Indiana American Water is hiking its monthly hydrant maintenance fee, and
Burns Harbor officials don’t believe the town’s $60,000 annual appropriation
for that expense will be enough.
Clerk-treasurer Jane Jordan said as of June 31 a total $33,500 already has
been spent. The IAW monthly cost per hydrant will increase from $52 to about
Town building commissioner and fire chief Bill Arney said with all the
development going on in town, additional hydrants are being added. Jordan
noted Burns Harbor is one of the few communities in Indiana that doesn’t
pass along the cost of the hydrant fee to its residents; the town doesn’t
have a user fee for garbage collection either. In other business at the
recent monthly Town Council meeting, members gave approval to Andrew Prater
of Phantom Fireworks to set off a public fireworks show at Lakeland Park
later this month. Prater said the event might be coupled with a fundraiser.
The 5-0 vote was contingent on Prater providing insurance coverage and
liability waivers in a form approved by the town attorney, and on the town
Park Board and State Fire Marshal giving the show a green light.
The Park Board also was asked to review proposals the council received for
adding a waterline, drinking fountain and landscape plantings at Bolinger
Park in Harbor Trails subdivision as a memorial to the late long-time Town
Council member Richard Bolinger.
The council heard a presentation from Therese Davis, executive director of
the Porter County Recycling & Waste Reduction District, who described its
mission of education, hazardous waste collection, organic composting and
electronics recycling in addition to other activities and events.
Councilman Mike Perrine asked if the RWRD is trying to secure a north-county
compost site so Burns Harbor has a place to take its residents’ yard waste
and leaves. Davis said it’s not on the front burner at this time, but the
town can talk to Valparaiso and Portage about Burns Harbor access to their
In other business:
• Jordan said no mosquito spraying has taken place this year because no one
has complained about mosquitoes being a problem.
• Street Superintendent Randy Skalku said a damaged guard rail on Verplank
Drive has been replaced, and the council OK’d a $1,185 proposal from Ellis
Electric to locate two outdoor outlets on the town hall exterior. A
telephone in the town hall front vestibule now connects to an operator who
will contact Burns Harbor police after hours.
• Arney said during June the Fire Department responded to 32 calls spending
18 hours 52 minutes at emergency scenes including 15 assists to EMS, five
water rescues, three open burns and two vehicle accidents. Firefighters
spent 74 hours training and 20 duty hours on station last month, and fire
vehicles traveled 460 miles.
• Arney also said 51 children have signed up for the department’s Fire Day
Camp July 24 and 25. “We’re glad it’s a hit.”
• Town marshal Mike Heckman said his officers responded to 591 calls in
June, investigated five vehicle crashes resulting in property damage, made
16 arrests (four felonies, 12 misdemeanors), wrote 72 tickets and 121 verbal
and written warnings, and police vehicles traveled 7,759 miles.
• The council set a 2013 budget workshop, open to the public, for 6 p.m.
July 31. Jordan said a 2.8 percent increase tentatively has been proposed by
state tax officials.