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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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