Monday, July 28, 2008

Great News for Cedar Lake

Cedar Lake restoration moving forward
StoryDiscussionFont Size: Default font size Larger font size BY MELANIE CSEPIGA
Times Correspondent | Tuesday, July 22, 2008 | 2 comment(s)

CEDAR LAKE | Dredging will be one component of a federal ecosystem restoration and enhancement project on Cedar Lake, but how much sediment will be removed from the lake remains to be seen.

After reviewing the recent U.S. Army Corps of Engineers draft document on the project and hearing Town Council concerns, consultant Kay Whitlock is expected to make some recommendations when the council meets at 7 p.m. July 29.

"It recommends a whole array of features to be combined, so it's not just dredging," Whitlock, of Christopher B. Burke Engineering, Crown Point, said of the draft document.

Using special software, the Corps mixed and matched elements of the project to achieve the highest environmental value at the best price, Whitlock said, noting that the results, for now, include planting vegetation on the shoreline and under water, fish management, treatment of contaminants and dredging.

Bob Gross, president of the Cedar Lake Enhancement Association, the grassroots group that started restoration planning, said he is happy the project is moving along.

"I know the council is reviewing it. With the land purchase we made, we want to get more sediment out than the Corps recommended," he said.

The town has purchased 114 acres to the south on which to place sediment removed from the town namesake lake. A portion of the land eventually would be capped and serve as a park, officials have said.

Whitlock said it was her impression July 15 when she presented the Corps' draft document to the town council that at least some members want to see a greater amount of sediment removed through dredging. That concern will be reflected in her recommendation, she said.

Whitlock, whose area of expertise lies with federally-funded projects, said developing a contract and cost-sharing is not as clear-cut as people might expect.

"Negotiating this kind of contract with the federal government is very sensitive," she said, adding that she has personally been impressed by the value the project holds for the region.

A detailed, public review of the project, funded through federal and state dollars garnered by Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Ind., and state Sen. Sue Landske, R-Cedar Lake, is scheduled for the fall.

Gross said the Corps will present the project during a Nov. 7 fundraiser at the After Four Club in Cedar Lake.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Great Happenings in Cedar Lake

Happenings in Cedar Lake

Our Dollar General here is getting a Huge faceLift, Check it out

The whole Strip mall there is getting the lift.. Congrat to Brian the Owner..

Friday, May 16, 2008

Statue Of Liberty, Replica, is Coming to Crown Point

Wow Crown Point must be very excited about getting a Statue of Liberty.. Jill will continue this post..

Saturday, April 5, 2008

More Great News for Cedar Lake IN

McFarland introduces townhomes starting at $135,900 during grand opening event
StoryDiscussionFont Size: Default font size Larger font size By Michelle Krueger | Saturday, April 05, 2008 | No comments posted.

Discover how you can move right into your own brand new townhome in a picturesque Cedar Lake neighborhood for just $135,900 this weekend. You’ll find all the details on this incredible offer during McFarland Homes’ grand opening event at The Townhomes of Monastery Woods from 11am-4pm today and 1-4pm tomorrow.

“People are really enthused about the area,” Rita Carmin, McFarland Homes’ new home specialist at Monastery Woods, said. “It’s a really pretty location, close to the lake, and very convenient for people who are on the go.”

Featuring two distinct floor plans, The Townhomes of Monastery Woods include a 1,144 square foot ranch plan, the Augusta, and a 1,653-1,991 square foot 2-story, the St. Andrews, which can be customized three different ways to meet your individual needs for extra closet and storage space, a full second bath and/or a third bedroom.

For a limited time, during McFarland’s special grand opening event, the Augusta, featuring 2 bedrooms, 1 ? baths, utility room with laundry tub, eat-in kitchen with sliding glass doors leading out to a 12 x 12 concrete patio, large central family room and master bedroom suite with his and her closets and a walk-in shower that includes by-pass glass doors and a built-in seat, starts at $135,900.

“For those who are looking to move into their new home right away, we currently have Express Homes of this model immediately available,” Carmin said. “You can also choose to build your own Augusta and still take advantage of the Grand Opening pricing for a limited time.”

The 2-story St. Andrews starts with a standard 1,653 square foot plan and includes 2 bedrooms, 1 ? baths, master bedroom with both walk-in and reach-in closets, second bedroom with walk-in closet, large family room with vaulted ceiling, kitchen with built-in pantry and large dinette area with sliding glass doors that lead to a 12 x 12 concrete patio, laundry room with tub and plenty of additional convenient storage space on the main floor plus a large linen closet and 12 x 9, loft perfect for a computer/office area upstairs.

“A fully customized St. Andrews with 3 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths for a total of 1,919 square feet starts at $172,900 before special Grand Opening savings,” Carmin said. “There’s so much you can do with this flexible floor plan to meet all of your needs in a new home, all for a surprisingly affordable price.”

All of The Townhomes of Monastery Woods come complete with 2-car attached garages with automatic garage door openers and two remotes plus all the benefits of maintenance-free living with an Association to remove snow and maintain the landscaping, elegant community entryways and water features.

A nice, quiet setting with four wet ponds on the north side of Cedar Lake, Monastery Woods backs up to Parrish on 129th and is very close to Route 41 as well. An emerging hotspot in Lake County, Cedar Lake offers new homebuyers resort-style living in a quiet, country setting along with the desirable amenities of city life. In addition to a thriving downtown business district and an award-winning school district, Cedar Lake features an 805-acre spring-fed lake with more than 7 miles of shoreline and tranquil beaches for the enjoyment of residents.

With plans for a total of 230 homes, McFarland Homes is also building Paired Ranch homes in Monastery Woods.

“We also have Express Homes with Spring Savings and new construction locations available for our Paired Ranch homes in Monastery Woods,” Carmin said. “These models will also be open during The Townhome Grand Opening event. Whether you’re interested in a new Paired Ranch home or one of the new Townhome models, you’ll find unparalleled value, comfort and luxury in all of the homes at Monastery Woods.”

In fact, McFarland Homes invites you to pick up a handy “Comprehensive Comparison Guide” that you can take with you and use to shop and compare while looking for your new construction home. This valuable hand out is available in all of their sales offices and thoroughly explains over 40 of the included standard features of a McFarland home.

According to Carmin, some features are visible to you when you go through a new construction home and other items are behind the drywall. Both are extremely important to the comfort and maintenance of your home. Educated home buyers need to know the facts about the purchase that is typically their largest, single investment.

Once you have the facts and compare all of the standard features, McFarland Homes is confident that you will want to become a McFarland homeowner.

From their custom homes division and their first maintenance free, all-brick, paired ranch homes, McFarland Homes has always been an innovator in home plans offered through out Lake County. They currently offer Single Family Ranch Cottages in Griffith’s West Haven Manor and Paired Ranch Homes in Merrillville’s Mesa Ridge. McFarland Homes also recently introduced their Townhomes in The Gates of St. John.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Cedar Lake dredging fund earns approval

A state oversight panel has given final approval for $2 million to help dredge Cedar Lake.

The funds were included in the state budget legislators approved last year, but the project needed a final nod from the State Budget Committee. The five-member panel -- four lawmakers and the governor's budget director -- unanimously approved the project Monday.

Cedar Lake Town Manager Joan Boyer told the committee the $2 million would be used to acquire land to deposit the materials scraped from the bottom of the lake. Once the project is complete, the land will be capped and converted to a large park.

"Cedar Lake does not have a large park," Boyer said. "We just have little pocket parks."

The town is expected to contribute $2.5 million to the dredging project. Combined with the state money, those funds are expected to leverage $8.5 million in federal dollars.

State Budget Committee documents describe the project as an aquatic ecosystem restoration that will "reduce pollutants entering Cedar Creek and downstream communities and support economic growth in Northwest Indiana."

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

St. John, S'ville developments to draw thousands

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Two major developments in Tri-Town are expected to draw thousands of new residents over the next decade.

With 1,400 housing units on 720 acres, The Gates of St. John will bring about 4,200 people to St. John over the 10-year buildout, Town Manager Steve Kil said.

"This one development would account for half of the 2000 (St. John) population," he said.

The Gates, which is not a gated community, is divided into a dozen communities, each with a different name, such as Autumn Gate and Magnolia Gate. The development is bordered by 101st Avenue on the north, Cline Avenue on the east, U.S. 231 on the south and Parrish Avenue on the west.

For planning purposes, the development is divided into units, or phases. Each of the approximately 22 phases is approved separately. About 60 percent of The Gates is through the platting process, but none of the phases is built out yet, Kil said.

"I think it's going pretty good, given the size of the development," he said.

The Gates includes more than just houses.

Crown Point Christian School opened inside The Gates in January 2007. Construction on a water tower in The Gates is about 70 percent complete and should be operating by the spring. Construction is yet to begin on an assisted living facility, fire station and a well and water treatment facility, Kil said.

A retail component for the development is in the planning stages. It's a small part of the project, set to encompass about 20 acres, Kil said.

"It's going to be a small, downtown type of development," he said.

Another major undertaking is in the works in neighboring Schererville.

The Preserve is a 2,300-unit community on 500-plus acres of land, to be built off 91st Avenue and Burr Street.

"It's going to be a really exciting new community," said Todd Olthof, of Olthof Homes, developer of The Preserve.

Site development is at a standstill until Schererville moves forward on a $6 million sewer interceptor project. The town is acquiring the last needed easements for the project, which will provide excess capacity for customers in the southeast part of the town's service area.

Schererville is actively working on the new sewer, and those sewers are necessary to build the development, Olthof said.

Plans for The Preserve haven't changed since it was last presented to town officials, Olthof said.

The development will be a "master planned community" with parks and a commercial area.

It will be on farmland currently owned by the Luers family, which is known for its Christmas tree sales. The portion of the farm dedicated to growing and selling Christmas trees will be the last section developed.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Indiana Property Tax Residential 1% Cap, Great News for Indiana

House passes gov's tax plan Thursday, January 24, 2008 INDIANAPOLIS | Gov. Mitch Daniels' plan to cut and cap homeowner property taxes cleared the Indiana House on a 93-1 vote Thursday afternoon. House Speaker Pat Bauer, D-South Bend, called it "an historic event" for such an expansive tax restructuring effort to receive wide support this early in the legislative session. He said it bodes well for cooperation with the Republican-led Senate. "We've had bipartisan support," Bauer said. "Now we need bicameral support." House Minority Leader Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, agreed that the vote represented "a very substantial accomplishment." But the GOP floor leader said he remains troubled by a Democratic amendment to the bill that exempts school classroom buildings from the voter referendums Daniels wants to require for local construction projects. State Rep. Craig Fry, D-Mishawaka, was the only lawmaker to vote against the plan, which is contained in House Bill 1001. He complained the legislation too closely resembles a past tax-relief effort that, he said, failed to deliver on promises to homeowners. "I just can't believe we're buying into this garbage all over again," Fry said during floor debate. The legislation, which advances to the Senate, would: * cap tax bills at 1 percent of assessed value for homeowners, 2 percent for landlords and 3 percent for businesses beginning in 2009. * shift $1.1 billion in school and welfare costs off local property taxes and onto the state's ledger. * raise the state sales tax by a penny, from 6 percent to 7 percent, to pay for the welfare and school swaps. * require referendums on most local construction projects but not school classroom buildings. * eliminate township tax assessors. * double the state income tax deduction for renters from $2,500 to $5,000.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Now Is The Time To Buy or Sell

Daily Real Estate News | January 22, 2008
Fed Issues Emergency Rate-Cut
The Federal Reserve, in an emergency meeting on Tuesday, slashed the key rate to 3.5 percent, citing a weakening economic outlook. The move marks the Fed's biggest rate cut — three quarters of a point — in more than 20 years.

As fears of a recession looms, the Fed said the rate-cut was to help restore confidence in the U.S. economy.

“While strains in short-term funding markets have eased somewhat, broader financial market conditions have continued to deteriorate and credit has tightened further for some businesses and households,” the Fed said in a public statement. “Moreover, incoming information indicates a deepening of the housing contraction as well as some softening in labor markets.”

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® Chief Economist Lawrence Yun says the 75-basis-point cut in the Fed funds was a good step in giving the economy the boost and sending a clear message to both the market and to consumers.

“This strong rate cut will help lower mortgage interest rates and lessen the burden of adjustable-rate loans that are resetting in the current environment,” Yun says. “It also could help stimulate business investment in the wake of market uncertainties. We commend the Federal Reserve Board on its bold action, but at the same time we urge it to keep a close watch to see if additional action is needed.”

The Fed also approved a decrease in the discount rate — which, among other things, impacts how consumers pay home equity lines of credit — to 4 percent.

The Fed’s next scheduled meeting is on Jan. 30, where analysts say another rate-cut may be likely.

Source: REALTOR® magazine online and Dow Jones Newswire (1/22/08)