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January 28, 2010

Nappanee resolution spells out future projects

Goal is to identify specifics, purposes to avoid amendments

NAPPANEE, Ind — After some discussion, the Nappanee Redevelopment Commission on Tuesday tabled a resolution to amend plans for the city’s consolidated Tax Increment Finance District.

Redevelopment Commission attorney Craig Buche went over the amended resolution with members including maps of proposed property the commission might consider acquiring in the future.

The resolution spells out projects the commission plans to pursue using revenue from the consolidated TIF district. Buche prepared the resolution based on discussions held during a retreat in November where commission members prioritized projects.

The attorney said it was a legal requirement that redevelopment commissions have plans for TIF district revenues and “because of a change in the law two years ago, amendments to redevelopment plans have to go through the same process as when you created the TIF district.”

Major plans listed in the resolution include:

• Acquisition/demolition/redevelopment of former Amoco property — proposed cost $250,000.

• Acquisition/demolition/redevelopment of vacant lot adjacent to John’s Butcher Shop — proposed cost $250,000.

• Development of fiber optic network — proposed cost $500,000

• Development of industrial park/high tech park east side of Nappanee — proposed cost $4 million (biggest expense extending utilities to area).

Buche said these were “ball park estimates, no engineering studies have been conducted.” The amendment is also adding to existing projects not yet completed, including the Lincoln Street extension project and North Oakland Avenue improvement project.

Also permitted under the current guidelines, according to Buche, is training and educational projects, including partnering with businesses in the TIF district or non-profit organizations to educate or re-train employees.

Buche told commission members the goal of the resolution is to try to identify specifics but also specific purposes so they don’t have to amend each time a project is started. Commission members decided to table the resolution because they wanted to discuss additional smaller projects that may not be included in the resolution as written.

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Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

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