At the end of its
meeting Wednesday, the Burns Harbor Council reached a consensus agreement
with the developer of Villages of Burns Harbor Phase 4A where Traditions
Apartments are being built.
Dirt seen along
U.S. 20 at the development caused a stir last month for Council President
Ray Poparad and other Council members who wanted to see it removed.
Wednesday that he, along with Building Commissioner Randall Lopez and
Sanitary Superintendent/Fire Chief Bill Arney, met with the contractors and
for dumping it and not going through with proper procedures. They wanted to
add they would like to clean it up, regrade it, remove all the garbage and
put in grass seed and some erosion matting on it,” said Poparad.
Arney said there
was some confusion because the development was not aware of new ordinances.
“They went off the request of the property owner and dumped it there, not
knowing the ordinance that was in place,” he said.
Arney said since
then, the development has tried to work with the ordinance the best they
can, grading down the dirt, moving it and cleaning it up. If the Council
allows them to leave the dirt where it is now, they should get the assurance
from the developers that vegetation is grown back to control erosion and for
Council member Eric
Hull said he was “good with that,” and the rest of the Council agreed.
One of the
representatives involved with the developers, Jeff Ban of DVG Inc., said he
would like to work with the Town in a way that is favorable for them.
“You get to keep
the dirt. Make sure to get some grass seed or put sod out there,” Poparad
Poparad said he
will now leave the matter with the Town department heads and asked they
report to the Council if there are any problems.
Council member Toni
Biancardi added that the development has put in the lights which are working
Holidays added to
matters, the Council also agreed unanimously to add two more days to its
holiday schedule -- Good Friday and Christmas Eve. Those will now be paid
holidays for full-time employees.
The Town’s current
holiday schedule includes New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day,
Labor Day, Thanksgiving and the Friday after, and Christmas Day, plus a
“floater” or a bonus holiday of their choosing, said Clerk Treasurer Jane
Jordan. The new schedule will have nine holidays with Good Friday and
Christmas Eve added and two floaters.
present said they would be fine with the changes. Employees who do work on
holidays like Police and Fire receive double time.
Paving this spring
has started in Burns Harbor with the help of the state’s Community Crossings
The Council agreed
to pay $20,000 extra to do a fix of Navajo Trail after, as Poparad put it,
the soil “pounded right up” when the Rieth-Riley Construction truck was
coming through past the Town Street Department entrance and busted the
Poparad said the
foreman with Rieth-Riley said he did not want to put the top coat on after
engineering firm Global Engineering inspected the road and figured it would
be an extra $20,000 “to fix it right,” Poparad said, from the street
department to the end of the street.
The Council voted
5-0 to take $11,500 of what’s remaining in Town’s share of county income tax
funds and about $8,500 from cumulative capital development (CCD) funds.
Along with Navajo Tr., parts of Westport Rd. and Salt Creek Rd. have been
“It’s strange that
in all the years I’ve lived here, this is the first time we’ve had striping
on (Westport Rd),” Jordan commented
matters, the Council voted unanimously to accept three sets of CF-1
compliance statements submitted by property owners currently receiving
10-year tax abatements.
Two of the forms
were submitted by ArcelorMittal and one by Praxair.
Wednesday were National Lakeshore Superintendent Paul Labovitz with Deputy
Superintendent Chris Pergiel and Civic Engagement Program Manager Lynda
Lancaster, who wanted to give community partners like Burns Harbor an
outline of their goals.
Labovitz said the
park welcomes up to 3 million visitors annually and has adjusted its hours
to later closing time -- 11 p.m. -- so more can experience it.
The beaches at Mt.
Baldy and Central Ave. are being reopened and there is an effort to clear
the log jams in the Little Calumet River for paddling. There are other
nature programs like the birding festival in the spring to enjoy, Labovitz
“We’re trying to
convert the Park into a year-round destination rather than a summer beach
park,” he said.
Specific to Burns
Harbor, Lavovitz said the park is “completely onboard” with the Town’s goal
of implementing its portion of the Marquette Greenway Trail which intersects
the park’s trail on its east and west ends.
“We want to add
value intrinsically as well as economically,” Labovitz said.
He also told the
Council that the Lakeshore will continue to monitor the reported hexavalent
chromium spill near the U.S. Steel plant with the Indiana Department of
Environmental Management and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Poparad thanked the
group for the visit and praised them for working with the Dunes Learning
Center to bring animals back to Chellberg Farm.
Recycling and Waste
County Recycling and Waste Reduction District Director Therese Haller gave a
presentation on the 2016 statistics for waste collecting, education and
recycling. At the Burns Harbor Street Department, the RWRD drop off
recycling bins collected 64,000 pounds of recyclables.
there will be Waste Hazardous Collection days on June 17 and Aug. 5 at
Portage High School and July 8 at Westchester Intermediate School.