Chesterton Tribune



Burns Harbor Council ponies up $2,500 for fireworks; raises CCD rate

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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.

Chamber President 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.

CCD rate

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 cents.

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 Jordan.

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.

Boot drive

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.

Fire volunteers sought

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 the Council.

Persons interested in volunteering can go to the website to learn more and download an application, or call the department at 787-8591.

50th anniversary pin

In Council 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.

Website contract

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.

Health insurance

Council President 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 their prescriptions.

Other items:

-- 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 contract.

-- 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.

-- Street 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.



Posted 5/11/2017




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