Chesterton Tribune


Burns Harbor council mulls reopening police gun range new rules promised

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Last year the Burns Harbor Town Council closed the town’s police gun range, but April 10 it will consider re-opening it on a limited basis.

Councilman Jeff Freeze said he and town marshal Mike Heckman will notify area neighbors of the council meeting and explain what is proposed. Heckman said he’s already started talking to nearby residents.

Only Burns Harbor officers would use the range, unlike previously when other departments and agencies trained there leading neighbors to complain about the frequent and loud noise. Freeze said the new hours may be restricted to 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and only certain weapons would be allowed.

Heckman and town Street Superintendent Randy Skalku are investigating the specifications required for a legal gun range. Officers need three qualifications a year to maintain certification.

In other business Wednesday, the council agreed to retain current town engineer Global Engineering and Surveying of Michigan City, although Freeze said other firms that submitted engineering proposals might be engaged for specific projects on a per-case basis.

Under suspension of the rules with Mike Perrine and Greg Miller absent, councilman Gene Weibl, president Jim McGee and Freeze adopted amendments to the subdivision control ordinance so they can be implemented upon publication.

The new rules, recommended by the Advisory Plan Commission following a public hearing, require some zoning applicants to deposit 2% of the estimated cost of infrastructure improvements with the town to pay its consultants who review the project. An additional bill may be assessed or money refunded as needed.

Some filing fees also were increased and a new fee was implemented to cover review costs for seeking reduction of a bond.

On another matter, Park Board member Marcus Rogala reminded the public that the Lakeland Park arts & crafts building is available for rental; the board also is taking proposals to seal the walking path around Harbor Lake, and to remove a large dirt pile left after removal of the old tennis court.

The council said it will conduct a public hearing April 10 on an additional appropriation tied to the park’s purchase of a new mower.

Skalku said his crew is busy patching potholes. Freeze commended the job the Street Department did plowing snow.

Heckman reported police handled 312 incidents in February, responded to two property-damage crashes and made seven misdemeanor arrests. Tickets numbered 32.

Fire chief Bill Arney said his department responded to 28 calls last month, spent 13 hours 23 minutes on emergency scenes and firefighters totalled 107 hours in training/duty hours.

Arney said the ALS ambulance service has been able to reduce some part-time staff after a trial period. “Everybody’s been working well and covering shifts.” He advised he’s sending a performance survey to ALS patients served during the service’s first five months of operation.



Posted 3/15/2013