Chesterton Tribune


Jim Ton reviews TIF board's 2012 'Big 3' accomplishments

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It was a good year for the Chesterton Redevelopment Commission.

More to the point, it was a good year for what Member Jim Ton called the “Big Three,” at the commission’s meeting Monday night.

First and foremost, Ton said, ground has finally broken on the Ind. 49 utility corridor project, under which sanitary sewer, stormwater, water, and fiber optic infrastructure is being installed to the town’s southernmost corporate limit. And because the Porter County Council voted to participate in the project—with its share totaling $742,409—the sanitary sewer line main will be upsized sufficiently to serve commercial development in unincorporated Liberty Township. Total project cost: $2,880,865, financed through a bond issue. The best news: that price tag is considerably lower than the $3.6 million originally estimated by the project’s contracted engineer, DVG Inc.

Next, following a bit of a fiasco at a Town Council meeting in June—when representatives of the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission spoke for the better part of an hour about nearly everything but the topic of the moment, the Dickinson Road extension—members took the bull by the horns and succeeded in obtaining NIRPC’s assistance in project planning and grant applications for the extension. As part of the agreement, the commission retained the services of DLZ, at a cost of $69,640, to do an engineering study of the extension.

Finally, Ton said, work is proceeding on a new traffic signal at the intersection of North Calumet Road and Indian Boundary Road, with the help of a federal grant, obtained through NIRPC, which will pay around 63 percent of the construction cost, or $173,160. The commission must pay the balance as well as the $47,900 engineering cost.

Ind. 49, Dickinson Updates

In other business, Town Engineer Mark O’Dell updated the commission about the most recent developments in the utility corridor project and the Dickinson Road extension.

LGS Plumbing has completed all jack-boring beneath Ind. 49—with the exception of a water line casing—and has started jack-boring under the Indiana Toll Road. “They’ve hit some boulders and rocks,” O’Dell said. “But nothing that’s stopped them.”

The sanitary sewer force main has been installed all the way along Village Point in Coffee Creek Center and connected to a manhole at Voyage Blvd., O’Dell added. Pressure testing the main has yet to be done. Work on the water main, on the other hand, will start sometime after the holidays.

The engineering study of the Dickinson Road extension, meanwhile, is “slowly moving along,” O’Dell reported. Permission has now been obtained to do soil borings on both the north and south side of the project area, with the idea of testing the soil and water table for the underpass alternative.

2012 TIF Projects in Review

Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg, for his part, took a moment to remind members of the other projects undertaken this year by the commission.

They included the re-surfacing of Council Drive and Plaza Drive and the installation of a battery backup on the traffic signal at the intersection of Broadway and South Calumet Road. That signal was also placed on a decorative pedestal.

In addition, tax increment financing funds were used to retain the services of 1st American Management, which is mowing the grass and otherwise maintaining the landscaping in the South Calumet District and at the traffic island at the intersection of North Calumet Road and Indian Boundary Road. Next year 1st American will begin maintaining the intersection of Ind. 49 and Indian Boundary Road as well. “They’ve done a good job this year,” Schnadenberg said. “The reason why we forget about it is because the grass isn’t getting high and we’re not getting calls.”

One project for which there ended up not being time was the replacement of a sidewalk and drain at the intersection of South Calumet Road and Lincoln Ave., Schnadenberg said. “We’ll do it next year and maybe some other sidewalks along Calumet.”


Members voted 5-0 to approve the following claims: $224,726.30 from LGS Plumbing Inc., general contractor on the Ind. 49 utility corridor project; $17,730 from DLZ; $1,700 from Northwest Indiana Fence Company; $1,079.35 from 1st American Management; and $284.82 from Midwestern Electric.

Next Meeting

The Redevelopment Commission will meet briefly at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 2, to elect officers for 2013. That meeting is required under Indiana Code.



Posted 12/20/2012