Crown Point will add Liberty Park section

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Crown Point will add Liberty Park section

Postby bull dog » Sat Jan 02, 2010 12:38 am

Crown Point will add Liberty Park section
(http://www.post-trib.com/news/lake/1966 ... 31.article)

December 31, 2009

BY CHRISTIN NANCE LAZERUS, (219) 648-3086

The Liberty Park subdivision officially will become part of the city of Crown Point on Jan. 2.

Lake County Superior Court Judge Gerald Svetanoff decreed that the city's annexation will go forward. The ruling caps a legal fight that started in 2005, when the City Council voted to annex the subdivision on the west side of Main Street across the street from Jewel Plaza.

Liberty Park residents filed a petition protesting the annexation due to the prospect of increased property taxes. A judge initially ruled in their favor.

The city appealed and won in the Indiana Court of Appeals.

Subsequently, residents petitioned for and were denied permission for their case to be transferred to the Indiana Supreme Court.

Longtime Liberty Park resident Dan Grabski was part of the group opposing the annexation.

He said the effort started to lose steam when they couldn't afford to pay the legal bills.

"What everybody did is just give up," Grabski said. "I don't like it, but we've kind of resigned ourselves to it."

The subdivision has been an island surrounded by the city for 60 years; the annexation includes an abandoned railroad crossing and American Legion Post 20.

Grabski has lived in the neighborhood for 29 years and the city considered annexing the neighborhood for most of that time.

Liberty Park property taxes will increase by an average of $374 due to annexation.

Wayne Raker, who has lived in Liberty Park for 26 years, is happy that the move finally took place.

"It should have went through 20 years ago," Raker said. "It's kind of a pain to get your own garbage service. By the time they take away the extra money we're spending on the garbage bill and the water bill, the taxes will probably balance out."

The parties came to a settlement in November.

Since fewer than 65 percent of property owners and owners of less than 75 percent assessed valuation of the land to be annexed filed objections, the annexation order proceeded.

As a result of the settlement, the city will lose a 25 percent reduction in the water rate surcharge that Liberty Park residents have paid to receive city water, but the new citizens will be counted in the next census, which could mean more money for the city.

In addition, Crown Point cannot construct an access road to connect the Royal Hawk subdivision to Liberty Park subdivision until Dec. 31, 2013.

The court ordered that real estate taxes and assessments will start in 2010, payable in 2011.
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