Chesterton Tribune



Historical marker coming to Burns Harbor

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If it hadn't been for the Enabling Act of 1816, the north section of Burns Harbor, including much of the ArcelorMittal steel plant, would have been in Michigan.

The Act officially moved the state boundary line about 10 miles north of the southern most tip of Lake Michigan.

To mark where that original boundary line was, for history’s sake, the Burns Harbor Town Council on Wednesday voted 3-0 to purchase a marker from Memory Keepers in Crown Point for up to $3,000, which includes about $500 to install it.

The marker will take four to six weeks to complete. It will be placed within Shady Side Park on property owned by ArcelorMittal.

Council member Toni Biancardi said she and Clerk-Treasurer Jane Jordan had been unsuccessful in applying for a grant from the Indiana Historical Bureau, as there were many other projects to compete with, but the state did recognize it as one of its Legacy projects for the Indiana Bicentennial.

Coinciding with the Bicentennial, Burns Harbor will be celebrating its 50th anniversary of incorporation next year. Biancardi and Jordan said they hoped to move forward with the marker in dedication of that.

From the audience, Gene Weibl requested that the Town reach out to ArcelorMittal to be a part of the anniversary celebration. Jordan said she has been in contact with the plant and it is eager to participate.

More history

Meanwhile, the Council got further into town history with a visit from Porter County Museum Director Kevin Pazour. Like earlier this week with visits to the Chesterton and Porter town councils, Pazour shared a trinket of the town’s past by showing the Council a circa-1970 photograph of the Burns Harbor branch of the Farmers State Bank that used to be at the intersection of Ind. 149 and U.S. 20.

Amused by the photograph, Council President Ray Poparad said he thinks the bank building later became the Shift Change Tap at the northeast corner of the intersection which is now The Mill.

Jordan said it may be the building on the other corner the intersection where the insurance agency building is.

Pazour told the board he was recently named Porter County’s official Historian by the Indiana Historical Bureau and the Indiana Historical Society. The Museum is expanding to another building and would like to tell the story of Burns Harbor, Pazour said.

“We really do care about the history up here,” said Pazour.


The Council meeting started off with a presentation of this year’s recipients of the Burns Harbor Scholarship Fund.

Scholarship Board member Phyllis Constantine said this year saw nine applicants, the most since she’s been involved. The board decided to award each of them a scholarship of $1,500.

The recipients are Nicole Arney, Victoria Bain, Jennifer Cavezza, Mark Childress, Keeli Day, Hannah Kish, Madison Kurtz, Maxwell Kurtz and Kara Zych.

All nine were present Wednesday and took pictures with the Town Council members outside the Town Hall.

The Scholarship Fund was started in 2000 and is its own non-profit organization. It receives money from the annual lease the Town has with American Tower which is passed along by the Town Council.

To be eligible, applicants must be a current resident of the town and plan to attend or are currently attending a college, university, trade school or training program. Constantine said she abstained from voting this year as two of the applicants were relatives of hers.

“We hope all of you have a wonderful, safe year. Good luck on your grades,” Constantine told the scholarship winners.

Mark your calendars

With many department heads gone this week, as were Council members Andy Bozak and Eric Hull, reports for this month were brief.

Street Superintendent Pat Melton said leaf pick up will begin in mid-October. Leaves will need to be put on the ditch side of the road in order to get picked up.

Melton also said the Town’s large item garbage pick-up day for the fall will be Thursday, Sept. 15.

Council member Marcus Rogala speaking on behalf of the Park Board said the Town Picnic will be Sunday, Aug. 21, at Lakeland Park from 1 to 4 p.m.

Looking ahead, Rogala said the Fall Festival and Pumpkin 5k Dash will be on Saturday, Oct. 22 at Lakeland Park.

Fire report

Although absent, Fire Chief Bill Arney did submit a report for July.

Firefighters responded to a total of 42 calls and were on scene 19 hours and 1 min for emergency calls.

Training hours were 83 and 10 duty hours for a total of 93 manned hours.

Fire vehicles traveled a total of 1,631 miles.

Rotary membership

In other business, the Council voted 3-0 to become corporate members of the Chesterton-Porter Rotary Club. Dues are $600 for three members which include meals for the year, Biandardi said.

Biancardi said the Rotary will help introduce the Town to local business and may encourage businesses in the Burns Harbor area to get involved as well.

Auction results

The Town surplus auction on Saturday, July 23 sold nearly everything, Poparad reported, minus a few Indiana Code Books, pink and yellow linoleum tiles, some fake plants and an old shelving unit.

The sale brought in $10,343. The auctioneer was paid $2,151 of that, netting the Town a profit of $8,192.

Budget meetings

The Council also rescheduled its workshops with town departments to three dates next week -- Tuesday, Aug. 16; Wednesday, Aug. 17; and Thursday, Aug. 18.

The sessions, which are open to the public, will start at about 6 p.m.


Posted 8/11/2016





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