Commission initiates bond process for street department facility

2013-04-24T20:00:00Z 2013-04-24T20:58:00Z Commission initiates bond process for street department facilityJoyce Russell joyce.russell@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2222 nwitimes.com

PORTAGE | The Redevelopment Commission on Wednesday initiated the bonding process for the construction of a new street department facility.

The commission approved hiring consultants to put together the financial aspects of a $4 million tax increment financing bond to construct a new facility at the site of the current facility on Hamstrom Road.

The cost of the project is lower than first estimated. When initial plans were presented to the commission by The Skillman Corp., of Merrillville, the estimated cost for the new facility was $7 million.

Since then, the project has been pared down from a broad concept "wish list" to a more practical plan, Director of Public Works A.J. Monroe said.

The new plan will still meet the needs of the department and provide a level of expansion, Monroe said.

For example, the original plan called for a new salt barn, twice the size of the current facility. But officials determined the current salt barn is sufficient for city needs. Other buildings were pared down to provide a more realistic proposal.

In other business, the commission authorized seeking bids for the construction of Theater Drive. The new road will be constructed north from U.S. 6 on the west side of the former theater building. Family Express will begin construction of a gas station/convenience store at the intersection of U.S. 6 and Theater Drive.

The commission also approved the renewal of a license agreement with Charles Ewen to farm property owned by the commission in and around the Northside Business Park. Ewen leases the land for $4,620 per year.

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