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STOCK_Griffith Town Hall

Griffith Town Hall

GRIFFITH — Town officials hope to have an idea this summer about where Griffith stands in its ongoing effort to join either North Township or St. John Township.

Both townships rejected Griffith's proposal late last year, but the town is hoping for a change of heart.

"We're still looking for a home," Town Council President Rick Ryfa said earlier this week as Griffith continues its quest to leave Calumet Township.

Ryfa said he hopes for a better idea of the situation by the end of July or August, when most communities begin work on their next year budgets.

Studies have shown that North Township would receive about $550,000 in revenue from Griffith if it were to join that township.

St. John Township would gain about $72,000 from the town.

And Griffith residents would be spared from the $2.3 million per year they pay to Calumet Township.

"Both the Griffith Public Schools and the town would see very significant increases in revenue if the burden of Calumet Township is removed and hundreds of thousands of dollars is essentially redistributed," Ryfa said.

This is especially true as the property tax cap circuit breaker kicks in next year — when the town and schools will suffer a combined revenue loss of over $1 million, he said.

Ryfa added North Township also will lose significant revenue next year from the tax caps.

In other business, Ryfa said the redevelopment commission may delay a request for proposals from contractors to truck in 140,000 cubic yards of clean fill to the former Griffith Golf Center.

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Much of the 55-acre site is considered to be wetlands, leaving five or six acres available for redevelopment.

"There have been many inquiries from developers on the old Griffith golf course," he said.

The commission will discuss its options at its next meeting, which could be to delay the RFP until it decides when the property will be publicly advertised as for sale.

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"The hope is to have this offer sometime this summer," Ryfa said, adding that developers may be encouraged that the town already has addressed the environmental issues.

The council also addressed some discrepancies in the town's vehicle parking laws.

"What we're doing is amend the town parking (ordinance), mostly downtown," said Councilwoman Melissa Robbins, R-4.

Over the decades, changes to the ordinance began to cloud things up with conflicting language, Ryfa noted.

"So we're cleaning it up," Robbins added.

While the ordinance has no major changes, a few new items were added, Ryfa said, including some downtown spots being designated as 20-minute parking.

The listed parking hours also have been adjusted on the signs near the schools to parallel the school day, which is now 30 minutes later than before.

"We will continue to monitor the parking needs and take further action if needed," Ryfa said.

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