Chesterton Tribune



Guest Commentary: Still no answers to public's questions on Dunes State Park banquet center plan

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Guest Commentary

Sylvia Graham

Porter County Council

The public forum recently held at the MOH by Porter County Tourism Bureau was billed as an informational session, where people could get their questions answered, but very few were.

The public, shut out of the process, has been forced to ask repeated questions and do extensive research to glean the few tidbits known.

Pavilion Partners have obtained a 35 year lease with two possible extensions for a total of 65 years, giving them exclusive rights for concessionaires, multiple bars, restaurants, photo studio, gift shop, and more, basically a mini-mall on the public beach, all for the profit of just a few people.

They will have no land purchase cost, no property taxes, and no increase in their shockingly low lease payment of $18,000 per year for the life of the lease.

People had been urged to submit questions before the meeting. It turned out that no one actually intended to answer those questions, they were simply read aloud, rapid fire, by board attorney David Hollenbeck.

When long-time environmental activist Herb Read stood to speak, he received a standing ovation. When his remarks could have gone more than the two minute limit and multiple people offered to give their time, the board rigidly clung to the two minutes and told Read to stop speaking.

It was said at that meeting that the architect's rendering of the banquet hall first made public in April was strictly to "show mass." That's very odd, in that the design was defended multiple times previously.

The ‘thing' is on stilts, PP has told us, "to interfere as little as possible with the view," and "to provide needed shade" and the windows will "provide a panoramic view."

Now we are told no plans for the historic pavilion can be viewed because they are not complete yet; this when they have already done untold damage to the interior of the historic Pavilion, there is already a signed lease and it’s been called a "done deal."

The size of the project has changed, the style apparently has changed, and the included amenities have changed.

What little is known about the project has come directly from Pavilion Partners, so if there are further problems, they only have themselves to blame.

In the meantime, people are still waiting for their questions to be answered, as promised.



Posted 8/10/2015




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