Chesterton Tribune

Council greenlights stormwater bond issue pending public hearing Dec. 12

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The Chesterton Town Council positioned itself at its meeting Monday night to issue up to $1 million in stormwater bonds, pending a public hearing on the sale later this month.

Members voted 5-0 to approve on first reading an ordinance which authorizes the sale of the bond, 5-0 to suspend the rules, then 5-0 to approve the ordinance on final reading.

At 6:15 p.m. Monday, Dec. 12, the Stormwater Management Board will hold a public hearing on the proposed bond issue.

Including soft costs like consultant and legal fees, the total cost of the projects to be financed though the issue will not exceed $1 million. Nor will the issue affect property-tax rates, Associate Town Attorney Chuck Parkinson has said, since payments on the proposed issue will simply replace those only just completed on the 2000 stormwater bond issue. That latter issue financed several large-scale drainage projects, including one on 21st Street and another on Wabash Ave.

There are 16 projects on the bond list. The top five in order of priority:

•The clearing of the Lincoln Street storm basin in the area of 23rd Street. Cost: $75,000.

•The construction of a stormwater lift station in the alley behind Val’s Pizza to drain the lowest area in town during heavy rains. Cost: $125,000.

•The construction of a second lift station in an alley off 11th Street just north of West Porter Ave. Cost: $125,000.

•Drainage work in the Western Acres subdivision: Cost: $75,000.

•Drainage work to alleviate flooding on 11th Street in the area of Chesterton High School. Cost: undetermined and dependent on the engineering solution.

The total estimated cost so far of all 16 projects: $1,182,500, or $182,500 more than the maximum amount of the issue. Town Engineer Mark O’Dell has said that as many projects will be completed as possible under the issue but not all the projects on the list.

Holiday Inn Express

In other business, members voted 5-0 to approve on first reading the planned unit development ordinance which governs the Indian Oak Mall, 5-0 to suspend the rules, then 5-0 to approve the amended PUD on final reading.

Those amendments were requested by Cosmos Hospitality LLC, developer of a proposed Holiday Inn Express at Indian Oak at the southwest corner of Indian Boundary Road and Ind. 49. The amendments requested were chiefly for signage: one, for example, would allow a 46-foot freestanding sign, 28 feet taller than permitted by the Zoning Ordinance; another, a gross surface area on the two-sided sign of 318 square feet, 198 square feet more than permitted by the Zoning Ordinance.

Members also voted 5-0 to approve on first reading an ordinance which vacates two easements on the property in question, 5-0 to suspend the rules, then 5-0 to approve the vacation on final reading.

Dr. Jamil Ahmed of Chesterton, a Cosmos principal, has said that the Holiday Inn Express will create 25 to 30 jobs. Occupancy is tentatively slated for 2013.



Posted 12/7/2011