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11/5/2018 4:18:00 PM
Portage council approves expansion of tax increment financing district

Joyce Russell, Times of Northwest Indiana

PORTAGE — The City Council recently approved the expansion of the city's tax increment financing district into two areas of the city.

The Redevelopment Commission will now hold a public hearing to consider a confirmatory resolution on the expansion of the Southport Economic Development Area, or TIF district. That hearing date is yet to be determined.

The expansion area includes Central Avenue on the city's west side, including the former Garyton School building. The second area is along Industrial Avenue, off Ind. 149. 

Colin Highlands, redevelopment administrator, said the city has targeted those areas for expansion, not in an effort to raise revenue for the Redevelopment Commission, but to help pay for some $11 million in improvements planned for those areas.

According to the agreement, the city would have one year to demolish the building. The demolition is estimated to cost $450,000.

The property could be redevelopment as a residential subdivision. The agreement also requires the city to either set aside a parcel for the school corporation's student builder program or, if the land is sold, pay the school district 10 percent of the proceeds of the sale. The agreement prohibits the property to be used for a school or other educational institution.

Highlands said the city is continuing discussions about appropriate developments, such as quality starter homes or a park, if an analysis finds a need.

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