residents, take note: new snow emergency and parking regulations were
adopted by the Town Council on Wednesday.
Whenever two or
more inches of snow has fallen on town streets and alleys, a snow emergency
exists and parking on all town streets is restricted until the snow
emergency is canceled.
days of the month during a snow emergency, no parking between the hours of 8
a.m. and 12 midnight is allowed on the north and east sides of the street.
On odd-numbered days, parking’s not allowed between the same hours on the
south and west sides of the street.
No parking at all
is allowed on any town alley between 8 a.m. and 12 midnight during a snow
The town street
commissioner is authorized to prohibit parking in town streets and alleys at
any time for the purpose of snow removal, emergencies, repairs and
maintenance at his discretion; the commissioner is required to post signs
giving notice of the closure at least four hours before it occurs, and the
closure may not last longer than eight hours.
If vehicles are
illegally parked during a declared ban, they may be towed or removed. Town
police may issue citations to remove and store them at owner’s expense, but
town marshal Mike Heckman said that likely won’t occur unless the owner
can’t be reached or they refuse to move the vehicle.
Whether a snow
emergency exists or not, it is illegal for a person to move, discharge,
throw, place or cause any snow, ice or slush into alleys or streets within
the town at any time. The Street Department is exempted while performing
The new rules carry
fines of $10 to $25 and if not paid the town may file in court seeking
payment as well as additional fines and fees.
At the Jan. 8 Town
Council meeting, Burns Harbor street superintendent Randy Skalku said
parking on both sides of the streets during snow events hampers his crew’s
ability to get around town and plow effectively.
Last night, Skalku
said his department has been very, very busy plowing and pushing snow piles
back to make room for more snow; he also said his salt situation is bad and
he has been mixing it with sand to use on hills and curves sparingly.
Last week the Town
Council authorized purchase of a 2014 Street Department truck with 9-foot
snowplow and related equipment for $92,650. The town hasn’t taken delivery
yet pending financing.
comment resident Ray Poparad asked how the town can plow alleys, which he
considers driveways and therefore private property.
Welsh said if the
subdivision is approved by the Plan Commission with alleys on the plat as
public right-of-way, then once accepted by the town they becomes its
responsibility to plow and maintain whether the town gets state gas-tax
money for them or not.
Miller said, “This is a thinly veiled attempt to single out The Village
(subdivision) again.” He noted emergency services and buses use alleys.
Welsh’s explanation, “Now that I’ve been set straight, I’ll move on,” said
Votes on the snow
emergency/parking ban were 4-0 to approve with councilman Mike Perrine
absent. Three motions were involved including one to suspend the rules and
adopt the printed, numbered ordinance amendment in one night.
Earlier in the
meeting the council voted 4-0 on one motion to amend town ordinance as
verbally stated with no draft amendment in hand, and the topic wasn’t on the
agenda. The amendment dealt with allowing alcohol sales at Lakeland Park for
a June 28 event.
Miller, who made
the motion, asked town attorney Bob Welsh if amending the ordinance required
further action. Welsh said no.
Later, when asked
by the Chesterton Tribune why the two ordinance amendments were
handled differently, Welsh said of the park matter, “It’s nice to have (an
ordinance amendment) ahead of time” but you don’t have to have it in front
of you. He added that in the past a council has amended an ordinance without
a prior draft copy, but in that case a document was subsequently prepared
for later signature.
allows Burns Harbor Park Department-sponsored events to have alcohol sales
with the approval of the Town Council president; if a council member
objects, the matter would come before the full council and challenge
deadlines were added.
Miller asked if an
alcohol waiver could be given for private events on park property as well.
Park Board president Marcus Rogala said his board would be opposed.
The park is
planning a June 28 kids fun run and Footloose 5K beginning at Lakeland Park.
A licensed, insured vendor will operate a beer garden on a fenced park
ballfield, a Chicago cover band will perform ‘80s hits and food will be
The event from 5 to
9 p.m. will be family friendly, assured Rogala. As for any concern about the
lake, “We’ll have eyes everywhere.”
Rogala said the
speciality painting workshops the Park Department has sponsored are booked
as soon as one is announced. Mixed martial arts instruction is offered, Feb.
22 is family movie night at Lakeland and May 10 is a volunteer clean-up in
the town’s three parks.