.
When a cost to mitigate any wetland is determined, that amount will be reimbursed by Simborg Development. The costs will include any and all charges including professional services, permitting and site mitigation, according to Feingold.