Chesterton Tribune

Service will allow town officials to notify folks in an emergency

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Beginning next year, the Town of Chesterton will have the capacity to notify residents—the whole town or just a targeted neighborhood—of any developing emergency.

At its meeting Monday night, the Town Council voted 5-0, at Town Manager Bernie Doyle’s recommendation, to enter into a $2,400 contract with Global Connect to establish an emergency contact service.

That web-based voice messaging service will enable officials to notify folks in the event of virtually any conceivable emergency, Doyle said: train derailments, evacuations, large-scale fires, storm events, road closures or detours as the result of traffic accidents, missing children, and boil orders.

The service has the capability to notify all households in the town—through Global Connect’s access to data bases, Doyle said—or just the residents of a particular street or block.

Doyle added that the Town of Porter will be entering into a similar contract with Global Connect. “Emergencies don’t stop at the train tracks,” he noted.

Global Connect is based in Mays Landing, N.J. From its website: “From storms that threaten the coastline to uncontrollable forest fires, some crises hit a certain geographical region harder than others. In those cases, you can take advantage of Global Connect’s mapping capability to create a customized list of call recipients using your map. Simply select the area affected by the emergency at hand and the system will develop the list of telephone numbers for the residents in that area.”

Doyle said that the system will only be used in the event of an emergency.

New Exterior Lighting

at Town Hall

In other business, members voted 5-0 to approve—at Fire Chief Mike Orlich’s recommendation—an expenditure of $6,160 in CEDIT funds to replace all exterior and security lighting at the town hall complex.

Orlich noted that the lighting is original to the building, is unreliable, and has proved costly to maintain. The new lighting will be LED, he said, and over time will save a bundle in both maintenance and consumption expense.

“We will look fresh and secure,” said President Sharon Darnell, D-4th.

Vacs Declared Surplus

At Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg’s request, members also voted 5-0 to declare two old leaf vacuums surplus, one of them a 1994 American Roads model, the other a 1996 model. Both will be replaced next year through the Street Department’s budget.

Schnadenberg asked the council as well to approve—in advance of next year’s regular town auction—a sealed bid auction of the two vacs and of two dump trucks previously declared surplus. The council did so by unanimous vote. Schnadenberg is hoping to be rid of the equipment and clear space in the Street Department bay.

CPD Holidays

Meanwhile, at Police Chief Dave Cincoski’s request, members voted 5-0 to amend the Personnel Policy to give all CPD shift workers the actual day of a holiday off, if that holiday falls on the weekend.

That is, should Christmas fall on a Saturday, most municipal employees take off Friday; if it falls on a Sunday, they take off Monday. The only exception: firefighters, who take off the actual holiday itself.

Now, under the amended Personnel Policy, CPD officers and dispatchers who work shifts will also take off the actual holiday.

Donation to Food Pantry

At the end of the meeting, Darnell took a moment to thank employees who attended Saturday’s town Christmas party and to say that the proceeds of a raffle at the party—$240—were donated to the Westchester Neighbors Food Pantry.



Posted 12/6/2011