The Burns Harbor
Town Council decided Wednesday to give $2,500 from the Town’s budget to help
the efforts of the Duneland Chamber of Commerce in putting on the yearly
fireworks display at Indiana Dunes State Park, which is $500 more than what
it gave in 2016.
In a motion made by
Council member Kevin Tracy, the Town Council agreed to provide the donation
as well as the in-kind donation of making Burns Harbor police officers and
firefighters available to back up Chesterton and Porter police and fire who
are working the event, scheduled for Thursday, June 29.
Maura Durham expressed her gratitude to the Council.
“It’s a lot of work
and stress and it’s a lot of fundraising to put this together. We wanted to
keep it going and its very cool when we get to see all the partners come
together,” she said. Along with Chesterton and Porter, the State Park and
National Lakeshore are also involved.
Durham said the
event draws between 13,000 to 20,000 visitors to the area.
Burns Harbor is the
first municipality to make a monetary donation this year. For the last few
years, the Porter County Commissioners have given funds as well.
In other action,
the Council agreed 5-0 to reset the Town’s Cumulative Capital Development
tax rate from 3.04 cents per $100 of assessed valuation to the maximum of 4
The rate is cut
gradually by the state each year and several municipalities, including the
Town of Porter, have recently acted to have the Indiana Department of Local
Government Finance boost the rate back up to four cents.
CCD funds can now
be used for a number of purposes but Burns Harbor has used theirs mostly for
capital projects and equipment purchases, said Town Clerk-Treasurer Jane
Based on this
year’s assessed value, the Town received about $172,000 and if the AV is the
same for next year, that would mean $54,000 more, Jordan said.
A notice about the
rate increase will be advertised to residents who will then have a 30-day
period to remonstrate. The DLGF will then consider the hike and, if
approved, the new rate would take effect on next year’s taxes, Jordan said.
In reports from
Department Heads, Fire Chief Bill Arney said he would like to thank the
community and all those who gave for the annual boot drive this past
Saturday at the corner of U.S. 20 and Ind. 149. Arney said this year’s total
was the largest ever collected.
All the proceeds
will go to support the Hoosier Burn Camp.
Arney also reported
the department saw a busy month in April with 41 calls.
Arney said the Fire
Department is doing a recruitment drive for volunteers and more members. The
new state regulations make it harder to find volunteers to train, he told
in volunteering can go to the website
to learn more and download an application, or call the department at
comments, Council member Toni Biancardi said there were no staff
anniversaries for May but the Town is celebrating its 50th anniversary of
incorporation this month.
A commemorative pin
has been made for the occasion which Biancardi presented at the meeting. The
pin is available at Town Hall for residents who want one.
The Council agreed
5-0 to keep its services with Civic Plus which runs the Town’s website.
Biancardi said the
contract would be $2,500 for next year. A three-year initial contract is now
expiring that had been $2,300 a year, which involved set up.
Tracy asked how
much traffic the site is getting. Biancardi replied its “doing very well”
and there are more features set to start in the near future, such as
allowing residents to pay bills online.
Ray Poparad said he and Biancardi will be at Town Hall on May 19 to be
available to employees who want to discuss the Town’s health insurance
policy. He said Leigh Westergren, employee benefits specialist with Anton
Insurance, has put together some options and they’ve been submitted to the
employees for feedback.
Poparad said he
hopes that the policy could provide pharmacy cards for the employees to get
-- The ambulance
contract with Superior Ambulance Service will be continued for another year
at the end of June. Town Attorney Clay Patton said he would advise that in
January the Town start negotiations with Superior for a new multi-year
-- The Council will
meet a week earlier than normal for its June meeting. Jordan will be taking
a class with the State Board of Accounts on June 14 so the Council agreed to
move the meeting to June 7 at 7 p.m.
-- Poparad reminded
residents that the Spring large trash pickup day is Thursday, May 18, and
the deadline for the Burns Harbor Scholarship applications is May 31.
Superintendent Pat Melton said his department has completed ditch cleaning
on Babcock Rd. and a new culvert there has made a big difference.
-- Park Board
President Amanda Sucku said that opening day for the park is Memorial Day
weekend on Friday, May 26. The first week of summer camps is June 12-16. She
thanked the volunteers who came out for Rebuilding Duneland Together on
April 29 and the street department is removing the concrete from the old
shelters at Lakeland Park.