Chesterton Tribune



Burns Harbor Town Council votes no to mosquito fogging

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The Burns Harbor Town Council voted 3-2 not to spring for mosquito fogging in Town this year.

Last year, the Council debated the effectiveness of mosquito fogging and directed Clerk-treasurer Jane Jordan to order the service only if a certain number of residents complained. Jordan said she ordered the fogging twice last year for $850 per application. The price has not gone up, to her knowledge.

Council member Toni Biancardi and Council Vice-president Eric Hull said, as the Council said last year, that they never notice a difference from the fogging. They noted that the fog only kills mosquitoes it lands on and doesn’t prevent hatching.

Council member Kevin Tracy commented that even killing every single mosquito in Burns Harbor won’t help. “Burns Harbor’s a small Town. If we take care of the mosquitoes in Burns Harbor, the next day they’ll blow in from somewhere else.”

Tracy said, for his part, that a larger effort by neighboring towns or a County-wide effort could be more effective.

Hull, Biancardi, and Loving voted against ordering the fogging. Tracy and Member Ray Poparad voted in favor.

Salary Ordinance

Street Superintendent Pat Melton requested that the Council amend the Town’s salary ordinance to allow for one of his employees to get a raise of 39 cents per hour.

Melton reported the employee should have been at the top of the salary range for his position before January 1, when the salary ranges for hourly Town employees were adjusted upward as needed for every Town employee to get a $1,000 raise.

The employee is question got his lump-sum raise adjusted into his pay, but Melton says he made a mistake by not raising the employee to the top of his 2018 range before the lump-sum was awarded.

“I feel totally responsible. It was my fault,” Melton said. Melton said he feels the employee has risen to the skill level where he should be at the top of his pay range, and Melton would find the money in his own budget to fund the raise.

The only hitch, Jordan said, is the salary ordinance would have to be changed first, since the extra 39 cents would take the employee over the top range that was established for his position after the 2018 raises.

Hull said he wasn’t a fan of giving raises mid-year, though he appreciated Melton’s admission that he made a mistake. “I’m not against the guy getting a raise. I think you guys should all make more money, but we have to be responsible with the limited budget we’re working with,” Hull said.

“I don’t want to start a precedent,” Hull added.

Tracy wondered about precedent too, commenting that he wondered if other Town employees might be in the same position--they weren’t at the top of their respective ranges before the 2018 raise--and may feel slighted if one person gets an additional raise.

The Council voted 3-2, with Tracy and Biancardi dissenting, to allow the raise, and asked Jordan to bring a new draft of the salary ordinance before them next month.


Melton reported that street sweeping was rained out last week, and the sweepers will be back out Monday if weather allows.

Building Commissioner Rob Wesley reported the Town issued 29 building permits in April, he did 53 inspections, and he issued one citation. Wesley said May appears to be keeping pace, as 12 permits have already been granted this month.

Fire Chief Bill Arney reported the BHFD will host an open house Sunday, June 9, from 1 to 5 p.m. There will be food, a bounce house for kids, vendors, and BHFD vehicles will be on display. Arney encouraged residents to come out “grab a hotdog and a coke and see the trucks and the station.”

One of the vehicles on display will be a brush truck that the National Park Service donated to the Town. Arney reported that truck has been striped and painted, and will be in service starting May 9, which will help reduce wear and tear on the newer vehicles.

Arney also reported the Department’s new engine has been out on two calls. “I want to thank the Council and taxpayers for a great piece of equipment to serve the Town,” Arney said.

Important Dates

The Footloose 5K run at Lakeland Park is June 22. Lakeland opens for the season on Memorial Day. Residents can find information on park events on the Department’s Facebook page.

Walsh & Kelly is scheduled to begin 2019 paving on May 20, though Poparad suggested they may be delayed because of rain. Either way, Poparad said the Town will do its best to make sure residents know as soon as possible when to expect the roadwork.

The June Town Council meeting has been rescheduled from June 12 to June 5 at 7 p.m. The Redevelopment Commission will also move its meeting from June 12 to June 5, at 6 p.m.

Large garbage pickup is May 16.

Burns Harbor scholarship applications are due May 31.



Posted 5/9/2019




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