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
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.”
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
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
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
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