The highlight of
the Duneland Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting last week was the
installation of its 2017 Chair, Jim Starin of Starin Marketing.
President Maura Durham also gave a brief State of the Tri-Towns
presentation, working with talking points provided by Chesterton, Porter,
and Burns Harbor.
The big news from
the Town of Chesterton in 2016: building, Durham said. Infrastructure work
began on what will be the largest subdivision ever in modern Chesterton,
Easton Park, just east of the terminus of East Porter Ave. and 250E. When
built out, Easton Park will have fully 350 single-family homes.
began last year on two new senior living facilities--StoryPoint on Dickinson
Road (162 units) and the Residences of Chesterton (110 units)--and is
expected to begin this year on Eagle Crossing, an upscale apartment complex
at Sidewalk Road and Kelle Drive (170 units).
Other projects in
Chesterton at various stages in the pipeline: a large-scale fiber optic
network to serve business and the Duneland Schools; continued review of the
feasibility of establishing a railroad quiet zone in the Downtown; and the
installation of new playground equipment, splash pads, and restroom
facilities at various of the town’s parks, funded through a $2-million bond
Headlining the Town
of Porter’s achievements in 2016 was the re-pave of fully 22 miles of roads
and alleys. “Included in this project were many new ADA compliant ramps and
sidewalks along the highly traveled Wagner Road and Lincoln Street
corridors,” Durham said. “The project also involved re-paving the parking
lots at Porter town hall, the Porter police station, the Porter public works
and fire station, and Hawthorne Park.”
The town will also
be re-paving eight additional miles of roadway in 2017, funded through a
Community Crossings grant from the Indiana Department of Transportation.
* New playground
equipment will be installed at Hawthorne Park this year.
* The last local
stretch of the Dunes Kankakee Trail was completed along Ind. 49 in 2016,
providing direct access from Indiana Dunes State Park to the Dorothy Buell
Memorial Visitor Center.
* Tenants have been
found for all businesses in the Downtown, leaving no vacancies on Lincoln
* Seven new homes
were built in 2016, the most since 2010.
Among other things
in 2016, the Town of Burns Harbor’s Sanitation Department moved into the
town hall and extended its office hours to better serve residents, Durham
And the town
introduced leaf collection service.
Park Director Kim
Burton was honored with the Ivan H. Brinegar Management Award by the Indiana
Association of Cities and Town for “her 20 years of service to the park, her
strong leadership, and her contributions to the community,” Durham said.
And indeed, last
year was a great one for the Park Department in Burns Harbor: more than 400
children and their families attended the Easter Egg Hunt--and the
Spectacular Easter Egg Hunt for kids with special needs--at Lakeland Park;
and the third annual Footloose event attracted nearly 400.
Also enhancing the
town’s community was the inaugural season of the Food Truck Square, which
opened in August at the corner of Westport and Haglund roads.
Meanwhile, 2017 is
a red-letter year for the town, as it celebrates its half-century
anniversary as an incorporated municipality.