Chesterton Tribune



Ordinance allows developers in Burns Harbor to hire police for traffic patrol

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To help protect neighborhoods that have not yet had their streets accepted by the Town, the Burns Harbor Town Council passed an ordinance Wednesday to allow developers of private subdivisions to contract for police to patrol their roads.

The Council took action in response to a discussion at its July meeting where Council member and Plan Commission President Eric Hull said residents in Trail Creek Subdivision made their concerns known to the Plan Commission about speeding and stop sign issues in their neighborhood. Because those are still private roads, police haven’t been able to enforce the signs.

Town Marshal Mike Heckman said then that other neighborhoods would be interested in the ordinance such as mobile home parks. The Council directed Town Attorney Clay Patton to draft the ordinance.

The Town Marshal will be authorized to enter into a contract with owners or lessees of private business or residential complex properties, such as subdivisions, to regulate vehicle and pedestrian traffic, the ordinance states. Moving traffic violations may be ticketed in residential complex properties only. Police may also remove abandoned vehicles and install parking meters.

The business or property owners are responsible for installing signage notifying residents and visitors about the motor vehicle and traffic ordinance.

Revenue from the violation fees will be given to the Town.

Terms of the contracts will have a maximum of 20 years and can be terminated in 30 days with written notice to the other party.

Police at events

In other business, the Council agreed to make a change in the Town’s Public Assembly Permit ordinance. Instead of requiring one officer for every 50 people in attendance, the Town Marshal will have discretion of how many police officers are needed for security at events such as the Food Truck Pop-Up Fall Festival on Saturday, Sept. 30, where a crowd of more than 3,000 people are expected.

Assembly permits also include the Park Department’s Footloose 5K run and open houses.

The Town has five police officers and the larger events see crowds that surpass the capacity of the current ordinance’s rule that one officer is required for every 50 attendees. The Town Marshal will now have the authority to determine the number of officers needed for the event.

2018 budget hearing

Clerk-Treasurer Jane Jordan said the Council agreed to hold a public hearing for the advertised 2018 budget at its next regular meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 11. A special meeting is expected to be held later for the Council to adopt the budget before the Nov. 1 deadline set by the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance.

The Council has hosted budget workshops, which are open to the public, over the past few weeks. A formal notice of the proposed budget is required to be advertised publicly ten days prior to the public hearing. Residents will be able to view the notice on the Indiana Gateway online portal at

Garbage and recycle pick-up

In old business, the current contract with Republic Services for trash and recycling has been extended for another two years by decision of the Council.

The contract was first executed in November 2015, with the options to renew for two-year terms this year and again in 2019. The costs of the service, which is paid by the Town’s General Fund, will increase by three percent each year.

50th Birthday

Meanwhile, the Council signed a proclamation recognizing the 50th anniversary of the incorporation of Burns Harbor as a town, which took place on Sept. 9, 1967. The proclamation will be framed and displayed at Burns Harbor Town Hall for the pubic to view and the Town will continue the celebration later in the fall with a commemorative holiday ornament.

Historical marker for steel

Jordan informed the Council the Indiana Historical Bureau has chosen the Steel Industry in Burns Harbor as one of its State Historical Markers for this year. She said that the Town will work with the IHB to determine language to be on the marker.



Posted 9/18/2017






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