The west side of
Old Porter Road has road base erupting through broken pavement, and the Town
Council is getting estimates and investigating options what to do about it.
superintendent Randy Skalku said there’s “a lot of cracking on a lot of
roads” this year.
Council member and
street liaison Gene Weibl said Wednesday that the town’s biggest need is an
approximately half-mile section of Old Porter Road west of Indiana 149,
which has to be torn out, including the base, and replaced.
Old Porter Road
east of Indiana 149 also has several areas where winter has taken its toll,
and after it rains water stands abutting the road as well. Old Porter is a
main local artery between Chesterton and Portage.
Weibl said he hopes
to have more information on how to proceed next month. The Town Council
discussed whether as part of the pavement replacement it would be feasible
to gradually raise the grade on Old Porter immediately west of the Indiana
149 intersection, now a steep incline.
Weibl said he has a
meeting scheduled next week with a representative of the Indiana Department
of Transportation’s LaPorte district office. Among the discussion topics
will be a Westport Road ditch and undersized culvert that is tied to a state
Skalku said he’s
taking the snow equipment off town trucks and getting the summer equipment
ready. Small piles of brush will be picked up now, he explained, but formal
pick-up begins May 5 on the first and third Mondays of the month.
Brush and tree
branches no longer than 6 feet, or larger than 6 inches in diameter, will be
taken if placed in town right-of-way close to the pavement. No leaves will
be picked up. In the event of bad weather, pick-up will be made as soon as
possible after the scheduled date.
It also was
announced that Thursday, May 22, is spring large garbage day when non-freon
appliances, furniture, swimming pool liners, bagged or containerized grass
clippings and open dried paint cans will be taken, among other items.
RDC openings filled
Redevelopment Commission hasn’t met since October. 2014 appointments were
made Wednesday with assurances that the RDC will begin meeting again.
five Town Council members have filled the five RDC seats, but council
president Jim McGee named citizens Brad Enslen and Cliff Fleming as his
appointments to the commission that controls annual TIF revenue apart from
the town’s general fund.
McGee said Enslen
has shown interest in the town by attending meetings and participating in
planning efforts, and that as a former council member Fleming has the needed
The Village subdivision in Burns Harbor but last year was working out of
state. McGee said he has been assured Fleming still lives in town and will
make the RDC meetings.
attorney Charles Parkinson was asked to determine whether the citizen
members can be compensated for their RDC service; council members cannot.
appointed councilman Greg Miller to the RDC, and the full Town Council chose
fellow members Jeff Freeze and Weibl to serve on the RDC as well. The
Duneland School Board’s non-voting RDC appointment has been Ralph Ayres.
From the audience
resident Gayle Van Loon asked why two Village residents --- Enslen and
Fleming --- both were named. McGee said location isn’t relevent. “I don’t
say ‘they’ and ‘them’ and we shouldn’t say that in Burns Harbor.” Weibl said
the two appointees share his views.
Wilson and Ray Poparad also had applied for an RDC seat.
Perrine said he’s disappointed that Poparad, a former councilman who was
present last night, wasn’t chosen. Although he has nothing against Enslen or
Fleming, said Perrine, the latter had to abstain on RDC/Town Council matters
before because he was a developer in town. Weibl said he didn’t think that
would be a problem now.
Weibl offered to
talk to Comcast about extending high-speed Internet service to town
residents on the west side of South Babcock Road after requests for the
service were made. He said steady construction in Corlin’s Landing and Trail
Creek subdivisions there should be attractive to Comcast now.
Parkinson was asked
to research what kind of franchise agreement the town has with Comcast. Last
year the RDC had discussed partnering with Frontier high-speed Internet to
expand its service south of Interstate 94 in town, but nothing came of the
In other business,
at the request of Duneland Chamber of Commerce president Maura Durham the
Town Council voted 5-0 to donate $2,000 to the July 2 community Fireworks on
the Lakefront in observance of Independence Day. The amount is the same as
the council agreed to order 50 decorative vehicle-license plates displaying
the town’s name and logo; the plates would be offered for sale. The plates
could cost the town about $250 but might be scrapped if an initial set-up
fee is prohibitive.