PHIL WIELAND: Coming soon to Valpo: $200M rumor mill

2013-09-13T00:00:00Z PHIL WIELAND: Coming soon to Valpo: $200M rumor mill nwitimes.com
September 13, 2013 12:00 am

The announcement that Valpo is close to inking a deal with a company that plans to invest more than $200 million to locate in the city has raised a lot of questions starting with "How do I get some of that?"

The secrecy surrounding the company's name and the type of business has resulted in the creation of a rumor mill -- working three shifts 24/7. It is hoped the new company will be as productive but more profitable.

The best thing to do in these situations, I find, is to add a few more rumors of my own. So here's what I think could be coming to Valpo:

  • A riverboat casino. Yeah, I know Porter County voted not to have casinos way back when, but Valpo plans to get around that technicality by annexing LaPorte County, where casinos are legal. The casino company will start by digging a river in downtown Valpo to float the casino. It will be the next phase of expansion at Central Park Plaza.
  • The new CostasWorld Fitness and Amusement Park. Mayor Jon Costas is into the healthy, fit lifestyle with things like the Ironman Triathlon competitions, so the park will have various ways for visitors to run, swim and bike and other physically challenging activities. Then they can get on the Ambulance Ride to the ER-Land attractions, where signs remind people they have to be "this tall" to get in the MRI or CT scanners. Long lines are expected for the defibrillator ride. For the really stout of heart, there's the House of Blues Horrors where the Conservadelics perform with Costas playing guitar and singing lead. Oh, the humanity.
  • Two words: Twerking museum. I have no idea what twerking is, but twerk rhymes with jerk. And that should make the Miley Cyrus audioanimatronics exhibit an appropriately mentally debilitating experience to thrill any celebrity sniffing bonehead.
  • A deep space telescope and research center. The telescope and research center would cost about $10 million, and the rest of the money would go to build a mountain to put it above the area's pollution. The alternative would be to build on top of a pile of 200 million dollar bills.
  • A wind farm. The city would have to annex about 20 square miles, but the wind from the mayor's speeches is expected to provide power for most of the state with enough hot air left over for a fleet of blimps.
  • A blimp factory.

The final rumor has to do with the identity of the buyer of the $200 million in tax free revenue bonds the city will sponsor to help finance the project. Let's just say: Has anybody checked to see what Porter County Treasurer Mike Bucko is doing with those Porter hospital sale proceeds lately?

The opinions are those of the writer. He can be reached at phil.wieland@nwi.com or (219) 548-4352.

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