North Porter County Complex Sale Dispute
July 9, 2013 — Porter County, Indiana is looking for a new home for departments using the North Porter County Government Complex. While the County has an interested buyer for the facility, some County leaders say details need to be resolved before a decision is made.
Portage Mayor James Snyder says now is a good time to consider moving the departments from the Complex to downtown Portage.
He says, “We have a potential buyer of a property. You don’t get that very often, where somebody is going to want to buy a facility.”
The interested party is North Shore Health Centers. Mayor Snyder says they, too, have outgrown their building and are looking for a new home.
Yet Portage City Council President Sue Lynch says the process needs to slow down, “We have just started kind of an exploratory committee. I’ve only been to one meeting, but there’s a lot of work to do. . . The building has to be appraised, there’s a huge court system in here that would have to be moved ultimately, and so there’s no building for them to move it.”
Portage Mayor James Snyder says, “I think it should all be in the same location. The building right now is on the far west side of the county. It takes Chesterton residents a long time to get there.”
The Mayor’s administration wants to see city departments moved to downtown Portage, and Snyder says moving there is a win-win for all involved partners, “Portage pays more taxes than any other community to Porter County. Portage has more residents than any other municipality in Porter County. Portage is the focal point, and Portage is really the success of Porter County.”
While Lynch understands the importance of the project, she wonders about the source of the money to support it. Mayor Snyder says, “The County is sitting on nearly $200-million of liquid assets; we would like to see them invest some of that in Portage. . . There’s going to be an investment made one way or another. There are times people need to take a pause and look and say, ‘What does it do for the community?’”
Since the decision is still in discussion, no action date has been set.