INDIANAPOLIS—On Friday, a three-year redevelopment pilot program authored by State Senator Earline Rogers (D-Gary) gained final approval in the Senate. Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 310 will form a redevelopment commission to revitalize vacant and abandoned properties in Sen. Rogers’ district.

“My hope is that this program will help the area and its residents both aesthetically and economically,” said Sen. Rogers. “This plan will give more authority to local officials charged with eliminating blight and help to lower the costs associated with trying to sell vacant lots.”

SEA 310 will authorize the redevelopment commission to create “opportunity areas” in neighborhoods and sell properties to the highest and most responsive bidder. The plan attempts to simplify and improve the buying process for vacant and abandoned properties. Lake County has struggled to sell vacant lots for years, when buyers end up abandoning any attempt to revitalize the lot and forgo paying property taxes. Those properties then cycle through the system and must be sold again. The pilot program will allow the city to minimize costs associated with selling vacant lots and to start collecting property taxes from dependable owners, which will help further stimulate the area.

The measure met final approval in the Senate, 44-2 and now moves to the governor, who can sign the enrolled act, veto it, or let it become law without his signature.

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Sen. Rogers represents Indiana Senate District 3 which encompasses portions of Lake County. District 3 communities include Gary, Lake Station, New Chicago, Hobart, Ainsworth, Merrillville and Crown Point. For more information on Sen. Rogers, her legislative agenda or other State Senate business call 1-800-382-9467 or visit www.IN.gov/s3.

NOTE: A photo of Sen. Earline Rogers can be downloaded at http://www.in.gov/legislative/senate_democrats/images/headshots/Rogers.jpg