Whether they’re selling meat, magazines or poker-playing dogs on velvet, the
Burns Harbor Town Council is taking steps to better regulate transient
hawkers, vendors and peddlers.
The council engaged in a lengthy discussion Wednesday over a draft ordinance
that would carry a $200 fee per peddler to obtain a town license. The
penalty for non-compliance was set at a $500 fine per person per violation.
Applicants would be asked questions under oath, fingerprinted and a criminal
background check done.
No license would be issued for less than one day or more than 30 days, and
applicants would have to wait six months before reapplying for another
license. Sales would be restricted to weekdays (except holidays) between 9
a.m. and 5 p.m.
Councilman Mike Perrine was concerned that a person bringing multiple
peddlers to town wouldn’t have to get a license; town attorney Bob Welsh
said “employer, agent, representative or contracting party” could be added
to the language.
Some sales would be exempt, like a seasonal ice cream vendor with a regular
route, youth fundraisers and in-home parties at which merchandise like
cookware, jewelry or candles are sold. An amended ordinance will be ready
for the April meeting.
Who’s on first?
Another long discussion ensued when John Miller presented his request to
fill in a portion of a drainage swale on certain lots in Parkwood Estates
subdivision and install buried drainage tube instead.
The merits of the request never were tested because it was determined
engineering on the project hadn’t been approved by Hesham Khalil of town
engineer Global Land Surveying and Engineering; Kahlil didn’t attend the
Questions arose how the request got before the Town Council in the first
place, and how the council was presented with an ordinance for consideration
prepared by Miller’s engineer with little other information.
Perrine and council member Louis Bain said they needed to know a lot more
before acting on the request, which was forwarded to the council from the
Advisory Plan Commission where it originated as a proposed replat. Perrine
said the commission should have done its homework and sent a researched
But commission members present and its executive secretary said they were
advised by commission attorney Charles Parkinson, Welsh’s law partner, that
the commission shouldn’t deal with the matter at all until the easement was
Welsh said yes, the council has jurisdiction over vacations, but the Plan
Commission could have decided if it wants to buy into it or not and tell the
Town Council so. Welsh also said he doesn’t believe his office knew there
were outstanding engineering concerns.
Council president Jim McGee, a commission member, expressed his displeasure
over the situation. Perrine said it was a mistake to forward the vacation
request prematurely and doesn’t want it to happen again. Bain said he wants
written assurances from the engineer.
It was agreed the easement vacation will be placed on next month’s Plan
Commission agenda. Said Miller, “We’ll figure it out.”
Sanitation money helps out
By a 4-0 vote with member Cliff Fleming absent the council adopted an
ordinance under suspension of the rules requiring 25 percent of
clerk-treasurer Jane Jordan’s $1,926 bi-weekly salary now be paid out of the
Sanitation Fund. The balance will come from the General Fund.
The latter fund formerly paid 100 percent of her salary although Jordan does
work for the Sanitation Department, which has a large surplus unlike the
cash-strapped general fund.
Also Wednesday the council adopted Park Department salaries for 2011
including $13,248 annually for the park director; assistant director and
maintenance $11 (all per hour); lifeguard $9.25; head lifeguard $9.75; head
gatekeeper $7.75; gatekeeper and teen help $7.25; and each Park Board member
$400 per year.
Council member Toni Biancardi said this spring the former tennis courts at
Lakeland Park will be removed and the park is looking for a suitable place
to dispose of the asphalt debris.
It was announced the Duneland School Board has chosen member Ralph Ayres to
sit on the Burns Harbor Redevelopment Commission as a non-voting member; the
commission hasn’t met in several months.
McGee asked town marshal Jerry Price if it could cause a problem because
Price refers to himself as the police chief. Price said both are titles and
although there are technical differences, it’s all the same. Perrine said
town marshal is an outdated term. “What really does it matter?” Welsh did
In February the Police Department had 249 calls to service, made three
misdemeanor arrests, issued 22 citations and 48 written/verbal warnings.
Four property-damage crashes were investigated and police vehicles traveled
Last month the Fire Department responded to 20 calls spending 16 hours 5
minutes on emergency scenes. Firefighters spent 62 training hours and 104
duty hours on station. Fire vehicles traveled 484 miles.
Jordan said the most recent federal census determined Burns Harbor’s
population rose to 1,156 residents in the last decade, a nearly 51 percent
increase. However, revenue from taxes based on the higher population won’t
start until next year.
Welsh said he has been working with building commissioner Bill Arney and
litigation will be filed this week against property owners who have not
cooperated in correcting longstanding code violations.