Chesterton Tribune



Special Burns Harbor council meeting Tuesday for insurance increase, Wesport offer

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The Burns Harbor Town Council as well as the town Sanitary Board both meet Tuesday at the town hall.

The Sanitary Board’s 6 p.m. agenda contains routine matters, but the special 7 p.m. council meeting will deal with an anticipated 10.5 percent renewal increase in the town’s Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance package for employees.

The town’s insurance administrator has been invited to explain various options.

At approximately 7:30 p.m. directors of the Westport Community Club will be present to discuss a possible transfer of its building and vacant acreage at 1237 Westport Rd. to the town.

The 59-year-old club has disbanded due to a lack of cash flow and wants to give its assets to the town for use by the Burns Harbor Park Department. Hanging over the negotiations is a property-tax bill that will have to be resolved.

The council conducted its regular monthly meeting last week; no one remonstrated at a public hearing so the council appropriated $13,431 from the Park Fund to finance purchase of a new mower. The price includes a $1,500 trade-in, but the Street Department will take the mower instead and the park will be reimbursed.

Park Board president Marcus Rogala said Lakeland Park will open for the season May 25 for Memorial Day weekend with a full slate of activities planned this summer. The council voted 5-0 that if a pile of gravel and dirt at Lakeland isn’t taken by May 12, a contractor can be hired to remove it.

Clerk-treasurer Jane Jordan said American Tower Corp. has offered the town $25,000 to extend a multi-year lease for a cellular tower it owns that’s located on town property west of the Police Department.

Burns Harbor receives $11,902 annually under the current agreement, which Jordan said appears to go until 2023. ATC wants a potentially 50-year lease. The council took no action.

The lease income is used to fund scholarships for town residents who continue their education. Scholarship applications are due at the town hall June 30.

Street Department superintendent Randy Skalku announced brush/tree limb pickup will begin May 6 and take place on the first and third Mondays of the month. Tree limbs cannot be larger than 6 inches in diameter; branches should be pre-cut to no longer than 6 feet in length. Leaves should not be included in the pickup.

All materials to be taken shall be placed on the town’s right-of-way close to the edge of the pavement. If a storm/high winds occur, an additional pickup will be scheduled. Also, the town’s spring large-garbage day will take place May 23 when oversize items can be set out.

Fire chief Bill Arney said the Fire Department is participating in a FEMA grant with several departments and Porter County to replace portable fire radios so they’ll conform to new upgrade guidelines that enhance inter-departmental communication and eliminate dead spots.

In March, town firefighters responded to 22 calls and spent 9 hours 28 minutes on emergency scenes in addition to training/duty hours. Fire vehicles traveled 861 miles.

As building commissioner, Arney said a demolition permit was issued to remove an unsafe building at 1252 Westport Rd.

Town marshal Mike Heckman reported his officers responded to 417 incidents last month including 13 crashes with two resulting in personal injury. Heckman blamed weather for about half the accidents. In all 10 arrests were made and 81 tickets issued; police vehicles traveled 8,890 miles.

The council adopted a resolution recognizing April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.



Posted 4/15/2013