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