Burns Harbor residents can have their say April 11 on a big jump in the tax
rate for the cumulative capital development fund.
Meeting Wednesday, the Town Council voted unanimously to adopt a resolution
setting a maximum rate not to exceed $0.05 per $100 of assessed valuation
for calendar years 2013, 2014 and 2015.
The current town CCDF rate is $0.0059. The CCDF was established in 1989 as a
non-reverting fund for capital purchases and improvements. In 1993-95 the
rate was $.04 but council members said over time the rate has been lowered
to a point Burns Harbor's is now 87 percent below the average CCD rate in
Porter County and generates only $29,805 annually.
If the full $0.05 rate is approved by the Indiana Department of Local
Government Finance, estimates are the CCDF levy might increase by $222,778
over this year's revenue.
The resolution establishing a higher CCDF rate can be reaffirmed, modified
or rejected following next month's public hearing. If the decision is to
proceed, the DLGF must receive by Aug. 2 the town's request, which includes
collecting the maximum-allowable portion of the increase outside the
Town attorney Bob Welsh said the uses on which CCDF money can be spent are
Also April 11, the Burns Harbor Redevelopment Commission will meet at 6 p.m.
at the town hall for 2012 reorganization. The RDC has yet to meet this year.
In other business, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore superintendent Costa
Dillon introduced himself to the council; the National Park Service owns
land in Burns Harbor primarily along the Little Calumet River, and he said
INDU is committed to improving the waterway for public use. Dillon described
recreation as an almost-hidden economic driver for the local area.
Dillon said INDU's had a good relationship with the town Police and Fire
Departments. Council president Jim McGee said it's been a pleasure working
with INDU deputy superintendent Garry Traynham, who was present Wednesday.
Councilmen Jeff Freeze and Greg Miller are in the process of reviewing the
town's technology. Freeze said better controls are needed to archive
government emails and he explained the options, additional upgrades and
pricing associated with various plans.
The council authorized bringing in computer consultant Kurt Jordan on the
Freeze said it's important that emails are preserved so a constituent
complaint, suggestion or concern isn't lost. "This way when a council
person's term is up, the emails don't travel with them."
In other business, after considering several firms the council voted 5-0 to
retain Global Engineering and Land Surveying of Michigan City as the town
engineer at Global's 2011 rates. Freeze said a larger firm with specific
expertise may be hired for certain projects.
Also retained and a contract was approved with Cender & Company as the
town's financial advisor.
Councilman Mike Perrine announced fire chief Bill Arney has been soliciting
donations to enable the Fire Department to operate an advanced-life-support
ambulance. The department currently is certified and offers
basic-life-support ambulance service.
To date over $30,000 in donations has been raised and will be deposited in a
designated fund and returned if the ALS project doesn't succeed.
The ambulance plan was discussed last month as part of development of the
2012 salary ordinance, which was adopted Wednesday on final reading giving
full-time town employees 4 percent across-the-board raises. They are also
eligible for longevity pay in the amount of $100 per year of town
On other matters:
• Arney said the Fire Department received a $54,000 FEMA grant to replace
dated hoses and nozzles. The council OK'd spending $2,400 in CCDF funds for
the local grant match.
• In February, firefighters responded to 23 calls including eight EMS
assists and six vehicle accidents spending 11 hours and 38 minutes at
emergency scenes. Forty-seven firefighters spent a total 192 man-hours in
training and duty hours, and fire vehicles logged 403 miles last month.
• As building commissioner, Arney said the first four apartment buildings at
The Village have been released for construction.
• Town marshal Craig Barnes reported Burns Harbor police responded to 651
incidents in February including five vehicle crashes, all property damage.
Fifteen arrests were made --- 12 of them misdemeanors and three felonies.
Tickets written numbered 103, verbal warnings 50, and written warnings 276.
Police vehicles traveled 7,890 last month.
• Barnes also acknowledged the receipt of letters of commendation for
assistance provided the Portage and Ogden Dunes departments by himself and
Burns Harbor officers Adam Zosso and Mike Chandler.
• Street superintendent Randy Skalku said because of the unseasonable
weather his crew will be picking up brush if residents call his office to
• Park Board member Marcus Rogala said the new dog park at Lakeland Park is
proving popular, and that Earth Day will be celebrated there April 21 with a
fun fair, learning stations and games/crafts.
• Clerk-treasurer Jane Jordan said NIPSCO has raised the town's cost for
streetlights by almost $250 per month and the line item will be about $2,000
short this year.
• Jordan said town contracts that do not already have such language must
conform to the new federal E-Verify regulations. The program determines the
employment eligibility of new hires and the validity of their Social
• Council members approved a 2012 contract with the Porter County Recycling
and Waste Reduction District to lease drop-off recycling bins at the Street
Department for resident use. Burns Harbor doesn't have curbside recycling.
• Perrine was
elected to be the town's environmental liaison as the need arises.