Chesterton Tribune

Town suggests county look elsewhere for recycling location

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The Recycling and Waste Reduction District of Porter County (RWRD) wants to place a recycling center—complete with seven boxes and a six-foot high buffering fence—on municipal property immediately east of the water tower next to the Chesterton Fire Department.

But the Town Council thinks the RWRD can find a better location, possibly at the North County Highway Garage. In any event, at their meeting Monday night, members urged RWRD Field Operations Coordinator Steven Dolak to find a site which might better serve the residents of unincorporated Duneland, since the residents of Chesterton already enjoy curbside recycling collection once a week. 

Why not locate your site more centrally at Sunset Hill Farm Park? asked Member Sharon Darnell, D-4th. 

Dolak replied that the results of a survey conducted at the former site, across the street from the town hall on property owned by Chesterton, showed that 75 percent of the users identified themselves as town residents. 

Yes, Clerk-Treasurer Gayle Polakowski noted, but residents of unincorporated Westchester, Jackson, or Liberty townships frequently identify themselves, unwittingly or otherwise, as residents of Chesterton. 

In a memo to the council, department heads recommended that RWRD investigate alternate sites for several reasons: 

•The bins do not fill a “significant need” for residents or businesses, while several local schools have recycling collections at frequent intervals. “There is no reason residents cannot support our local schools and participate in their programs,” the department heads stated. 

•Town employees “seasonally park” in the area being eyed by the RWRD. 

•An effort is being made to landscape and grass-seed that area. 

•Finally, the department heads stated, “we are concerned that recycling bins and all that goes with this enterprise will have an adverse effect on the locally owned businesses next to the area proposed for relocating these bins,” the department heads stated. 

Re: Frisking 

In other business, Bill Rensberger urged the council from the floor to enact an ordinance which would require police officers patting down or frisking female detainees to be female themselves. Citing the recent arrest of an unnamed woman of his acquaintance in another municipality—although not explicitly claiming that any impropriety had occurred—Rensberger  said that he was surprised to discover that there is no uniform standard operating procedure for area law enforcement agencies on the subject of frisking female detainees. 

“Half the population is female,” Rensberger said, and the town would be well advised to enact an ordinance which makes this accommodation for female detainees. 

Member Jim Ton, R-1st, advised Rensberger to broach the issue before the Police Commission, where any such SOP or ordinance would originate. 

Neighbor Dispute 

Also from the floor, Valparaiso resident Cathy Laughery asked the council to intervene in a dispute with the neighbor of her father, both of whom reside in the 200 block of South 14th Street. Laughery said that on Christmas the neighbor, Robert Karp, at least twice called the CPD to complain that she and other of her father’s guests were parking on his lawn. 

It may be his lawn, Laughery said, but its town right-of-way and she has a right to park on it. 

Without denying that Laughery may have a legal right to park there, members ventured that perhaps something like common courtesy would suggest that parking on someone’s lawn—and sometimes leaving ruts on it—is not altogether a neighborly thing to do. 

 In any case, members took the matter under advisement and told Laughery that they would revisit it, possibly at their next meeting on Jan. 26.


Posted 1/13/2009