Chesterton Tribune



Burns Harbor nets $1 million paving grant

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Burns Harbor was again awarded the maximum $1 million available from the Community Crossings grant program.

Clerk-treasurer Jane Jordan had the Town Council members sign the contract accepting the funds and committing to funding 25 percent of the planned paving projects. Community Crossings is a 75/25 match for a Town the size of Burns Harbor and a 50/50 match for larger municipalities.

The following roads will be paved with CC grant funds in 2020: Carol Street (from S. Boo Road to Marilyn), Lionís Drive, Salt Creek Road (from S. Boo to Old Porter Road), Old Porter Road (from the Salt Creek bridge to Ind. 149), Rak Road, McCoy Lane, Wahl Street, and Meadowbrook.

The Council members noted that nearly all the roads in Town have been paved over the last few years. Oak Leaf Lane and a portion of Forest Lane off of U.S. 20 remain on the priority road list, and roads in older subdivisions will become priority based on condition after those are done. Once all the roads in Town are paved, Community Crossings grant funds can still be used for maintenance, according to Jordan.

Town Council Vice-president Eric Hull said Burns Harbor was one of few communities in the region that got the full amount from Community Crossings.

In other business, Council member Toni Biancardi reported the Sanitary Board has decided to do rate studies every four years instead of every two years due to their cost and duration. The Council passed an amendment to the sewer rate ordinance reflecting that change. The next rate study will be next year, Biancardi said.


Clerk-treasurer Jane Jordan reported the State Board of Accounts conducted an audit on the Town for years 2016 through 2018. Results will be available in mid-December. Jordan also noted residents can drop off donations of non-perishable food or Toys for Tots at the Town Hall during open hours from now until December 19.

Street Superintendent Pat Melton reported the Street Department has stopped leaf pick-up but will continue when things start to thaw. Both Melton and Police Chief Mike Heckman noted that residents were good about following snow parking bans in their respective neighborhoods, but some people still need to move basketball hoops away from the road.

Heckman warned the Council that he likely has a totaled squad car after a police pursuit through Town where he ended up leading a multi-agency chase and putting his vehicle between the fleeing driver and the entrance to Port of Indiana. The fleeing driver rammed into Heckmanís 2015 squad car, causing over $12,000 in damage just to the exterior. Heckman said all the equipment on and in the car, except its camera, will be usable in a new vehicle.

Council President Nick Loving said the Council is thankful Heckman wasnít injured in the crash, and Heckmanís work is appreciated. Heckman followed that protecting pedestrians and other officers was well worth the damage.

Heckman also warned the Council that he needs to get quotes for an updated computer system after two power surges interrupted his servers. Several of the computers and laptops used in his department also need security updates for next year. The work has to be performed by a company certified to provide internet security for police, such as Chester, Inc., and will cost around $10,000, Heckman said. The Council asked Heckman to solicit three quotes and bring a recommendation back to the December meeting.

Fire Chief Bill Arney thanked everyone who came out to the BHFD Spaghetti Dinner Oct. 26. Arney also said the Department is gearing up for Shop with a Firefighter. Some of the spaghetti dinner proceeds will fund it, and donations are welcome.



Posted 11/15/2019




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