Chesterton Tribune

Magnetics plant seeking to expand operations in Burns Harbor

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By PAULENE POPARAD

The Burns Harbor Advisory Plan Commission learned Monday that Magnetics International Inc. has applied with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management for a significant modification of its operating permit by adding a packaging and milling operation.

The 1111 N. State Road 149 facility recycles industrial pickle liquor and extracts iron oxide.

A copy of Magnetics’ IDEM application and the agency’s preliminary findings are on file at Thomas Library in Chesterton. An IDEM public comment period ends Feb. 29.

Construction of the current Magnetics plant was controversial at the time because some believed it should not have been permitted by the town in what was then a light-industrial zone. The property currently is zoned business park.

Commission president Jeff Freeze asked how much is grandfathered under the company’s previous zoning approval. Commission attorney Charles Parkinson said any new use not going on now isn’t grandfathered and would be regulated by the zoning ordinance in effect today.

Building commissioner Bill Arney said a Magnetics spokesperson told him no final decision has been made whether to add the packaging and milling operations in Burns Harbor.

In other business, commission members with Jan Hines absent agreed builder John Miller needs to submit a formal petition to revise drainage plans and have it reviewed by the town engineer before Miller gets back on the agenda.

Miller owns several lots in the Parkwood Estates subdivision. He wasn’t present Monday but Arney said Miller’s inquired about changing the drainage plan for one lot where a house has been built.

Last year Miller tried to have the drainage system changed for several lots; the commission gave the request an unfavorable recommendation, but no final determination was made.

Parkinson said a secondary plat for Parkwood Estates was recorded and changes to it can’t be made without prior town permission.

Also Monday, the commission authorized Freeze and Arney to meet with Bob Kerr regarding an expired bond for his previous KEJOB commercial subdivision south of U.S. 20 at Verplank Road, which was relocated as part of the project. Arney said the town has been plowing the road even though it hasn’t been accepted. Freeze, a Town Council member, and others said it wouldn’t be in the public’s best interest to stop plowing now.

Parkinson announced a court hearing is scheduled before Porter Superior Court Judge Mary Harper Feb. 24 at 10:30 a.m. regarding the town’s previous 2008 denial of a request by Job Steel Corp./Lisco Inc. to operate a truck terminal at 277 Melton Rd. with warehousing and outside storage.

 

 

Posted 2/7/2012