Chesterton Tribune



Public asked to suggest potential Westport uses

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The Burns Harbor Town Council and the town’s Park Board will meet jointly Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the town hall to discuss potential future uses for the former Westport Community Club.

The meeting is open to the public and according to a town press release, all residents are encouraged to attend.

The council voted 5-0 last week to accept Westport’s donation of 4.7 total acres at the northeast corner of Indiana 149 and Haglund Road, and to have council president Jim McGee execute the necessary legal documents with the town paying all transaction costs.

An update on the status of the acquisition will be given Wednesday.

An agreement between the club’s board of directors and the town stipulates Westport will be used for park and community purposes but if the town sells it in the future, 50 percent of the proceeds will go to the Burns Harbor Park Board.

Initially Westport representatives wanted the Park Board to administer the property but last week McGee said the Town Council is in complete control at this time.

The council release states the community club was established in 1954 prior to the town’s incorporation when the Boo Family dedicated the site for the purposes of public gathering and fostering a sense of community.

However, club officers and directors have stated in recent months that it became apparent Westport no longer financially could cover its operating costs and they asked the town to take over the property.

Council members have said they prefer the town has jurisdiction over the community building parcel and vacant 3.8 acres rather than a private buyer.

The Chesterton Pop Warner football league has approached the council seeking a long-term lease to use the site for a permanent home for the youth group; Pop Warner also offered to help renovate the dated community building and upgrade the site with football fields and improved parking.

Spokesman Tom Troy said the league has been waiting for the town to accept Westport before making a formal presentation to the council.



Posted 6/17/2013