Chesterton Tribune

Motorized vehicles are prohibited on Prairie Duneland trail

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By KEVIN NEVERS

The sound of bird song along the Prairie Duneland Trail is one sure sign of spring. So, unfortunately, is the roar of mopeds, ATVs, and motorcycles along the trail.

At the Chesterton Town Council’s meeting Monday, Park Superintendent Bruce Mathias reminded Dunelanders that motorized vehicles are flatly prohibited on the trail.

“We’re starting to see folks zipping across and using it as a shortcut,” Mathias said. “That’s a no-no.”

From the Streets

In other business, members voted 4-0 to authorize Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg to get quotes for the design and construction management of a much-discussed enlargement of the Street Department facilities at 609 Grant Ave.: an addition to the shop itself, which would roughly double its size; and a second salt building, which would have the same footprint as the existing one but at eight feet in height would be twice as tall.

Member Sharon Darnell, D-4th, was not in attendance.

By votes of 4-0, members also authorized Schnadenberg to pursue the lease-purchase acquisition of two vehicles: a used bucket truck, at an estimated cost of $50,000 to $60,000, to replace the 24-year-old model currently in service; and a new street sweeper, at an estimated cost of $130,000, to complement the 13-year-old sweeper now in the fleet.

Of the bucket truck, Schnadenberg observed that a model with a longer reach than the 38-foot one available on the existing vehicle would allow crews to reach taller branches and possibly save some money on tree-service contractors. Of the street sweeper, he observed that the old one--often in need of repair--is not capable of sweeping more than half the town in a single year.

Schnadenberg said that funds for both vehicles would probably come from his Local Roads & Streets budget.

Last week Schnadenberg asked the Stormwater Management Board to consider making the first two of five annual lease-purchase payments on a new street sweeper--the Street Department would make the final three, he said at the time--since street-sweeping is an important component of the MS4 program. The Stormwater Management Board took no action and advised Schnadenberg to provide more information.

On Monday, however, Member Jeff Trout, R-2nd, suggested that the Stormwater Utility bear the entire cost of acquiring a new street sweeper, since sweeping “is MS4 mandated.”

“I will certainly bring that idea back to them,” Schnadenberg replied.

Contract Awarded

Members voted 4-0 as well to award a contract to Quality Painting, in the amount of $1,746, for some interior work at the old New York Central passenger depot at 220 Broadway, where the Chesterton/Duneland Chamber of Commerce leases space from the town. Town Manager Bernie Doyle also has his office there.

Building Commissioner Mike Orlich said that around $4,800 remains of the $30,000 in CEDIT funds approved last year to renovate the building and that the exterior work has pretty much been completed.

Tax Abatement Renewed

On the recommendation of the Tax Abatement Advisory Committee, members voted 4-0 to renew the tax abatement for Starin Marketing. Starin is in the fourth year of a six-year abatement.

The committee found Starin to be in substantial compliance with its statement of benefits.

Poppy Drive

Members voted 4-0 to authorize VFW Post 2511 to hold its annual poppy drive on Friday, May 15, for the entire day and on Saturday, May 16, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

CPD

The Chesterton Police Department has responded to 715 calls so far in March and to 2,418 calls in the year-to-date, Police Chief George Nelson told the council.

 

Posted 3/24/2009