Thursday, April 21, 2016

Lake County IN votes against Great Lakes Basis RR

CROWN POINT — Beginning June 1, companies that want to bid on future Lake County public works construction projects costing in excess of $150,000 must submit a long list of pre-qualification documents.
In a 2-0 vote at Wednesday’s meeting, the Lake County Commissioners gave their blessing to a new county ordinance that “establishes responsible bidding practices and submission requirements,” said Commission Attorney John Dull. “This is a big, big, big, big change.”
The ordinance doesn’t affect bids now being advertised, Dull said. That includes bids the Purdue Extension/Soil and Water Conservation Project proposed to convert about 6 acres of green space in front of the Lake County Government Center complex. Those bids are due prior to 9:30 a.m. May 18 in the Lake County auditor’s office.

Lake officials plan to break ground later in 2016 on this $2.5 million office complex and to sell the remaining acres fronting Main Street (Ind. 55) to a developer for private offices and retail business space.
Creation of a Cumulative Bridge Fund and a Cumulative Drainage Fund also came under scrutiny by Commissioner Mike Repay, D-3rd District, and Commissioner Gerry Scheub, D-2nd District.

Dull explained the Lake County Commission was the only governmental body that could establish a Cumulative Bridge Fund that would add .009 cent per $100 of assessed value to property taxes and raise $2 million.

The commissioners set a public hearing about establishing such a bridge fund at their next meeting on May 18. The 10 a.m. meeting likely will take place in the Lake County Government Center auditorium, Scheub said.
A Cumulative Drainage Fund would raise $1.6 million by adding .01 cent per $100 of assessed value to property taxes, Dull said. This matter will come before the Lake County Council.
Dull also told Repay and Scheub that the Commissioners Tax Sale held in March raised $1.7 million.

In other action, both Repay and Scheub voted for the County of Lake Resolution No. 16-06 that opposes construction and operation of the Great Lakes Basin Railroad, an approximately 278-mile rail line with up to six tracks.

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