Fire Chief Bill
Arney reported at the recent Burns Harbor Town Council meeting that
improvements to the Fire Department are nearly complete, including
renovations in the bunkroom and day room.
The foundation has
also been poured for the additional building, and construction on the outer
shell and roof, by FBi Buildings Inc., out of Remington, Ind., is expected
to start this week.
The renovations and
additional building were originally in response to a possible agreement with
Porter Regional where the Town was hoping a Porter paramedic would be
stationed in Burns Harbor at all times running the ambulance owned by the
Town. Porter Regional would have required what they deem “adequate gender
separation” to stage employees in Burns Harbor. In response, the
Redevelopment Commission said it would foot the bill for up to $200,000 in
renovations back in July.
Though that deal
didn’t come to pass, and the Town is expected to begin running its own
ambulance service following approval of an additional appropriation at a
Sept. 26 special meeting, Arney is continuing with the additional
construction. “Either way, we were gonna need that because we’re out of
space,” he said. Arney hopes to hire six to 10 part-time paramedics to staff
the ambulance, and the new building will increase space for the Department’s
In other business,
the Council approved on first reading an ordinance reinstating ambulance
billing fees and changing the amount of the fees. The fee for ambulance
service under the BHFD will range from $600 to $1,200 depending on the level
of care required on scene and in transit. The Council will perform the
second reading at the special meeting later this month.
conducted a first reading of ordinance 284-2018, an ordinance establishing
vendor fees for food trucks, farm stands, and other merchant booths all over
Town. No one spoke for or against the ordinance in a public hearing, and the
Council voted to suspend the rules, conducting the second reading and
approving the ordinance the same night.
Council member Toni
Biancardi was appointed to fill the vacant seat on the Redevelopment
Commission until the end of the year. The Council is still looking for a
citizen to appoint to fill the seat permanently. The application for town
boards and commissions can be found on the municipal website.
The Council held a
public hearing on its proposed 2019 budget. No one spoke for or against the
budget and there was no Council discussion.
Police Chief Mike
Heckman was approved to hire from his existing candidate list to replace a
patrolman who recently resigned. The newest member of the BHPD will be
approved at the next regular Council meeting.
The Lakeland Park
beach is closed for the season, but Fall Fest is coming up on Oct. 13 from 5
to 9 p.m. There will be trunk or treat from 5:30 to 7 p.m. and a haunted
walk around the lake at 7 p.m.
commissioner John Miller reported that the Town hall needs a new roof. He
estimates a complete tear off, replacement of bad wood, and reshingle on the
roof will cost around $14,000. Council President Ray Poparad said the roof
may have to wait another winter. He will consult with Clerk-treasurer Jane
Jordan to see if there is money in the budget for the repair this year.
Superintendent Pat Melton reported that large trash pick-up is Thursday,
Sept. 20. A list of acceptable items can be found on the town website.