Crown Point makes tax a
City ties benefits performance to
future abatement passage
By Andrew Steele
Star Managing Editor
CROWN POINT - City officials have begun tightening the screws on
businesses that want tax abatements, expecting them to follow through on
the benefits they promise to bring to the city.
On Monday, the City Council renewed an abatement for a
mini-warehouse business for a third year, but warned the owners that
this would be the last year they would receive an abatement if their
business did not have its promised payroll of $120,000.
Next month, the council expects to start applying a new
standard to businesses that request abatements. Different kinds of
businesses will receive different length abatements, and the annual
renewal of an abatement will not be as routine as in the past.
"This is the beginning of the end of this kind
of abatement," Councilman William Condron (R-4th) said of the
In the past, 10-year abatements were granted
routinely to businesses within the city's economic revitalization area,
which is the industrial zone and surrounding area on the city's east
Abatements give property owners a 100 percent local
property tax discount the first year, and then a declining discount over
10 years until the owner is paying the full taxes.
The new standard, being written by financial
consultant Greg Guerrettaz, will provide a bracket that will show what
kind of abatement, if any, a particular type and size of business will
The council voted to renew Richard McEvoy's abatement
on a mini-warehouse at 700 Madison St. because the renewal for a third
year will likely fit the new standard.
"I think we would probably say a mini-warehouse
should be a three-year abatement," Councilman Michael Conquest
(R-at large) said.
Also on Monday, the council approved an abatement for
a fiber optic cable splicing company that Jerry and Laurie Burrow plan
to open at 811 Industrial Boulevard.
While all council members approved of granting an
abatement for the 20-plus employee business, Councilman James Wirtz
(R-at large) expressed reservation because the application said the
property will also house a motorcycle repair shop.
Wirtz said he does not support abatement for service
"It's like we're giving somebody an
advantage," he said. But Councilman Robert Corbin (R-5th) said the
city should be careful considering the competition issue when granting
abatements. If a business meets the criteria for an abatement, the
council can't turn it down because it will compete with an already
In other business, the council gave final approval to
the rezoning of 87 acres between 113th and 109th avenues about
one-quarter mile east of Broadway.
The land is owned by Joseph Beckman, who will operate
Home Lumber on a portion of the property east of Hubinger Landscaping on
Three parcels with frontages on 113th and two with
frontages on 109th will be zoned B-3 business; the bulk of the property
will be split into 20 I-1 industrial lots.
A north-south road through the property will be an
extension of the new Delaware Street, which will run through the entire
I-65 and U.S. 231 interchange area.
Beckman will appear before the Plan Commission Monday
to discuss development of the site.
Walking for a cure
Cancer Society holds its annual 24
By Sean McNab
Star Staff Writer
CROWN POINT - Over 1,500 people perish everyday from
this disease with over one million new cases expected to be diagnosed
this year alone. It is the second leading cause of death in the United
States and approximately 8.2 million Americans alive today have a
history of it.
Yes - it is cancer, and this past weekend at Crown
Point High School (CPHS) the American Cancer Society (ACS) presented the
"3rd Annual Relay for Life".
The purpose was to raise funds (by getting pledges
for walking laps around the CPHS track) and awareness to fight cancer in
the community. Moreover, it's a celebration of life honoring those who
have survived the disease.
"This event really pulls the whole community of
Lake County together and recognizes those that are survivors. Last year
we had approximately 70 teams participate in the event with this year
hoping for more than 80!" stated Ruth Kernagis, the Chairperson of
The event itself began back in 1992 when the founder,
Dr. Gordon Klatt, raised funds by walking all night long at Washington
State University for the cause.
"From there the event has mushroomed all over
the nation. 60 percent of the monies donated go to research facilities,
10 of which are located in Indiana and Michigan, with the other 40
percent going to local area programs," explained Stacy Brown, the
Community Development Director for the ACS.
Janice Waugh, a breast cancer survivor for over five
years, is a full-time volunteer on the behalf of cancer research.
"I am a member of the Ahepha Senior Circle of
Friends support group for cancer survivors."
The group, located in Merrillville, consists of
approximately 150 members, many of which live together in the apartment
complexes located within the town.
Waugh spends most of her time throughout the year
doing presentations at local hospitals for those suffering from cancer
along with raising funds for the cause.
"I just got donations from Bryan's Florist and
The Patio this past week," added Waugh. Luminaries were placed in
and outside the track with the names of loved ones who had perished from
the disease on each.
"It keeps the memories of the person
alive," commented Waugh.
Two "home-town" teams that provided support
for the event were in response to seven-year-old Crown Point resident
Andy Carpenter. Entitled "Andy's Army," Team 1 was sponsored
by his parents with the other headed by the Southlake Christian Church
in Crown Point.
"ItŐs great to see so many people at this
event," stated Andy, a Lake Street Elementary student who has been
fighting leukemia for the last four years.
Kevin, Andy's father interjected, "Each year
this event get bigger and bigger. Everyone in some way is going through
or knows someone that is affected by cancer."
The ACS will be hosting another "Relay for
Life" this weekend at Donald. E. Gavit High School in Hammond
starting at 3 p.m. Friday.
Kevin Carpenter concluded, "The progress that
the medical field has made in the last 20 years has been remarkable. For
in 1980, Andy would have had only a 30 percent of survival but now in
the year 2000, the rate has climbed to 70 percent. I have confidence
that they will find a cure for cancer in my lifetime!"
For any additional information on ACS call 793-1030
or visit them on the web at www.cancer.org
Winfield water issue still burns
By Sean McNab
Star Staff Writer
Winfield - Emotions ran high on Wednesday, May 31, during the special
Plan Commission meeting called for possible approval of Unit II of the
Hidden Creek subdivision.
The petition submitted by the Lasco Development
Corporation proposed 49 single family lots on the easternmost part of
the present Hidden Creek subdivision. Included would be two
30-inch pipes located off of 103rd and 101st Avenues that would flow
into a 36-inch pipe which would divert the water flow down Deer Creek
and out to the town of Merrillville.
The issue of contention with most of the residents in
attendance was the ill relationship that they had with the developer of
Hidden Creek, David Lasco.
"I have spent thousands of dollars with hopes of
getting a proper water supply into my home. I presently have a
whirl-pool tub that has never been filled to capacity. It all just
causes homeowner aggravation and headaches," explained Rick
The reason for his complaint is that most of the
Hidden Creek subdivision has an inadequate water supply because of dry
In contrast, the Trees subdivision, the other
subdivision adjacent to the proposed new units, carries too much water
resulting in the flooding of homes.
Town Engineer Kim Hodnik said, "By accepting
this proposed petition, Hidden Creek II will help alleviate some of the
excess flow into Hidden Creek I and to other neighboring towns
Plan Commission member Paulette Skinner suggested
that best avenue "for the town was through 'hook-up' by public
septic through Lake Michigan water or by using Winfield utilities within
"The crux of the problem here is that the
residents of Hidden Creek have a communication and trust problem with
Mr. Lasco because of situations that have happened in the past,"
commented Marilyn Leonian, a homeowner who is technically not a resident
Because of the severity of the water problems, the
question was brought up as to whether a hydrologist has ever been hired
to measure the amount of flowage from one subdivision/town to the
Since this has never taken place, Plan Commission
member Greg Lightfoot said, "It seems that there are a lot of
questions here that have been responded to with only nebulous answers.
We need to take the lead on this issue so that it can be