VALPARAISO | To pay for expansion of Central Park Plaza and the public infrastructure improvements for the Pratt Industries expansion, the city's Redevelopment Commission plans to borrow $13.5 million in 2014.
The draft of the 2014 budget was presented to the commission at its Wednesday meeting, estimating the coming year's available funds at $28.35 million, including the loan and a carryover balance of $8.4 million. Income from the tax increment financing districts is estimated at $5.275 million.
Executive Director Stuart Summers said the $13.5 million would be a five-year note with $4.4 million to help pay for adding a pavilion/ice rink and associated support buildings to the downtown park. The city expects about $4 million in donations to cover the remaining cost.
The note would allocate $2.5 million for a road to serve the business park portion of the Lakes of Valparaiso East development of Don Weiss in the southeast quadrant of Ind. 49 and Vale Park Road, and $4 million for Pratt, which includes $500,000 to upgrade the sewer system.
The commission would use $2.6 million of the note to refinance the bonds for the Cumberland Crossing project.
Other highlights of the 2014 budget include $1 million to develop an airport business park, which would be done in partnership with the private sector; $950,000 for the local share of rebuilding the Burlington Beach Road intersections; $200,000 to subsidize the ChicaGo Dash, and $325,000 to buy public safety equipment.
The commission also would set aside $50,000 to explore innovative and cost-effective ways to improve the appearance of the U.S. 30 railroad overpasses, $75,000 for landscaping around the interchange at Vale Park Road and Ind. 49, and $325,000 for extending the Vale Park pathway west of Campbell Street to Windsor Park Estates.
The pocket park built at the University Promenade development at Lincolnway and University Drive would be bought for $201,250, and the city would do planning for future installation of landscaping and sidewalks on the east side of Calumet Avenue.
The local match for the engineering of improvements to Silhavy Road between LaPorte Avenue and Evans Avenue would cost another $265,000.
The commission will consider the budget at its December meeting but is not expected to vote on it until January, when officials will have a better idea of actual revenue for the coming year.