back to original owner
By Sean McNab
Star Staff Writer
CEDAR LAKE - The transfer last year of ownership of
the Salesian buildings located off Cline Avenue to Damir Missbrenner has
The property is now back in the hands of the
man who purchased it from the county at auction, Sergio Urquiza.
After court documents were sent to the Plan
Commission ruling that Urquiza is the actual owner of the site instead
of Missbrenner, the commission passed a motion to remove the Salesian
site from the agenda until Urquiza decides what he plans to do with the
Urquiza purchased the property at a public
auction at the Town Hall on Dec. 11, 1999, for $340,000. Missbrenner,
after the sale was final, claimed that he had actually been the high
bidder when SRI, Inc., auctioned the property as part of the county sale
of tax delinquent property.
Missbrenner then filed suit to try to acquire
the property. That was followed by an apparent agreement between
Missbrenner and Urquiza transferring ownership to Missbrenner.
Missbrenner went before the Plan Commission
earlier this year with a proposal to build a retirement village on the
Urquiza now has the option of building
something completely different on the property or purchasing the rights
of the engineering plans to continue the construction of retirement
Urquiza is presently renovating the old bank
building located on 13200 Lake Shore Drive, which was auctioned at the
same time as the Salesian property, to house an Italian-style restaurant
entitled Mira Bella, or "Beautiful View."
Urquiza paid $280,000 for the bank building.
image for larger view
Photo by Gene Milkowski/Star
The aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks have seen an
outpouring of patriotic spirit. Above, Lowell High School Junior
ROTC presents the colors Friday night before Lowell's football game
trail endorsed by planners
By Sean McNab
Star Staff Writer
CROWN POINT - The Plan Commission approved the city's
plan to put a bicycle trail through the city on Sept. 19 at the final of
three public meetings creating a bike network that will connect to
Members of the commission along with most in
attendance felt that an expansion would be a definite asset to the city
but that some tweaking of the plan would be needed to provide the city
the most benefit.
A number of Liberty Park residents, though,
continue to fight the plan on the grounds that the trail, which would
pass along the rear of Maple Street properties, would harm their privacy
and expose their families to crime.
Among commission members concerns was the fact
that part of the trail would pass by the old Wolohan building proceed to
Broadway and then east to Iowa Street, which Plan Commission member
Robert Corbin felt could jeopardize the city's Tax Increment Financing
"Part of this trail will be going right
through the TIF district in our city," Corbin, also a City Council
member, said. "There may be possible restrictions placed on (the
TIF district) and this trail may put that at risk. I have in interest in
our TIF district and do not want to lose control of it because of other
Corbin suggested that the trail be extended
through Winfield out to Stoney Run Park to avoid any problems in the TIF
district. The current plan is to take the existing Erie-Lackawanna Trail
and then extend it south along the abandoned Conrail right-of-way.
Special Projects Coordinator Mitch Barloga did
not know if there would be federal funding for the trail if it was
relocated somewhere else.
The grant the city will be using for the bike
trail is comes from the Transportation Advancement Program, of which 80
percent is funded federally and 20 percent is funded locally.
Superintendent of the Lake County Parks
Department Bob Nickovich interjected that this is the first time he has
ever heard of a project such as a bike trial harming a TIF district.
"I have never heard of something like this
holding back economic development. What I can say is that if we have to
modify the trail we may have to modify the grant also. We need to make
sure that the changes lend to the continuity of the trail to continue to
receive the grant. (The Indiana Department of Transportation) will not
withdraw the grant if the trail is moved a few blocks here or there but
it will not give additional funds if modified until we go through the
application process again."
Also at the meeting, Roy Robinson, representing
the National Parks, reported to the commission that a recent survey of
people who live near other bike trails in the state showed an
overwhelming percentage felt that the trails were an asset to their
"More than 90% of the people polled in
this survey found that the trails around them were a safe way for
transportation, were viewed as a favorable asset to their community and
those residents adjacent to the trails felt that the trail (either) had
no effect or increased their overall property value."
Plan Commission President Patt Patterson
allowed only residents of the city to speak, meaning residents of
Liberty Park, who argued strenuously against the plan at previous
meetings, could not speak.
The Plan Commission approved the trail up to
Broadway, but not the section that would extend east to Iowa Street.