VALPARAISO | Porter County commissioners on Tuesday discussed two separate issues: the demolition of a former bakery building in the area of Ind. 49 and U.S. 30 and a new animal shelter at Sunset Hill Farm County Park.
Valparaiso is interested in taking possession of the former Natural Ovens Bakery dome building and removing it, with the goal of redeveloping the site and placing it back on tax rolls, attorney Patrick Lyp said.
The building was constructed about 10 years ago by Natural Ovens, which later fell into bankruptcy with a different owner and has back taxes totaling $1.4 million, Lyp said. Commissioners are involved because the Valparaiso property is scheduled for an October tax sale.
The building has been vacant for an unknown number of years and has problems with water and mold, Lyp said.
Valparaiso is interested in footing the estimated $350,000 bill to tear down the building and prepare the site for new development, Lyp said.
After receiving a favorable reaction from commissioners, Lyp said he would be back with a proposal after the tax sale. He wants to give a private entity a shot at purchasing the site before it is turned over to the city.
Board of Commissioners President John Evans, R-North, voiced interest in seeing a guarantee by the city to demolish the structure.
In other business Tuesday, Evans was granted permission by his fellow commissioners to approach the Porter County Parks Foundation about the potential of donating land for a new animal shelter at the northwest corner of Sunset Hill Farm County Park in Liberty Township.
The site, located at the southeast corner of U.S. 6 and Meridian Road, is desired because of its central location, Evans said.
Porter County Commissioner Laura Blaney, D-South, said the site also offers the benefit of being located along the busy U.S. 6 corridor.
The county will need 3 to 4 acres for the project, she said.