Chesterton Tribune



County Park Board moves on Phase I of Sunset Hill 'grain bin' activity center

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The Porter County Park Board discussed next steps for its grain bin education center in Sunset Hill Farm Park at its meeting Thursday night.

The Parks Department received a Land and Water Conservation grant to build the restroom that will serve the center, but that grant money must be used within a certain amount of time and cannot apply to the other parts of the project. Member Drew Armstrong reported that the building committee met with Chester Inc. about the project last month and came up with the idea to split the project in two so that the grant funds can be used before construction starts on the grain bin structure, for which funding has not been completely secured.

The Parks Foundation is working toward hitting the funding goal for the project and is very close. “Personally, I feel that through all the conversations and all the work that’s been done up to this point that we’re in a very comfortable position,” Armstrong said, then added that breaking down the project “buys the foundation just a little more time.”

Armstrong motioned for the Board to sign a contract with Chester Inc. for $27,000, which will be reimbursed from the $200,000 Land and Water grant. The contract is for phase one of the project and includes the design and permit process for the whole project. The Board approved the measure 5-0 with member Chris Richardson absent.


In other business, Armstrong reported that he recently spoke with members of the Northwest Indiana Historical Power Association (NIHPA) who are concerned about their utilities bill. Armstrong said that NIHPA paid more than $2,000 for NIPSCO alone last year, and noted that he hopes to talk more with NIHPA’s treasurer to assess the amount NIHPA has been paying based on monthly statements. President Craig Kenworthy said that since the animal program began, NIHPA has been paying for that electricity because the heaters for the animals and NIHPA’s buildings are on the same meter.

Armstrong volunteered to get a group together to discuss the problem and form a proposal for a solution that can be incorporated into the budget. “Maybe we can figure out a more equitable solution for everybody,” he said.

Member David Canright said that NIHPA pays most of the utilities and the Park Board chips in, and he’d be in favor of its being the other way around. “It’s kind of the tail wagging the dog for NIHPA to pay the bill.”



Posted 3/2/2018




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