The dead of winter is a strange time for infrastructure projects but
Indiana-American Water Company (IAWC) will begin one anyway on South Jackson
Blvd. in the next two weeks.
As Chesterton Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg told the Town Council at
its meeting Monday night, IAWC will be replacing a frequently failing 4-inch
line with an 8-inch line along South Jackson Blvd. between West Morgan Ave.
and West Porter Ave.
The project will not entail road cuts, Schnadenberg said, as the water line
is located in an easement off the street.
IAWC will be responsible for notifying residents of the construction
In other news from the Street Department, Schnadenberg told the council that
the Fifth Street sidewalk project should be ready for bidding in February.
That sidewalk will be installed along the west side of Fifth Street between
1100N and Hunters Court at an estimated cost of $75,000 in CEDIT funds.
Search for Super
Meanwhile, Interim Utility Superintendent Mark O’Dell reported that the
Utility Service Board now has a short list of five candidates plus one
alternate and is working to schedule interviews with them.
Police Commission Member
Five persons have applied for the seat on the Police Commission vacated
earlier this month by Steve Brickner’s resignation, Clerk-Treasurer Gayle
The council indicated its desire to interview the five as soon as possible
and seat a candidate so that a full three-member commission can begin
seeking a replacement for Police Chief George Nelson, who will step down
from that position as soon as the commission taps a successor.
Members voted 5-0 to approve a contract with the Lakeshore Bone & Joint
Institute under which LBJI will extend discounts to municipal employees so
long as the town pays promptly.
LBJI left the PPO network in November 2009 and as a result the costs
incurred by both the town and employees who use it services have increased.
As Mike Anton of Anton Insurance Agency explained, employees will now be
treated as though they are in network.
LBJI is “very happy to provide this arrangement to the town,” Anton said.
“It’s an arrangement they would extend to a public entity only.”
Members also voted 5-0 to authorize department heads to use funds from their
budgets to pay the annual dues to the professional organizations to which
they belong. Such organizations include the Indiana Street Commissoners
Association, the Indiana Fire Chiefs Association, the Indiana Association of
Chiefs of Police, and the American Society of Professional Engineers.
The list of organizations submitted to the council was slimmed considerably
compared to that in past years, after Member Jeff Trout, R-2nd, asked
department heads at the council’s last meeting to review the list and
discontinue their memberships in any organizations for which they were not
receiving full value.
Members voted 5-0 as well to authorize Fire Chief Mike Orlich to use $2,585
from the department’s training budget to send three firefighters to a
conference in Indianapolis in April.
The annual week-long event, always held in Indianapolis, is the country’s
largest fire instructors conference, Orlich said.
In response to a query from the Utility Service Board, Town Attorney Chuck
Lukmann said that he would confer with Building Commissioner Dave Novak
about the drafting of an ordinance or ordinances under which builders in
arrears on sanitary sewer fees would be forced to pay the balance before
they may renew their annual contractor’s license or apply for a building
By consensus members authorized the Ladies Auxiliary of Chesterton American
Legion Post 170 to hold its annual Poppy Days on May 7-8.
At Town Manager Bernie Doyle’s recommendation, members agreed to table until
their next meeting, Feb. 8, his request to put his administrative assistant
on full-time status, from her current 31 hours per week to 32. The assistant
would not receive a raise but Polakowski has estimated that her full-time
status could cost the town between $15,000 and $20,000 in benefits and PERF.
From the CFD
Engine 512 is technically out of service, Orlich reported, but could be used
in a pinch.
From the CPD
The Chesterton Police Department has responded to 523 calls so far in
January, Nelson reported.