VALPARAISO | The city could be getting another downtown restaurant soon.
The Valparaiso City Council approved a $25,000 facade grant for Kevin Stonehill, of Gary, for the building at 22 N. Washington Street. Stonehill said he plans to put a restaurant in the building located between the Valparaiso Hobby Store and the Meditrina restaurant.
The restaurant will operate on both floors of the building, he said, and a front display window will be replaced with double French doors to provide "pseudo outdoor dining." Mayor Jon Costas said the success of development on Lincolnway is spreading to Washington and other streets.
Costas said the city has been thinking about placing a kiosk at Washington and Lincolnway directing people to Washington Street businesses and for people to get information about what is available in the downtown and the city. Now it is looking at more than one kiosk.
"We realized rather than a kiosk, it would be best to have a kiosk plan for all around the downtown," he said. "We will engage a firm to look at the options this year and then do it next year. We want to look at a lot of options and decide what's best for the downtown. It could add a nice touch."
The City Council also approved a five-year tax abatement for Task Force Tips on $1.6 million in new equipment. The company, which manufactures firefighting equipment, plans to add four new jobs with the purchase of the index machine center, a robot, a powder coat oven, a lathe and milling machine and a bundle loader.
Company spokesman Martin Sonnenberg said the equipment will have a useful life of only five to seven years, but it will enable the company to expand its operations and operate more efficiently. Task Force Tips will save about $50,000 in personal property taxes during the five years.
Sonnenberg said the goal is to operate the equipment as much as possible so that it is more likely to wear out and break down before it is obsolete. Then the company will be back with a new abatement request on the next generation of machinery.