Chesterton Tribune



Infrastructure work begins on strip mall and office buildings at Coffee Creek Center

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Motorists chancing a glance to the east while traveling Ind. 49 just north of the Indiana Toll Road will probably have made note of a big pile of dirt and a staging area for lengths of stormwater pipe on the far side of Village Point, not far from the Symphony of Chesterton.

That’s the work of developer Tony Vendramini, Chesterton Interim Building Commissioner Mark O’Dell told the Town Council at its meeting Monday night.

Vendramini is the owner of three lots on 3.5 acres at the northeast corner of Village Point and Gateway Blvd., which in November 2014 received both primary and secondary plat approval from the Advisory Plan Commission for what the Chesterton Tribune reported at the time as “a strip mall and two office buildings.”

No building permits have yet been sought for the project, pending completion of infrastructure, O’Dell said, although he’s under the impression that the Serenity Salon & Spa, currently doing business at 880E 1050N, will be re-locating there.

Meanwhile, O’Dell announced that he’s been informed by Indian Boundary Property Group LLC, developer of the new strip mall immediately west of Gelsosomo’s Pizzeria, that the Dollar Tree and O’Reilly Auto Parts, tenants of the building on the east end of the property, could open their doors as soon as March.

O’Dell had no information on possible tenants for the second building, on the west end of the property.

In January the Board of Zoning Appeals granted a variance allowing the Dollar Tree and O’Reilly to erect a monument sign two feet taller than the maximum six feet permitted by the Zoning Ordinance and 123 square feet larger in total surface area than the maximum 170 square feet.


In other business, members voted 4-0 to double this year, more or less, the $30,000 to $35,000 which Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg typically spends on sidewalk replacement every year.

Schnadenberg, in making the request for additional funding--which comes from the town’s portion of the proceeds from the state tax on riverboat casinos--noted that there are still 30 to 45 blocks of sidewalk in town with a “high” priority, going back to the 1980s, when the Street Department began more aggressively replacing cracked and buckled sidewalks.

“We do a few blocks every year,” Schnadenberg said.

The Street Department makes the annual expenditure go as far as it can, he added, by removing the old sidewalk and disposing of it, before a contractor comes in to form and pour.

Schnadenberg said he will begin preparing a prioritized list of sidewalks which he hopes to replace this year.

East Porter Ave. Bridge

While he was at it, Schnadenberg also sought, and was granted, authorization to hire a company to inspect the East Porter Ave. bridge over Sand Creek, located east of the Sand Creek Golf Course and near the town limit.

Schnadenberg wants to know the bridge’s condition because--it turns out--the bridge isn’t in Porter County Highway Department’s inventory, as he’d always assumed. It’s not, because--it turns out--the county doesn’t assume responsibility for any bridge with a span shorter than 20 feet.

And the East Porter Ave. bridge over Sand Creek spans a distance a little over 19 feet. Which puts it solidly in the Town of Chesterton’s inventory.

“I was surprised to find out we’re responsible for it,” Schnadenberg told the council. “This is new to me.”

New Pickup

Finally, Schnadenberg sought, and was granted, authorization to get quotes on a new heavy-duty pickup truck, to replace a 13-year-old 2003 Chevy.

Generally speaking, Schnadenberg said, he likes to replace vehicles in the fleet every eight years or so. “But it doesn’t always work that way.”

Schnadenberg figures the truck will cost around $36,000 and the Street Department will acquire it under a lease-purchase agreement.

Hooked on Art

Meanwhile, members approved the request of Frontline Foundations Inc. to hold its annual Hooked on Art festival on Saturday, Sept. 24, in the Downtown.

Frontline Foundations is a substance abuse treatment program headquartered in Chesterton and Hooked on Art is one of its main annual fundraisers.

Town Attorney Chuck Lukmann will review a proposed contract between the town and Frontline, which must still secure the approval of the Park Board, as much of the event will take place in Thomas Centennial park.


Posted 2/9/2016





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