Chesterton Tribune                                                                                   Adv.

15th Street municipal facility could be occupied by April 30

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By KEVIN NEVERS

The new furniture for the Town of Chesterton’s 15th Street municipal facility is due to arrive on April 27.

That means that occupation of the building can take place almost any time after.

So reported Building Inspector Ed Surgener at Monday’s Town Council meeting.

In related business, members voted 4-0 to approve a contract with CC Technologies of Chesterton to install a new server at the facility. Set-up fee: $60; monthly fee, $95. That’s a saving of around $140 a month, Town Attorney Chuck Lukmann noted. At that rate “it will pay for itself in a year,” he said.

Member Jim Ton, R-1st, was not in attendance.

In somewhat related business, members also agreed by consensus, at the request of Porter County Voter Registration, to authorize the use of the meeting room for the municipal primary election on Tuesday, May 3—only five days after the furniture arrives at the 15th Street facility. With a little luck, it might be possible in those five days to re-locate both the Utility Billing Department and the Building Department—currently located in the meeting room, after a flood of the Clerk-Treasurer’s Office earlier this winter—into their new homes on 15th Street.

Should it prove impossible, Clerk-Treasurer Gayle Polakowski said after the meeting, temporary sites elsewhere at town hall will be found for the two departments on May 3, to make room for voting.

The 15th Street municipal facility actually is comprised of three buildings: the main facility, a road-salt storage facility, and a cold-storage facility for vehicles and equipment not in seasonal use. The main facility will serve as HQ for the Street, Engineering, Building, Utility Billing, and Parks and Recreation departments, the Stormwater Utility, and the Town Manager’s Office. Moving to the old Street Department facility at 609 Grant Ave. will be the Utility’s collection crews and their gear.

Total cost of the project: $2.615 million, funded by a general obligation bond somewhat under $2 million and the balance by state moneys.

“I think it’s a great facility,” said Member Nick Walding, R-3rd. “It’ll open up that part of town and bring all the department heads together.”

Downtown Restroom

Meanwhile, Town Engineer Mark O’Dell reported that he is currently in discussion with Indiana-American Water Company about the possibility of extending—from the new water main right now being installed along the east side of South Calumet Road south of the Norfolk Southern grade-crossing—a water line west past the curb which could be used to service the free-standing public restroom facility planned for Thomas Centennial park.

The idea behind the extension of a water line would be to avoid the necessity, at some future date, of re-excavating the site—and road-cutting what will be a freshly re-paved surface—should the council opt to connect the new restroom facility to Indiana-American’s new water main, O’Dell said.

Plans are also being made to stub off a sanitary line from the sewer along South Calumet Road due to be replaced which could also service the new restroom facility.

At this point, however, the council could still decide to connect the restroom to the utilities already serving the former New York Central passenger depot at 220 Broadway.

A Vacation on 22nd Street

Members voted 4-0 to approve on first reading an ordinance vacating a portion of unimproved Park Ave., 4-0 to suspend the rules, then 4-0 to approve the ordinance on final reading.

John Fanzo had requested the vacation of that unimproved portion of Park Ave. between the 600 and 700 blocks of 22nd Street. Fanzo told the council that he has been maintaining the property for some years now and would like to garden it.

The unimproved portions of Park Ave. immediately east of 22nd Street—on either side of South 21st Street—have already been vacated.

At a public hearing prior to the vote, no one spoke in favor of the vacation and no one in opposition to it.

A Waiver of Town Standards

Members also voted 4-0 to grant the petition of Laura and Gerard Pannekoek for a waiver of the Town Standard requiring a six-foot setback between driveway and property line.

The Pannekoeks told the council that, when their home in the 1550 block of Sand Creek Drive was built in 1995, the builder installed a “funny shaped driveway” only three feet at the top from the property line. Subsequent to that, the town codified the six-foot driveway setback as a Town Standard. Now the Pannekoeks want to straighten the driveway and replace its asphalt surface with concrete but cannot do so without the waiver.

Members granted the petition contingent on the receipt of a letter from the Architectural Control Committee of the Estates of Sand Creek endorsing the new driveway.

 

 

Posted 4/12/2011

 

 

 

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