Chesterton Tribune



Burns Harbor Town Council OKs Masterlink tax abatement

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Masterlink Concrete Pumping is coming to town as the Burns Harbor Town Council on Wednesday approved a confirmatory resolution on a 4-0 vote to create an economic revitalization area (ERA) for a ten-year tax abatement.

The vote came after a public hearing on the declaratory resolution set by the Council. The resolution states that Masterlink, located at 347 W. Melton Rd., will create nine full-time positions with a total salary figure of $700,000 per year. The company will invest $500,000 for renovations of the site and the auto building.

The Council put in an agreement that Masterlink report every year on the status of its commitments for the Town to review during the years of the abatement. For the first three years, 100 percent of taxes will be abated, 75 percent for years 4-6 and 50 percent for years 7-10.

Kathy Egolf who owns the property immediately west of Masterlink was the only person who spoke during the public hearing, giving praise for the project.

“It will be a good addition. We’re all for it,” she said.

With the hearing closed, Council member Eric Hull made the motion to vote on the declaratory resolution as the confirmatory resolution which then passed favorably.

“Congratulations, (Masterlink owner Steve Slater). Glad to have you in town,” said Council President Ray Poparad.

“We are ready to get to work,” Slater said.

Park salary ordinance

The Council approved the 2017 salaries for the Parks Department which included a few increases.

Park Board representative Chuck Tutor said the hourly pay scales for maintenance workers and gate keepers were increased to be similar to other park departments.

“If you want to have good people, you need to pay people more accordingly,” he said.

Maintenance workers would be eligible to receive $9.25 to $14 an hour and up to $20 hourly for head maintenance. Gate keepers could make up to $10 per hour.

Park Director Kim Burton’s salary would also be increased from $1,321 monthly to $1,371, plus $50 per department head meeting.

In other park news, Tutor said the department will host a Family Movie Night this Friday at 6 p.m. The movie will be “Kubo and the Two Strings.”

Tutor said the park board held officer elections at its most recent meeting and voted to keep the same slate as last year.

The Council voted to approve $15,300 of donations collected by the Parks Department last year. Town Clerk-Treasurer Jane Jordan said most of that was collected from events like the Footloose 5K.

The Fire Department received $4,600 in donations last year, collected for honor guard uniforms.

Good-bye to Andy

Also Wednesday, Poparad wished Andy Bozak well as he moves from the Town Council on to the Porter County Council, replacing County Councilman Jim Biggs.

“You should have stuck it out, kid,” joked Poparad, mentioning that Bozak had three years left on his term as a Town Council member. “It’s been a pleasure working with you,” he added.

The Porter County Republican Party will hold a caucus on Monday, Jan. 23 to fill Bozak’s seat on the Town Council.

Town Attorney Clay Patton said he will research whether Bozak can still serve on Town boards. Bozak had been on the Plan Commission and the Redevelopment Commission.

Town Council member Marcus Rogala said he would fill Bozak’s Plan Commission seat for the time being. Council members Toni Biancardi and Eric Hull will keep their seats on the Commission this year.

The Council may appoint a citizen for Bozak’s RDC seat and will take applications.

In other board appointments, Poparad reappointed Nathan Tumblin to the Sanitation Board.


Jordan said the town received preliminary budget approvals from the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance for 2017. The budget was accepted at a little over $4 million and about half of that came from the tax levy.

The town’s tax rate rose about a quarter of a cent from last year to .3428 per $100 of assessed valuation.

Conflict of interest forms

In a housekeeping task for the new year, officials filed forms disclosing any potential conflict of interests.

Jordan said she files a form as her husband in years past has assisted the Town in IT matters and received pay for it. Poparad stated on his form that his niece serves on the Park Board.

50th Anniversary

2017 promises to be a big year for the town as it will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of its incorporation.

Biancardi said residents are encouraged to let her or Jordan know if they have any ideas to celebrate the milestone as they hope to put on events throughout the year.

One event will be the dedication of the historical marker of the original state boundary line near the ArcelorMittal plant. The dedication was supposed to take place Dec. 18 for Indiana’s bicentennial but the Town canceled it due to frigid weather. Biancardi said it will be rescheduled soon.



Posted 1/12/2017






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