Chesterton Tribune                                                                                   Adv.

Town of Burns Harbor peprares to crack down on speeders during Ind 149 closure

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Speeders on Babcock, Old Porter and Haglund roads, beware.

Beginning Monday the Indiana Department of Transportation’s long-delayed reconstruction of the Indiana 149 intersection at U.S. 20 begins in Burns Harbor.

During late June and July, Indiana 149 south of U.S. 20 will be closed for approximately six weeks.

“That will be bad for traffic,” said Town Council member Toni Biancardi at Wednesday’s meeting.

Town marshal Jerry Price had a warning for motorists who plan to use Babcock, Old Porter and Haglund roads as detours during construction: don’t speed.

“We’ll aggressively enforce the speed limit; there will be no warnings,” Price advised. The posted limit on the local roads is 30 mph.

Fire chief Bill Arney said the town is working with INDOT and contractor Rieth Riley to keep a lane open so emergency services can respond when needed.

Last month the Police Department issued 150 tickets, 26 warning tickets and gave 89 verbal warnings. In all there were 484 calls to service including 8 vehicle crashes, five resulting in property damage and three personal injury. Arrests numbered 26, 21 of them misdemeanor and five felony. Police vehicles traveled 11,268 miles in March.

As for the Burns Harbor Fire Department, its 25 calls last month included seven assists to EMS and three vehicle accidents. Mutual aid was given a total seven times to four other departments.

Firefighters also responded on two water rescues, one investigation, two structure fires and two open burns. Total hours on-scene at emergency calls was 14 hours 50 minutes with fire vehicles traveling 1,105 miles.

As for training, over five nights 60 firefighters trained for 126 hours. Total on-call hours at the station were 274.

Also Wednesday, the council voted 3-0 with members Cliff Fleming and Louis Bain absent to purchase two new police squad cars from the local Arnell dealership for approximately $45,000. Other proposals obtained were higher than Arnell’s, said Price.

General Maintenance superintendent Randy Skalku announced the department has started mowing and that brush pick-up will resume the first week in May. Councilman Mike Perrine said the town Sanitation Department headed by Arney couldn’t run as smoothly as it does without the help of Skalku and his staff.

Later in the meeting under public comment Coan Street resident Rick Hummel described his property’s longstanding drainage problems. “I’ve been after this a couple of years with no results yet.” Skalku said part of the problem is the road, but he’ll investigate what can be done.

In other business, the council unanimously voted to retain Anthem as its health-insurance provider but to save $4,600 annually by increasing the co-pay for prescriptions. It will cost the town $15,852 a month for coverage based on 11 full-time employees.

The council also approved spending $2,500 to have a Phase 1 environmental study conducted for the former Standard Plaza truck stop site on U.S. 20 east of Indiana 149. Biancardi later said the study will be a document search related to the property.

The town paid to have the plaza building torn down earlier this year in hopes of making the parcel more attractive for redevelopment.

Clerk-treasurer Jane Jordan said a representative of the late Nevada owner’s estate inquired what the total cost of the tear-down was; if the debt isn’t settled, a lien will be placed on the property.

Jordan reported 75 percent of town residents have responded to the federal census. She’s knocking on doors, especially in areas of new construction, to make sure everyone is counted. Those who did not receive a census form can obtain one at the town hall.

Council president Jim McGee reminded eligible residents to vote at the town hall for the May 4 primary election.



Posted 4/16/2010





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