The Town of Burns
Harbor proposes a deal for residents wanting to replace faulty driveway
culverts -- provide the materials and the Street Department will install it
At Wednesday’s Town
Council meeting, President Ray Poparad said in the past the Town would
change the resident’s culverts where the driveway meets the road.
“For some reason,
and we can’t find out why, they quit doing it. It was always the practice
the resident would provide the materials and the Street Department, since
they have the equipment and the labor, would dig it out, install it and make
sure it’s the right grade so the ditch drains,” Poparad said.
could help alleviate drainage woes in some areas like Babcock Rd. and U.S.
20, he said. “The water is laying on South Babcock Road. It’s a mosquito
pond just waiting for hot weather.’
Superintendent Pat Melton said he is willing to have his department do the
work if the resident gives them what is needed to replace the culvert. The
work time would likely take less than a day, Melton said.
The department will
be able to tell residents what materials and size culverts they will need,
“I think the main
thing for us is it maintains the ditches,” said Council member Eric Hull.
From the audience,
resident Wilbur Oundman asked if it mattered if the driveway is asphalt or
concrete. Poparad said that is something to be worked out with the street
department but if it is concrete, the resident will have to replace the
concrete at their cost. The town will take care of the installation.
“We will explain it
to (residents),” Poparad said. “We need to help our residents because it is
a health hazard.”
The Council voted
5-0 in favor of the deal.
Also at its
meeting, the Council adopted 5-0 new facade guidelines for non-residential
buildings recommended by the Plan Commission.
Hull, who is the
president of the Plan Commission, said the guidelines set what structures
should look like. Building fronts would be required to have 50 percent door
and window transparency on the first floor. Secondary facades would be
required to have 35 percent glazing or transparency and all other sides 20
“It’s proactive in
a way where you are not just going to come in and put up a four-sided pole
barn with a sign on the front,” said Hull.
If someone comes in
wanting to do something different, they can go through the Board of Zoning
Appeals, he said.
Council member and
Plan Commission member Toni Biancardi said the standards apply to all zone
districts, including residential which may have a corner store.
In other business,
the Council decided it will start the process of raising its Cumulative
Capital Development fund rate about one cent per $100 of assessed valuation.
Jane Jordan said the rate is at 3.04 cents now, which generates a total of
$172,000 based on current assessed value. The maximum rate would be four
cents and would generate about $54,000 extra for the Town, she said.
The rate increase
request would need to be submitted to the state by Aug. 1 but a public
hearing would be required first, as well as advertising in advance, Jordan
The Town can use
CCD for capital improvements like repairing roads and buildings and
equipment for police and fire departments, Jordan said.
Residents can take
home a tree sapling on Earth Day -- Saturday, April 22 -- at the Burns
Harbor Fire Department.
The town received
100 saplings from the Department of Natural Resources courtesy of State Rep.
Chuck Moseley, D-Portage. Up to fifty of them will be given away on Earth
Day to residents on a first-come-first-serve basis in honor of Burns
Harbor’s 50th anniversary as a town.
Fire Chief Bill
Arney said there are 25 each of four different species, including oak, birch
and white pine. Fifty of them will be kept in a nursery behind the fire
station to be given away later. The ones given on Earth Day should be
protected from threats like rabbits, he said.
“They will survive
if people plant them and treat them right,” Arney said. Instructions for
care will be given with each sapling.
that the applications for the Burns Harbor Town Scholarship are available
and are due on May 31.
Jordan said that is
a change from years past when the deadline was the end of June. She said
that applicants should check the date to make sure they have the right form.
available to any Burns Harbor resident who is enrolled in a two-year or
four-year university, a trade school or a training program.
After last year’s
unexpected change to the Town’s health insurance plan that raised the amount
employees paid out of pocket, Poparad said he would like to have meetings
with employees to discuss possible alternative options.
“I would like to
research this with the employees to see if we can get them a better policy,”
Poparad also asked
for an update on road grants from the state for this coming year. Jordan
said she believes the application process will start after the Indiana
General Assembly adjourns this month, possibly closer to summer.
The Town was able
to get a $100,000 match this past year to pave portions of Westport Rd.,
Salt Creek Rd. and Navajo Tr. Poparad said he would like to see if the Town
could match $150,000 for next year.
The Council set
Aug. 5 and 6 as the tentative dates for the annual town rummage sale so it
will not interfere with the start of the Duneland school year.
Graves is heading the committee this year.
At the end of the
meeting, the Council discussed at length an acceptance of infrastructure for
Phase 4A of the Village Subdivision. Poparad said the developers need to
meet with the Street Department to make sure all the lights are in working
condition and to remove all the dirt dumped on U.S. 20
they need to comply soon and get the street lights in.