Chesterton Tribune



Burns Harbor Town Council remembers Ray Poparad

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The Burns Harbor Town Council looked back fondly on Ray Poparad’s booming voice of reason and undeniable influence at its meeting Wednesday.

Poparad passed away unexpectedly in December after a lifetime of service to the Town. He had just been reelected to the Town Council in the 2019 general election.

Council President Nick Loving said Poparad was a lifelong friend to his family and meant a lot to him, in fact, it was Poparad who didn’t suggest, but told Loving he needed to serve the Town. “He told me it was my responsibility to serve, and that was it,” Loving said. “I’m, here because Ray told me to be here, and everywhere I go from here I will be there because he pushed me to make that first step.”

“I will miss Ray’s booming voice asking for [Clerk-treasurer] Jane [Jordan] to call the roll. I will miss his whispered counsel in my ear. I will miss his impatience for fools and his kindness for those who needed his help,” Loving added.

“I’m going to miss Ray just as much,” said Council member Toni Biancardi. “Just the wisdom he brought to this board, his personality, his love for the community, his love for serving. I hope to be able to make him proud as we serve. I know we’re all going to try hard and already miss him a lot.”

A bouquet of roses sat at the table in Poparad’s place at the meeting Wednesday. His vacant seat was filled at a Democratic party caucus on Friday.


The Council reappointed Timothy Minier to the Board of Zoning Appeals and appointed new members Andy Bozak and Sarah Oudman to the Plan Commission. Council member Roseann Bozak abstained in the vote to approve her husband, Andy Bozak.

Oudman’s appointment to the Plan Commission means her former position as the Town’s representative on the Shared Ethics Advisory Commission is now open. Any citizen can be the Shared Ethics Advisory rep.

Candidates for the remaining open seats will be interviewed and those who are chosen appointed in February.


Street Superintendent Pat Melton reported the warm weather gave the Street Department the chance to do some trash pick-up and tree trimming, but plows are ready to go for when the weather turns. Melton also made a reminder that the Street Department picks up live Christmas trees that are left out with the trash.

Fire Chief Bill Arney reported the BHFD’s ladder truck is out of service and needs a new hydraulic lift cylinder. The truck will be out of service for approximately two-weeks while Shorewood, Ill.-based Legacy Fire Apparatus rebuilds the lift cylinder at a cost of approximately $2,000. Arney also reported, for the Sanitation Department, that the Town is constantly working to mitigate odors from lift stations.

Park Board Representative Angie Scott reported the new playground equipment at Lakeland Park has been installed, and there is a movie night at the Park on Friday, Jan. 17 from 6 to 8 p.m. The Parks Department will screen “The Big Trip,” which is rated G.


The Board tabled a renewal of its financial services contract because the contract hadn’t yet arrived at the time of the meeting. The Council also tabled approval of phase 2 of the Trail Creek sanitary sewer project because a maintenance bond for the project hadn’t yet arrived.

The Council authorized Global Engineering to go out for bids on 2020 community crossing grant projects and approved approximately $104,000 in encumbered purchases for road salt, office equipment, and mulch and dirt at the Park, among other items.

The Council approved an amendment to the 2020 salary ordinance giving a raise to the Fire Department secretary and an amendment to the 2020 Park Salary ordinance raising Park Board members annual compensation from $500 to $750 to match other boards and commissions.

The Council approved on first reading ordinance 295-2020, amending chapter 15 of Town Code, which would allow an accessory structure, such as a shed, in Town to be 200 square feet instead of a maximum of 160 square feet. There will be a second reading in February.



Posted 1/13/2020




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