Chesterton Tribune



Burns Harbor eyes splash pad and basketball court repairs

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Burns Harbor hopes to follow the town of Chesterton’s lead one day in getting its own community splash pad installed.

Resident Myrtle Zehner, at the end of Wednesday’s Burns Harbor Town Council meeting, said she had read in the Chesterton Tribune that Chesterton was putting in a splash pad and wants Burns Harbor to have one too.

“It was under $200,000 for Chesterton. I think we should look at it,” Zehner told the Council.

Zehner, who is a former Town Council member, said she thinks the splash pad would “look really nice in the old Westport spot” with that being developed. She offered to help the Council look in its budget for possible funding.

Council President Ray Poparad said a splash pad is something he would like to pursue, adding that he thinks the Park Board “needs to look at that pretty hard.” But another thing the Town needs that Chesterton has is fiber optics, Poparad said. He said he, Fire Chief Bill Arney, and Building Inspector Randal Lopez, are going to reaching out to Chesterton officials “real quick.”

The Chesterton splash pad was one of the amenities made possible with a $2 million park bond, Poparad noted, that was approved in October 2015.

Council member Eric Hull said there has been discussion and he too would like to have a splash pad for the town but there is not a location in mind yet. Poparad said he would add that the new playground at Lakeland Park has been a hit.

The Council voted 4-0 to approve county economic development income tax (CEDIT) funds, about $6,000, for repairs to be made on the basketball courts. Poparad asked Street Department Superintendent Pat Melton to see that the repairs are finished by April 15, in time for the Park Department’s Easter Egg Hunt.

There will be two hunts going on that day at Lakeland Park. The first will be the “Spectacular Egg Hunt” from 9:30 to 10 a.m. specifically for children with special needs. Regular egg hunts will be 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. for children in age groups 0-2, 3-4, 5-7 and 8-10. More than 1,000 eggs will be hidden.

Park Board Vice-President Kylane Tumblin said that the department is seeking donations and volunteers for the events. Interested person should contract the park department, she said.

Tumblin also shared that the Parks Department has been selected as one of the locations for Rebuilding Together Duneland this spring. The organization will undertake projects at Lakeland Park on Saturday, April 29.

Money matters

The Council approved two resolutions on its agenda. The first was to transfer about $120,000 from different funds into the Local Road and Bridge Matching Grant Fund to match the state’s Community Cross Grants. This will help get the money needed for paving on .3 miles of Westport Rd., .2 miles of North Salt Creek Rd. and .17 miles on Navajo Tr.

In a similar action, the Council approved appropriating $217,928 in the Local Road and Bridge Grant fund following the public hearing for the appropriation.

For the paving project, the Council approved a change order in the amount of $28,622 with Rieth-Riley Construction, outside of the grant fund, to raise the road prior to paving for better drainage.

A second appropriation in the public hearing was for $3,000 in the Special Reserve Harbor Trails Fund to cover the cost of cleaning and jetting this past month.

Also, a resolution was approved for the Redevelopment Commission to create a line item in its budget to pay for first installment on a 25-acre land acquisition next to the former Westport Community Center. Based on the purchase agreement with the Duneland School Corporation, which owns the property, the Council voted to appropriate $121,250.

Facade ordinance delayed

One ordinance on the agenda that was not voted on was the one pertaining to new building facade standards. Hull said that the Plan Commission is not ready to move forward on that as planned and asks the Council to wait to vote on it.

Planner, BZA appointments

The Plan Commission will add Roseann Bozak as a member. The Council voted 4-0 to make the appointment, replacing Republican Crystal Westphal who resigned earlier in the year. Council member Kevin Tracy recommended Bozak.

Next, the Council voted 4-0 to appoint Wally Macchiarella to the Board of Zoning Appeals, recommended by Hull.

Clerk-Treasurer Jane Jordan will swear the new appointments in prior to the next meeting.

3-1 vote on dues

In other business, the Council voted 3-1 to pay $3,600 in annual dues this year to the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns after tabling the matter last month when it was discovered that the Town’s dues are higher than that of Porter.

Council member Marcus Rogala said he reached out to IACT after the conversation and found out that dues are based on total assessed value and population.

Burns Harbor’s current AV is $565 million while Porter’s is $228 million, according to the 2017 budget orders by the Department of Local Government Finance.

Poparad voted against the motion, asking what the reason was the last time IACT changed the fee. Jordan said IACT gave no explanation the previous time but this time they did.


In the Good of the Order of the Community, resident Nick Loving said that trains have been blocking the crossing at Old Porter Rd. and Babcock Rd. intersection for over an hour while the law only permits ten minutes.

Town Marshal Mike Heckman said the police department has issued tickets but that is the only action they can take.

Hull said he would look into the matter.

Westport commemorative photograph

Jordan introduced the next “event” for the Town’s 50th anniversary celebration this year -- a postcard with a photograph of the former Westport Community Club Center at Westport Rd. and Haglund Rd.

The Town’s Sanitation Clerk Corrine Peffers helped design the postcards. On the back is a detailed history of the building from 1954 to 2014.

The Club was used to host community meetings, Cub Scout meetings, 4-H meetings, picnics, dances, smorgasbords and as a polling place in Town elections. The Town acquired the property in 2013 and the building was razed a year later.

The postcards are available at Town Hall. The Town unveiled a larger print of the photograph in a frame that will be displayed in the Town Hall meeting room.

Also, Jordan said that resident Paulene Poparad informed her that the Duneland Historical Society plans to feature Burns Harbor this year, marking the 50th anniversary of incorporation.


Posted 3/9/3017







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