Valpo commission OKs Pratt annexation, rezoning

2013-10-08T21:00:00Z Valpo commission OKs Pratt annexation, rezoningBy Phil Wieland phil.wieland@nwi.com, (219) 548-4352 nwitimes.com

VALPARAISO | The planned construction of the $260 million Pratt Industries paper recycling plant got a quick push forward Tuesday with Valparaiso's Plan Commission voting unanimously to support annexing the adjacent 34 acres needed for the project.

The annexation and rezoning to heavy industrial use goes to the City Council for its Monday meeting and possible approval two weeks later.

Only a small portion of the property being annexed is needed for the 250,000-square-foot paper recycling facility. Pratt is in the process of obtaining the two parcels. About 30 acres is needed for the plant, and the 3.4 acres comes in a 100-foot-wide strip running south to Division Road to provide Pratt with a second truck access to the site.

City Planning Director Tyler Kent said the Pratt investment in the vacant acreage represents only $7.8 million in assessed valuation, which will generate about $92,720 in annual property tax revenue. Total annual revenue from this property is expected to be $231,000, including $138,894 for the utilities.

The city also will receive about $95,000 from permits and other construction related revenue while the total cost to the city to provide services to the site is estimated at about $9,000. Total annual utility revenue is expected to be about $1.5 million.

The property now is zoned Industrial under the county ordinance, and the proposed heavy industrial use will match that for the rest of the Pratt property and for the adjoining property on the north side of the railroad tracks that run along the north property line.

No one from the public commented during the public hearing on either the annexation and the rezoning. The commission agreed to Pratt's request to suspend the rule that the request be read at two meetings and acted on it Tuesday.

That vote and the vote to recommend approval by the council were both 7 to 0 with commission Member Jim Mooney absent. Member Mike Micka recused himself because he works for Holladay Properties and helped negotiate the sale of the land.

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