issue for C.L.
By Sean McNam
Star Staff Writer
CEDAR LAKE - The Town Council passed a resolution last month opposing a
possible one percent Lake County income tax.
The proposed tax was created to help the county in
"Through this tax the county will be able to
help reduce the welfare costs by the county board and state, it will
help with an efficient operation and consolidation of county services
and create an equitable assessment of specific areas within the county
," said Town Manager Tim Brown, reading from county
The main reason for the possible tax mandate was
because of the continuing tax problems that Gary, Hammond, East Chicago
and Whiting face annually.
Because of their tax discrepancy compared to the
other cities and towns in the county, Cedar Lake's conclusion was there
was a disproportionate amount of revenue each of the four aforementioned
cities would receive compared to what each would be paying from the tax.
Approximately 60,000 parcels of land will be affected
if this tax is implemented, consequently changing the minimum amount of
property tax a homeowner has to pay annually.
"Based on the changed costs from the county
income tax the minimum property tax payment will increase to abut $500
because the payment will be based on the overall average income of the
surrounding area," commented Brown.
By Sean McNab
Star Staff Writer
WINFIELD - The Town Council has approved the possibility of using a
federal grant to fund public transportation, despite the reservations of
South Lake County Community Services Executive
Director Margo Sabato explained that it was a two-part process to secure
the availability of public transportation.
"We need to get state and federal grants that
will cash-match what we plan on making through our local fares. It will
cost approximately $46,000 to bring transportation into Winfield. I have
already gotten some of the funding and am expecting at least 3,200
one-way trips annually from Winfield residents," explained Sabato.
Sabato has already obtained $24,000 in state and
federal funding and needs $12,000 from local sources.
The town plans on using some of its Community
Development Block Grant funding to support the transportation.
This did not sit well with those in attendance.
Many residents felt that by using this money for
transportation it would be taking away from the town's tax pocket
resulting in an overall hesitancy to use the services.
In defense of SLCCS, Town Council President Joyce
Furto commented that it is difficult to find ways in which to spend this
type of funding on an annual basis.
"The money that is allocated to us every year
can only be spent under certain criteria and in specific situations. One
of the ways we can do this in 2001 is through a possible public
With Sabato expecting a specific amount of one-way
trips to cover the overall costs of the bus, Councilman Bill Brown
wondered if the town would be liable if the service did not reach its
"I am responsible to make sure that the we have
enough one-way trips annually to cover the costs. If we do not reach our
quota that is my problem," said Sabato.
SLCCS is expecting a large percentage of its trips
will come from elderly residents residing in the Chicagoland Christian
Village Retirement Home along with the handicapped and elderly within
the town and township boundaries.
Because of this, residents wondered how many of those
in need of the service would be able to pay for $7 one-way trip with
their limited incomes.
"We have people that work at LCAR currently
using our services. If there are some that cannot by the fee we do make
allowances. Ways in which to bill for our services are through personal
insurance, vocational rehabilitation and through agencies such as LCAR
or Tradewinds," stated Sabato.
The motion was passed under the stipulation that
SLCCS receives enough funding prior to applying for the service.
In other news, the town's new Water Works Board held
its first meeting Monday. At the meeting Rick Anderson was elected
president, John Pangere vice-president and Rebecca Melanson secretary.
By Andrew Steele
Star Managing Editor
CROWN POINT - The City Council on Monday rejected Hawk Development
Corp.'s plan to develop a 100-acre parcel on the north side of 129th
Avenue one-quarter mile west of Delaware Street.
Hawk planned to put 447 residential units on the
property, to be known as Forest View. Fifty-three would have been
single-family homes on the north end of the development, near the
The plan also called for 228 four- to six-unit villas
and townhomes, and 160 "carriage" homes, which would have been
located on uneven ground in the middle of the development.
The council's concerns centered on the proposed
development's road widths, lack of sidewalks and curbs, and density.
The main roads in the development would be the city
standard 31 feet, Hawk engineer Gary Torrenga said, but many of the
roads servicing the residences would be 24 feet wide, without curbs.
Councilman Paul Bremer, R-1st, objected.
"I would like to see all the roads in the
development be 31 feet wide and with curbing," he said.
Council members also expressed a desire to have
sidewalks throughout the development, especially since Hawk plans to
market it to senior citizens, who council members felt would want
sidewalks for daily walking.
On the density issue, Councilman William Condron, R-4th, pointed out
that the property contained a significant unbuildable area, meaning the
density on useable land would be far above the apparent density.
He also said the proposal did nothing to buffer
neighboring developments, including Northwood.
"It's backed up right against them,"
Other council members also expressed objections to the density.
"There's no way I can support 60-foot
lots," said Councilman James Wirtz, R-at large, referring to the
frontage of some of the proposed lots.
"This is a pretty jammed up thing," agreed
Councilman Michael Conquest, R-at large.
Area residents at Monday's meeting expressed concern about drainage and
Torrenga said Hawk would not only take care of
stormwater drainage from Forest View, but help alleviate other drainage
problems in the area.
Lake County Public Works Director Bill Henderson said
cooperation from Hawk is already making his job of maintaining county
The residents also worried about construction traffic
on 129th Avenue, and residential traffic once the neighborhood is
Hawk has promised to create a construction road off
Delaware Street so heavy equipment won't have to use 129th.
On residential traffic, attorney Tom Perry, representing resident
Frederick Fedorchak, pointed out 447 units would mean a significant
number of additional cars on 129th.
The council could have approved the development plan
with adjustments, but with sidewalks, curbs, reduction in density,
buffers for neighboring subdivisions, "we're going to put so many
restrictions in here it's not going to be what you're looking at
(now)," said Condron.
The council rejected the plan unanimously.