Chesterton Tribune



Burns Harbor council approves raises for Town employees

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Ray Poparad marked his exit from the position of Burns Harbor Town Council President by ordering raises for all full-time Town employees.

About halfway through the Town Council meeting Wednesday, the Council reorganized, electing Nick Loving and re-electing Eric Hull Vice-president. Poparad, who has been President for three years, switched seats with Loving right away.

Since board presidents cannot make motions, the quick switch enabled Poparad to later make a motion for the raise: $1,000 across the Board for full-time employees. Department heads were directed to make the raises out of their own budgets.

Non-salaried employees will have their hourly pay rates adjusted accordingly to add the $1,000. Building Commissioner John Miller will receive a $1 per hour raise from $25 to $26.

Two recent hires--a new police officer and a new Street Department laborer--who are currently under probationary periods of employment as part of their positions, will receive their raises after their respective probationary terms end, which will be April for the new officer and the end of February for the Street employee.

The Council passed a resolution approving the 2019 salary ordinance with the raises.


The Council reappointed all current Department Heads: Bill Arney, Fire; Pat Melton, Street; Mike Heckman, Police; John Miller, Building.

The Council reappointed Kylane Tumblin to the Park Board, Roseann Bozak to the Plan Commission, Wally Macchiarella to the Board of Zoning Appeals, Wilbur Oudman to Sanitation Board, and Jeremy McHargue to Plan Commission. The Council also reappointed Redevelopment Commission members Nick Loving and Brad Enslen. The Council reappointed Loving to the Stormwater Board and appointed Lisa Woodrich to the Tourism Board. Woodrich is appointed by agreement of the Towns of Porter, Burns Harbor, and Chesterton.

At Fire Chief Bill Arney’s recommendation, the Council also approved designating Building Commissioner John Miller as the Town’s Flood and Storm Coordinator. Arney previously had this position, but noted that it involves Building Department business like building permits and mapping floodplains more than emergency response.

By state law, some appointments to Boards are from the Council as a whole and some are appointments of the Council President. President Loving reappointed Toni Biancardi to the Duneland Economic Development Commission and appointed Biancardi and Eric Hull to the Plan Commission. Loving then reappointed Biancardi and Hull to the RDC and appointed Poparad to the RDC in place of Kevin Tracy.


The Council renewed its contracts for fire services, engineering services, financial services, cleaning services, pest control for the Town hall, and legal services. All but two contracts were unchanged.

The town pest control services saw an increase in cost from $45 a month to $50 a month. Town Attorney Clay Patton’s legal services contract with the Town went up $100 from $1,500 to $1,600 a month for Patton to represent the Town Council, RDC, BZA, and Plan Commission.

Fire Department

In November, the BHFD responded to 41 calls and spent a total of 14 hours and 56 minutes on scene. 48 firefighters completed 135 hours and 15 minutes of training.

Fire Chief Bill Arney reported the addition to the Fire Department is moving along and the inside will hopefully be framed next week.

As for the Town’s new E1 fire engine, the build is going well, and the truck is still slated to be delivered the first or second week of January. The truck will be outfitted with some equipment, including a turntable for extrication tools, extra divider shelves, and mounting pipe holes, in St. John to save costs. That could be done either before or after the BHFD takes delivery of the truck.

Arney also said the BHFD is taking donations for Shop with a Firefighter. Contact the Fire Department to donate. Presents will be delivered with Santa the week of Christmas.

Other Approvals

The Parks Department reminds residents to be on the lookout for its events in the coming year and not to forget that building rentals at Lakeland Park are available through the winter.

The Council opened one sealed bid for a 2005 Ford Expedition. The Council voted to accept the bid of $1,301 and decommissioned the vehicle.

The Council approved paying $687.50 in NWI Forum dues. The dues increased from $550 to $687.50 this year.



Posted 12/14/2018




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