Although the federal grant for a new fire station which the Chesterton Town
Council has authorized Fire Chief Mike Orlich to apply for does not require
a match of any kind, it certainly wouldn’t hurt the town’s chances to pony
up a match anyway.
So Orlich told the council at its meeting Monday night.
Orlich said that a 5-percent match--or around $100,000 for a $2 million
grant, which would probably be enough to cover everything, including
design--would earn the CFD a much higher eligibility score than no match at
Members agreed that a leverage of $100,000 to get $1.9 million is a good
investment and accordingly voted 5-0 to commit to a match of that amount
from CEDIT funds.
The new station would be built on a two-acre site donated to the town some
years ago by the Lake Erie Land Company, located on the west side of
Dickinson Road between 1100N and Rail Road.
Orlich has said that the Chesterton Fire Department would be able to staff
and outfit a new station with current manpower and vehicles.
Orlich made a point of emphasizing that the proposed station would be built
in addition to--and not as a replacement of--the existing one.
He added that $2 million would buy the design and the construction of the
facility, which Orlich envisions as having three bays, living quarters for
firefighters, and a small office space. The CFD’s vehicles and equipment
would be split between the two stations.
Orlich told the council at its last meeting that the CFD meets nearly every
priority of the grant program--being administered by the Federal Emergency
Management Agency--as established by the 2007 Service Evaluation of the
department presented to the council in April 2008. Together the geographical
and population growth of Chesterton have had the consequence of gradually
increasing the CFD’s response times, so that in 2006, for instance, it met
the National Fire Protection Association’s recommended response time only 46
percent of the time, while in 2007 it met that recommendation only 44
percent of the time.
Orlich did say that the property value of the two-acre site east of Ind. 49
cannot count toward the 5-percent match but that the fact of the town’s
ownership of that site should increase its eligibility score in the grant
In other business, members voted 5-0 to refer to department heads a petition
from the Town Standard requiring a sidewalk in front of all new
construction. Making the petition was Cliff Fleming, formerly a resident of
Wilson Street in Morgan Park, now of Burns Harbor.
Fleming told the council that several years ago he platted the minor
Creekview subdivision--consisting of three lots on three acres--on Wilson
Street, with the idea of eventually building three homes showcasing the
traditional neighborhood design concept which, at one time at least, was at
the heart of Coffee Creek Center.
But he only built one of the homes before getting involved in the Village at
Burns Harbor and sold that house to John and Brandon Kroft.
Although he did build a sidewalk in front of that home--partially on his own
property--Fleming said that he did so, again, to demonstrate the virtues of
traditional neighborhood design. But in fact there are no sidewalks on the
west side of Wilson Street all the way to East Porter Ave. and there never
The particular issue: under Town Code the sidewalk for that minor
subdivision must be built by the end of September, and Fleming is hoping
that the council is of a mind to relieve the Plan Commission of the
obligation of enforcing Town Code by granting a waiver from the Town
In other words, inquired Member Jim Ton, R-1st, you built that sidewalk more
for “aesthetic reasons” and partially on your own property?
Fleming agreed with that representation.
Members voted 5-0 to instruct the department heads to review the petition
and asked Fleming to provide drawings of the site.
Garbage in the
President Emerson DeLaney, R-5th, took a moment at the end of the meeting to
ask the Chesterton/Duneland Chamber of Commerce to have a chat with the
vendors at the European Market about stuffing their garbage in the cans in
Thomas Centennial Park.
By the time that Cruise Night starts at 5 p.m., DeLaney said, the park
garbage cans are already stuffed and it’s not right that the Parks and
Recreation Department should have to empty cans of trash generated by an
event sponsored by the Chamber.
Gayle Polakowski reminded the council of the second annual “Celebration of
Freedom” program at 2 p.m. on Sunday at the Chesterton High School
auditorium, sponsored by the First Christian Church of Chesterton to honor
veterans, police officers, and firefighters.
To be remembered
at the ceremony will be the late Warren “Skip” Highwood and Jim Branham,
both of whom devoted their lives to the fire service in Duneland.