The Burns Harbor
Town Council voted 4-1 Wednesday to share half the cost of getting the weeds
out of the lake at Lakeland Park with the Parks Department.
The lake has not
been treated in seven years, said Council member and parks liaison Marcus
Rogala. The park board received a bid of $3,500 from Aquatic Weed Control of
Goshen, Ind. for vegetation management.
The board would be
willing to pay half the cost from its non-reverting fund, Rogala said,
hoping the Council could find some place in its budget to cover the other
Jane Jordan said there are funds available in the line item for
miscellaneous services that would be best suited for this kind of
Control’s chemicals would be strong enough to kill off weed vegetation but
would be harmless to fish and swimmers, Rogala said.
Council member Andy
Bozak voted no on the bid, contending that the contract should have a
guarantee that the treatment will work as intended, something that hadn’t
happened the last time the lake was treated.
Ray Poparad said he is confident the company will do “a great job” now
knowing how much chemicals to use and if there is an issue it’s something
the park board can “take care of.”
In other park news,
Rogala and Park Board member Amanda Sucku said this Saturday morning will be
the annual Easter Egg hunt in Lakeland Park.
This year will
feature egg hunts specifically for special needs children starting at 9:30
a.m. There will be separate hunts for children who are blind, wheelchair
bound or autistic.
The general hunt
will follow at 10:30 a.m. More than 2,000 eggs will be used this year.
Rogala said the
park department would like to have volunteers to help out with the special
needs hunts and encouraged the public to help provide this experience in the
“If anyone would
like to come out and make it special for these kids, it will be highly
appreciated,” he said.
volunteers should call Parks Director Kim Burton at 219-405-4019.
The Council also
filled the open Republican seat on the park board by appointing Chuck Tutor
with a vote of 5-0.
But the Council
tabled an amendment to the salary ordinance for the Parks Department which
proposed giving Burton $50 extra per month to attend department head
The Council felt it
would be beneficial to meet with department heads on a regular monthly basis
to keep moving forward with projects. Burton is not salaried like directors
in the other departments so a stipend is being considered.
Talking with the
department heads, the Council decided to set the meetings on the third
Friday of every month at 9 a.m. Rogala said he would need to check with
Burton first on whether she would be available for that time before the
salary ordinance is amended.
The Council did
however approve amendments to the Town’s salary ordinance. One was to set
the pay rate for the new full-time sanitation clerk starting at $15 per hour
at 40 hours per week. The other was to pay the three members of the Town’s
reorganized sanitation board which will have appointed citizens rather than
Town officials. The board members will be compensated at $500 per year.
In other actions,
the Council voted 5-0 to adopt new text in the Town’s sewer rate ordinance.
Fire Chief Bill
Arney said that in February, firefighters responded to 26 calls, spent 14
hours and five minutes on scene. There were 93 hours of training and 22 duty
hours for a total of 115 manned hours. Fire vehicles traveled a total of
The fire department
has acquired the replacement self-contained breathing apparatuses from the
Federal Emergency Management Agency grant that was received through a
collaborative effort with the Portage Fire Department, Arney said.
The Town will be
receiving the invoice for the local match for the $107,214 grant, which will
be roughly $10,000, Arney said. The Town Council had approved the funding
initially last August.
Arney added that
the new SCBA’s are impressive.
“I tried one out.
They’re pretty amazing,” said Rogala, who serves as a fireman.
community members who turned out for the fundraiser for the BHFD at Five
Guys in Portage last month, braving the winter weather. The event brought in
about $500 which Arney said helps fund causes like Shop with a Firefighter.
For the building
department, Arney said seven permits were issued last month, two occupancy
permits and three violation letters. “We’re starting to pick up. I guess
it’s spring fever,” he said.
Town Marshal Mike
Heckman said that police handled 360 incidents this past month, responded to
seven vehicle crashes with six having property damage and one personal
injury, made 10 arrests -- all misdemeanors, 20 speeding tickets were issued
and 105 verbal or written warnings were given. Police vehicles traveled a
total of 8,184 miles.
Brush pick up
Superintendent Pat Melton told the Council his department has received a
number of inquiries about brush pick-up.
Pick up does not
officially begin until May 1, Melton said, but since there have been recent
days with strong winds, the department will start making a few rounds now.
the box spreader for the Town’s snow plows will need replacing by next
winter. The Council agreed to replace the spreader at a cost of $3,587 from
money available in the street department budget.
On the subject of
roads, Poparad reported that the Town of Chesterton has a bid from Reith
Riley Construction Company to complete paving its part of Old Babcock Rd.
and the Town of Porter is seeking bids to do its portion.
Poparad also said
the auctioneer he first sought for the upcoming town auction will not be
available so he is checking with two other auctioneer services. The town
auction will be sometime in July, he said. Older equipment no longer being
used by town departments will go on sale.