No one representing ArcelorMittal attended Monday’s Burns Harbor Advisory
Plan Commission meeting, but that didn’t stop members from setting a public
hearing Oct. 3 on the steelmaker’s request for two excavation permits.
One is to construct the Deerfield industrial-waste disposal facility at the
U.S. 12 plant; the other is to remove clay as a $3 million borrow pit
operation on Mittal-owned property generally west of the Burns Harbor Street
Department complex using Navajo Trail, a local street, for access.
The clay would be used to line the Deerfield landfill.
Mittal consultants had given notice for a public hearing Monday, but last
week commission officials said petitioners got ahead of themselves and a
preliminary hearing would take place instead.
Commission attorney Charles Parkinson said he’s been in contact with Mittal
representatives but couldn’t explain their absence last night. “I can’t read
into their not being here what that means. I can’t tell you what somebody’s
Parkinson said the commission has enough information to consider setting the
petition for public hearing. But if Mittal representatives don’t give new
legal notice and send revised mailings for an Oct. 3 public hearing, he
added, the commission won’t open one.
Mittal also has to provide more information in its legal notice as well as
submit the required numbers of all paperwork, it was agreed. Only three hard
copies of application materials were received Sept. 2 so commission members
were given a website link to approximately 100 pages of consultant documents
--- not the way member Jim McGee said he wants to review a petition.
Hesham Khalil of town engineer Global Engineering & Land Surveying said
Mittal needs to submit more detailed information on some aspects of the
borrow pit so he can review it in time to give the commission a report next
Member Bernie Poparad asked if the commission can add conditions to Mittal’s
proposal to protect the town because, “I feel (Navajo) will be trashed.”
Parkinson said yes.
Said president Jeff Freeze, “I don’t see any harm setting (Mittal’s
applications) for public hearing. I’m good with giving them that
opportunity.” Vote on the subsequent motion was 6-0 with member Jerry Price
On another matter, Freeze said he got a request for a special Plan
Commission meeting for The Village in Burns Harbor seeking secondary plat
approval of Phase 4A of the subdivision where upscale apartments were
approved in August following a public hearing.
Member Toni Biancardi noted at that time Phase 4B also was approved with the
impression it would be built, but Freeze said the project is being financed
one phase at a time. Not going forward with Phase 4B means there won’t be an
extension of Boo Road built now, said Biancardi.
The special meeting was set for 7 p.m. Tuesday Sept. 20. The petitioner
requesting the meeting has to pay all related costs.
From the audience, resident Gordon McCormick asked what’s going on with
Scott’s Way on U.S. 20, where trees have been leveled and a semi-truck
parking lot apparently expanded to the north.
Replied building commissioner Bill Arney, “He continues to do what he’s not
supposed to do. It’s not doing me any good to write violations.” The matter
is already tied up in court, advised Arney.