The Burns Harbor
Redevelopment Commission (RDC) is going out for bids for tree removal along
the route for Phase 1 of the Burns Harbor portion of the Marquette Greenway
The Burns Harbor
portion of the Marquette Greenway will be built in three phases. Phases 2
and 3 are state-funded and the RDC will utilize federal grants for Phase 1.
Phase 1 ends just north of U.S. 20 in the area of Beam Street and Babcock
Road and extends just west of Stanley Street, according to RDC member Toni
Residents in that
area can expect to see tree removal work in February and March. Biancardi
said the Board is working to minimize the environmental impact of the
removal. Biancardi wasnít sure how many trees will need to be removed, but
said the removal will be limited. Trees have to be removed before March 31
to protect the Regionís bats, and stumps will be left behind to combat
The Board has to
move quickly to have the work approved and finished by the end of March, so
bids will be opened on Jan. 27 and awarded at a special RDC meeting at 7:30
p.m. Jan. 29.
In other Marquette
Greenway business, Karnerblue Consultant Tina Rongers continues to
coordinate with various entities such as the National Park Service and
railroad and utility companies on easements related to the Trail. Biancardi
reported everything is on track, and construction on Phase 3, which begins
in Portage and ends in Burns Harbor at Ind. 149, is slated to begin this
The Board approved
an architectural services contract for Holladay Properties to do the 30
percent design work on the new town hall and community center building
planned to be part of the Westport Development. Rongers told the Board at
its last meeting that 30 percent design should allow the Board to solicit
bids and get a fairly accurate estimate for cost of construction. The Board
will make three payments of $9,500 for a total of $28,500 for architectural
services, and related soil borings were approved not to exceed $7,000.
The Board also
approved paying $50,000 to the Duneland School Corporation to make up for
tax revenue the School doesnít collect because of Burns Harborís tax
increment financing (TIF) district.
Biancardi said the
Board is not yet ready to usher in a new method of calculating the
contribution since a state-mandated shift in how school funds are organized
made it impossible to calculate exactly how much capital project funding
Duneland Schools doesnít collect because of the TIF district. That number
used to be the basis for the Board contributing approximately $50,000 every
February and August. State law permits the RDC to contribute up to 15% of
its TIF funds.
Last month, the
Board discussed disbursing the money in smaller amounts as a way to ensure
it funds valuable programs rather than getting lost in DSCís budget. The
Board is still mulling how that would work and has opted to make its regular
payments in the meantime, according to Biancardi.
In other DSC
business, RDC member Nick Loving will represent the RDC on the school
improvement committee for Yost Elementary School.