Chesterton is moving forward with a top-of-the-line fiber optic network (FON)
for high speed and capable internet has captured the attention of the Burns
Harbor Redevelopment Commission which wants to get in on the action.
“I think it’s
something we should look at because I think it will be a betterment for the
town,” said the RDC’s new President Marcus Rogala.
Andy Bozak suggested talking with Chesterton town officials on possible ways
the towns could partner. Having a FON here would be “huge” for attracting
businesses, he said.
Marcus and RDC
Vice-President Ray Poparad will try to set up a meeting, bringing with them
the RDC’s Economic Director Joe Rurode.
Redevelopment Commission recently retained for $30,000 the Monroe Street
Group, of Chicago, which presented a three-phase plan that would potentially
make Chesterton one of the most attractive areas in Northwest Indiana for
existing businesses and innovative start-ups.
member Ralph Ayres said the Porter County RDC received an informational
presentation in the fall on reasons to bring fiber optics and high-speed
connectivity to the county. The presenter concluded that Porter County is
“behind the eight ball” as many areas aren’t able to receive the service.
All town councils
seem to be looking at the prospects of having a FON, Ayres said.
In the business
portion of Wednesday’s meeting, the Commission unanimously agreed to hire
Rurode as economic director and Tina Rongers as grants developer.
Keeping the same
contracts as last year, Rurode will be paid $7,100 per month and Rongers
$2,500 per month with no cap on the hours they can work.
Rongers if she would be available to seek grants on behalf of other
departments with her contract. Rongers said she would have to first
determine the scope of the work and make a proposal after that. She agreed
to meet with department heads to hear their needs.
contract to extend services for another year with master developer plan
consultant LiveWorkLearnPlay was tabled as suggested by Rogala in order to
receive further information. Rogala however expressed his desire to continue
working with LWLP which has delivered research and a business plan on how
the town can expand its business economy.
“I like to keep
things moving toward implementation. It justifies how things are moving,” he
said, hoping to start implementing the plan this spring.
The RDC is thinking
of having another “roundtable” discussion with last year’s RDC members to
better decide how to proceed with a plan.
Business meet and
the idea of better getting acquainted with businesses in town by hosting a
“meet-and-greet” event with the suggested date of Feb. 25 at the Duneland
Falls banquet hall and meeting center on Ind.