Chesterton Tribune

TIF board wonders: What next on South Calumet Road

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By KEVIN NEVERS

The South Calumet District is done.

As the southern gateway into the Town of Chesterton, it looks pretty darn nice, with its landscaping and signage. Motorists are accustomed now to the new traffic patterns. And the Redevelopment Commission has every reason to be pleased with the project.

The question now: what next?

In fact, the commission asked that same question just about a year ago but ended up back-burnering it as members became heavily involved in 2011 with the Ind. 49 utility corridor: the installation of sanitary sewer, stormwater, water, and fiber optic infrastructure along Ind. 49 south of the Indiana Toll Road to open commercial development there.

But Member Ed Schoenfelt doesn’t want to lose sight of the continued improvement of South Calumet Road north of the District, and at the commission’s meeting Monday night made a point of broaching the issue. “I am interested in pursuing that,” he said.

As are his colleagues. “Maybe it’s time to start moving on that again,” remarked Member Jim Ton. “I know I consider (South Calumet Road) to be a vital link between the Downtown and the South Calumet District.

“Now is the time to start thinking about that, with winter coming,” Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg agreed.

The challenge: what opportunities are there to spruce up South Calumet Road?

Members have discussed the possible alignment of its intersection with Porter Ave., although they agree that right-of-way issues make that particular project difficult.

Schnadenberg, for his part, wouldn’t mind seeing the extension of decorative streetlighting at intervals between the Downtown and the South Calumet District but added that he doesn’t want a continuous string of such lights. “We have to maintain everything we put in,” Schnadenberg said.

“We need something innovative, some out-of-the-box thinking,” Ton concluded.

By consensus the commission asked Town Engineer Mark O’Dell to prepare a preliminary list of possible projects and cost estimates for its December meeting.

In the meantime, members said that they would think about giving an appropriate name to the project, inasmuch as “South Calumet District” is already taken.

Ind. 49 Corridor

In other business, O’Dell reported that contracted Ind. 49 corridor consultant Jeff Ban of DVG Inc. is right now working on obtaining utility easements from parcel owners on both sides of Ind. 49.

Member Jeff Trout added that the commission will soon be making contact with Porter County officials about Phase II of the utility corridor, in which infrastructure would be installed from the Town of Chesterton’s southernmost corporate limit to U.S. Highway 6 in unincorporated Liberty Township.

Claims

Members voted 4-0 to approve two claims, both related to the Ind. 49 utility corridor: $22,753 from DVG Inc.; and $3,513.99 from SEH of Indiana.

Member Mark Singer was not in attendance.

 

 

Posted 10/27/2011