MERRILLVILLE - Plans for a new community center in Merrillville have advanced after a close vote by the town's Redevelopment Commission. Our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana report the commission voted 3-2 in favor of supporting lease revenue bonds to fund the $21 million facility.

A public hearing on the project is set for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday and more plans would be needed before Merrillville could close on the $24 million in bonds to finance the project. Elected officials are split on the financing, with Clerk-Treasurer Eugene Guernsey telling The Times he has concerns about the current funding. “We can get something else for less,” Guernsey said.

Plans call for the 100,000 square foot facility to include administrative offices, a fitness center, gymnasium, community room and other amenities.

The town could close on the bonds before the end of the year if the financing plan is approved. Construction could begin in early 2020, if closure on the bonds happens before the end of the year.