Chesterton Tribune



Santa to visit Lakeland; year end Burns Harbor transfers and 2014 salaries approved

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Westport Community Club used to host a children’s Christmas party there, but the club has disbanded.

The Burns Harbor Park Department is carrying on the popular tradition by hosting Santa at Lakeland Park Dec. 21. Santa will arrive on a fire truck and the festivities take place from 1 to 3 p.m.

Park Board member Marcus Rogala also said registration is closed for a children’s Christmas craft camp this month, but new art-themed interactive classes will be offered in January and February.

Rogala announced June 28 has been set for the Park Department’s 5K and kids’ race.

In other business at Wednesday’s Town Council meeting, street superintendent Randy Skalku asked that subdivision residents not park directly across from each other on streets; otherwise, plows can’t always get through so that area will be left unplowed, he said.

Town marshal Mike Heckman said the Police Department had 232 incidents in November and six crashes, four resulting in property damage and two in personal injury. Twenty tickets were issued last month.

The Fire Department had 51 calls in November resulting in 34 hours 27 minutes at the scene of emergencies.

The council voted under suspension of the rules to adopt a 2014 salary ordinance giving full-time employees including elected clerk-treasurer Jane Jordan 2.6 percent raises. Also adopted was a Park Department salary schedule. The new rates take effect Jan. 1. Full-time employees also receive$100 per year longevity compensation.

Council members will be paid $4,000 annually; clerk-treasurer $1,976 bi-weekly; town marshal $26.43 per hour; GM/Street Superintendent $26.18 per hour; building commissioner $8,210 per year; fire chief $12,980 per year; Fire Department secretary $7,000 per year; and the Sanitation/Stormwater superintendent $26.18 per hour from the Sanitation Fund.

The Plan Commission secretary will receive $5,000 per year based on 12 meetings annually and $200 for each special meeting; Board of Zoning Appeals secretary $2,000 per year; and Sanitation/Stormwater Boards secretary $1,200 per year paid from the Sanitation Fund.

Plan Commission members will be paid $500 each, BZA members $500 each, and Park Board members $400 each, all per year. The park director will be paid $14,988 per year and a $60 per month cellular telephone allowance.

The rates for various hourly and part-time/seasonal employees in all town departments were set. Jordan said the town received notice that its proposed 2014 budget was approved as submitted and the municipal tax rate decreased to $0.3513 per each $100 of assessed valuation.

The meeting opened with no one commenting during a public hearing on additional appropriations for 2013 to spend money from police grant funds and park operating funds. The appropriations, a year-end Street Department transfer and authorization for Jordan to move money within departments to cover year-end bills all were approved.

Two 2014 contracts OK’d Wednesday were a renewal of the town’s agreements with the Burns Harbor Fire Department and with fire chief Bill Arney.

During public comment Rogala asked about the status of a preliminary green-development plan consultant Weaver Boos is preparing. The firm was hired Aug. 14 by the Town Council to suggest ways to jump-start projects in the comprehensive n, help secure grants and identify corporate partnerships.

Council member Greg Miller said town representatives met twice with Weaver Boos brainstorming. Jordan said about $900 has been paid to the firm; up to $10,000 is authorized.


Posted 12/13/2013