Chesterton Tribune



Westport Community Club dissolves; Burns Harbor may acquire property

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When it meets Wednesday at 7 p.m., the Burns Harbor Town Council will discuss possibly acquiring the Westport Community Club property at the northeast corner of Westport and Haglund roads.

It appears the town may be able to do so at no cost.

According to council president Jim McGee, who also has served on the club’s executive board, the long-time club has dissolved and appointed a committee to handle transfer of the property.

McGee said the Westport building needs updating, but it’s not feasible for the club to undertake. “With the economy and new halls being built, financially they can’t support it any more.”

The Boo Family donated the Westport site in 1954 for community use, said McGee, so it may be possible for the town to assume responsibility for the property.

He said the council may want to schedule a special meeting to seek community input regarding the acquisition, and to explain the town’s options for the parcel including a possible joint venture with the Burns Harbor Park Department and a local youth sports organization.

The Westport parcel, which includes a small parking lot, adjoins a larger, vacant tract to the east owned by Duneland School Corp.

Also Wednesday, the council will continue discussion regarding a tax-abatement request from Indiana Flame Services, an independent contractor that plans to upgrade and expand its operations at steelmaker ArcelorMittal. Last month the local IFS attorney and the town’s financial consultant laid out possible scenarios of how the abatement could be structured. A public hearing and final vote could take place May 8.

In other action, tomorrow the council wants to hear what neighbors think of re-opening the town gun range on Navajo Trail west of the Street Department for exclusive use by Burns Harbor police.

The range, at the time used by several law-enforcement agencies and departments, was closed last year after complaints about the noise it generated.

A public hearing will take place on an additional appropriation for the Park Department, the longstanding issue of how to get rid of a dirt pile at Lakeland Park will be addressed, and an ordinance pertaining to water shut-off procedure will be considered

A lease-agreement extension with American Tower Corp. is listed. Department heads will report, and the public may comment about other matters at the meeting’s conclusion.



Posted 4/9/2013