plan gets official review
By Sean McNab
Star Staff Writer
CEDAR LAKE - At a July 11 work session, members of
the Plan Commission tweaked plans to develop the old Salesian building
at 12611 Cline Ave.
Requesting a rezoning from residential R-1 to
Planned Unit Development status, owner Damir Missbrenner plans on
constructing a Golden Age Retirement Home for senior citizens needing
daily living assistance.
"This retirement village will encompass 36
acres of land inclusive of 175 living units. Living arrangements will
include apartments, townhomes and single-family detached homes, all of
which will be enclosed as a gated community," said Earl Goldberg,
the consulting engineer for the project.
Because it is such a large development, members
of the commission questioned whether this would have an adverse effect
on traffic along Cline Avenue.
"Most of the residents living there will
be in their mid-70Ís. Most of them will have minimal use of
vehicles," claimed Missbrenner.
Town Building Administrator Lowell Eloe had
concerns that the present plan could pose problems with parking
"This proposal hints at the fact that
there possibly might not be enough parking for visitors," Eloe
said. "If people cannot park on the driveways due to congestion,
the only other alternative is to park on the street. Being that there is
a cafeteria in the center of the project which requires service trucks
to bring food in, there may not be enough space for them to get in if
both sides of the street are used for vehicle parking."
The Salesian property has been vacated since
the late 1970s with over a million dollars in tax liens accruing due to
lack of use. Sergio Urquiza purchased the property at the town hall on
Jan. 14, 2000, only to sell the rights to Missbrenner approximately a
The rezoning of the property will be up for concept approval on July 18.
By Sean McNab
Star Staff Writer
WINFIELD - Members of the town Water Board faced a
packed house Monday night as they gave a final presentation on the
possibility of bringing Lake Michigan water to the Trees subdivision.
Steve Daulton, a representative of H. J.
Umbaugh & Associates and chief accountant for the project, explained
the two-fold financing process for subsidizing the project.
"The first step will be to create a Water
District supported by tax bond issues of $350,000," Daulton said.
"This will pose an increase of $218 per home in property taxes. The
second step will be financed through revenue bond issues of $450,000
that will include monthly fees and up front costs. Both bonds will run
for a term of 20 years."
Residents will have the option with the revenue
based bond to pay a one-time fee of $3,030 or an initial fee of $270
with a monthly fee of $27.50 for the next 19 years.
"If this proposal passes, residents within
the Trees subdivision will have to pay the property tax increase whether
they take into water system or not," said Water Board President
Rick Anderson. "What people need to remember is that there are 48
vacant lots within the subdivision. Once these lots are sold this tax
In order for the Indiana-American Water
Company, Inc. to supply Lake Michigan water to the town, 85 percent of
the homeowners must agree to tap-in, equivalent to 148 of the 175 total
Many residents of the subdivision are skeptical
of the proposed funding mechanism for the water system and want other
solutions to the neighborhood water problem.
"In the best case scenario where residents
pay the one-time tap-in fee of $3,030, residents will have to pay
approximately $15,000 over the next 20 years," said Trees resident
Mike Tisma. "I can guarantee that I could increase the value of my
home substantially more by taking that money and adding on to it."
Board members have repeatedly stated at
meetings that the value of homes within the subdivision could increase
from $7,000 to $10,000 by bringing in Lake Michigan water.
Tisma also explained that the reason so many people feel they need Lake
Michigan water is that they are not educated on getting the most out of
the well system that is presently used within the Trees subdivision.
"Residents need to know the proper storage
techniques when using a well system. There is presently an organization
out of California called Triple O ( www.tripleo.com
) that has been working with water purification for almost two decades.
This organization could fix any water problem for substantially less
than what this present project is calling for," Tisma said.
Tisma believes that the reason some homeowners
have an insufficient water supply is that they are not using the proper
techniques to find where water is and to utilize it effectively.
"A lot of people need to find storage
tanks and then clean them out. If people did this they would probably
have the best water in the town. Also, other problems that could stem
from lack of water is that the pump they are using in the well is
pumping faster than the pump that is bringing in the water. Numerous
residents have bought restricter valves that have eliminated this
Additional costs for Lake Michigan water will
be a $1,400 connection fee for homes within 100 feet of piping with an
additional $10 to $15 increase per foot for any home over 100 feet.
Water meter installation will be an additional $200 with an average
monthly residential water bill of approximately $25 for those using
5,000 gallons per month.
IAWC has made a guarantee to the residents of
Trees that if homeowners tap into the project before its completion, the
$1,250 tap-in fee will be waived.
"The problem that we have before us is not
unsolvable," said Tisma. "We just need to educate ourselves to
find the best possible avenue financially. Scaring people into buying
into Lake Michigan water isn't the solution," said Tisma.
The Water Board will meet again Aug. 13.