Ton, for his part,
while wishing Pavilion Partners well in its enterprise, has concerns both
about the transparency of the process by which the DNR reviewed the two
proposals and about the proximity of the banquet center to the lakeshore. At
the Town Council’s meeting Monday night, Ton read the following prepared
“In the interests
of full disclosure and transparency, I participated with a group of
individuals interested in developing a Pavilion project three years ago. A
different group was chosen to do the job and I am not at all troubled by
that. They have my best wishes. My only interest in the project is that it
is done in the best interests of the public and the environment.
“There are two
matters of interest that await a response from ‘Partners’ and the DNR.
Hopefully, this will take place at a meeting scheduled for Wednesday this
“(1) A full
disclosure of the process of selection of the current proposal is needed. A
significant lack of public input is the principal concern.
“(2) As real estate
professionals say, ‘Location, location, location.’ Other state parks have
meeting centers, etc. Such a facility is something that could benefit the
public and the park but not on the beach front. Ideally, even though
‘contracts have been signed,’ some alternative location is chosen. It all
really depends on the position of the ‘Partners’ and the DNR.
“It could be said
that public input is ‘better late than never.’ One of the Top Ten State
Parks in America deserves better.”
The event on
Wednesday to which Ton refers is the second public input session scheduled
by the DNR in as many weeks. It will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday,
April 15, in the auditorium of Chesterton Middle School, 651 W. Morgan Ave.
in Chesterton. Doors open at 5:45 p.m.
The DNR will begin
the event with a short presentation. The floor will then be opened to the
public for comments and questions.
The first input
session was held on April 6 at the Dorothy Buell Memorial Visitor Center.
Its open-house format, however, was found by some to be ungainly, given the
number of people who attended and who had questions to ask.