Chesterton Tribune

Proposed Burns Harbor public assembly ordinance gets tougher

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The Burns Harbor Town Council beefed up a proposed public assembly ordinance when adopting it on first reading Wednesday. Final reading would occur June 8.

The council increased from 300 feet to 500 feet the distance within which neighbors of a proposed assembly would have to be notified a permit application has been made. The amount of liability insurance to be posted by the applicant also was doubled to $1 million.

Councilman Louis Bain suggested the changes. “Three hundred feet from double-stacked amplifiers isn’t that far,” he stated. Vote to adopt was 4-0 with council member Cliff Fleming absent.

The ordinance, recommended by the Advisory Plan Commission following a public hearing, would apply to shows, concerts and other gatherings for 100 people or more where admission would be charged or alcohol sold. Typical residential parties, or events in established permanent banquet halls, arenas, places of worship and stadiums, would be excluded.

Such assemblies on public or privately owned property would be regulated through a permit process; the application would be reviewed by town department heads and the Town Council would consider it at a public meeting. Application fee for an event of less than 1,000 people is $100.

Permit review would consider sewage, garbage, traffic control, lighting, security, food service, sound control and an emergency evacuation plan among other areas.

In related business, action on an updated solicitation/peddlers ordinance again was continued, as was adoption of guidelines for personal use of town police cars by officers.

A letter from Steve Rohe, Duneland Schools director of Safety and Security, was read aloud commending the Burns Harbor Police Department and officers Mike Heckman and Craig Barnes for their help in dealing with a juvenile resident in need of assistance. The council added its appreciation.

It was announced the town picnic is slated for Aug. 28 and council member Toni Biancardi can be contacted to volunteer or make a donation. Big garbage day will be May 19, and Burns Harbor residents may pick up applications at the town hall or Chesterton High School for town-sponsored educational scholarships to be awarded.

Building commissioner/fire chief Bill Arney said he strongly has urged better cooperation from representatives of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and Porter County Hazmat after they responded to a call-out at Roger’s Repair but neither agency notified him.

Arney also said he’s been assured --- again --- that large piles of broken concrete will be removed from the former Standard Plaza truck stop on U.S. 20 by the bank handling the property. Additional environmental sampling is planned.

The Fire Department responded to 17 emergency calls in April spending 9 hours and 23 minutes on-scene. Over five nights firefighters spent 80 man-hours on training, logged 96 duty hours during the month and vehicles traveled 839 miles. The department will conduct a Fill the Boot campaign this weekend to benefit the Hoosier Burn Camp.

Town marshal Jerry Price said his department responded to 430 calls to service in April as well as five vehicle accidents, one resulting in personal injury. Of three arrests two were misdemeanors and one a felony. Thirty-one tickets were issued and 62 written and verbal warnings given. Police vehicles traveled 5,981 miles.

Arney said the Fire Department, in cooperation with the Park Department, is planning a two-day children’s Fire Camp in July for two age groups.

Park Board member Clark Hamilton acknowledged the Kiwanis Club’s $300 donation to town parks, and he said the Park Department’s new classes are well attended. The first session of Art Camp is full. The board is still looking at adding a dog exercise area at Lakeland Park and a slide into Harbor Lake.

Hamilton thanked town General Maintenance supervisor Randy Skalku for busting up and removing an unused tennis court at Lakeland. The asphalt slabs are at the Street Garage and Skalku said he’s working on finding a disposal site. The gravel sub-base from the courts will be recycled for other uses.



Posted 5/12/2011