Chesterton Tribune

Town awards $1.9 million contract for 15 St. municipal building

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Folks interested in the looks of the new Chesterton municipal facility at 116 N. 15th Street can take a pre-construction peek at an artist’s rendering now on display in the meeting room of the town hall.

So Town Manager Bernie Doyle announced at Monday’s meeting of the Town Council.

That facility, when completed, will house the Town Manager and Engineer, the Stormwater Utility and MS4 function, the Street Department and Central Services, the Building Department, the Sanitary Utility, and the Parks and Recreation Department, yielding--according to an accompanying fact sheet--“greater departmental savings of expenses for rent, utilities, supplies” as well as “enhanced team communications for greater efficiency of operation.”

For residents, the fact sheet announces, the advantage will be “one-stop shopping by grouping most municipal services in one centrally located building.”

In particular, the facility will “accommodate an expanding Street Department which has reached the limit of space needed for daily operation.” The old Street Department headquarters at 609 Grant Ave. will not go to waste, however. In that building the Sanitary Utility’s collections crew will set up shop.

In related business, members voted 4-0 to award the contract for the new building to low bidder Bergland Construction of Chesterton for a contract price of $1,900,250, which includes two alternate bids: a deduction of $12,000 for the elimination from the specs of a center row of columns in the main garage bay; and the addition of $4,250 for the installation of acoustic batting in the office areas.

President Jeff Trout, R-2nd, was not in attendance.

The new building is being funded with a general obligation bond issue somewhat under $2 million.

Meanwhile, work is proceeding on Phase I of the project: the construction by The Ross Group of a street salt storage building on the property and a cold storage building for vehicles and equipment not currently in seasonal use.

By votes of 4-0 members agreed to approve a change order for Phase I, pending legal review, which would add $672 to the contract price $619,680, for increasing the size of the footings; and to make a first payment to The Ross Group of $9,885.70.

Phase I is being funded with Major Move moneys provided by the State of Indiana.

The facility is being constructed on the old United Tractor property, which the company closed in 1999. In 2005 the Utility purchased the site for $375,000, with the idea of retrofitting it for municipal use. Last year, though, it became apparent that renovation would be prohibitively expensive, so the decision was made to raze it all and build from scratch.

Ind. 49 Utility Corridor

Meanwhile, Member Sharon Darnell, D-4th, took a moment at the end of the meet to re-assert the town’s interest in developing the so-called Ind. 49 corridor project, which would extend utilities as far south into Liberty Township as U.S. Highway 6.

This, despite Porter hospital’s recent announcement that its new facility at Ind. 49 and U.S. 6 will be flowing its wastewater through the Damon Run Conservancy en route to the City of Portage treatment plant.

That, despite the Chesterton Utility’s courtship of Porter hospital for the last couple of years.

“I still feel that it’s in the interest of the town to pursue this project,” Darnell said. “For the future of Chesterton we will pursue it and continue to seek funding for it.”


Member Nick Walding, R-3rd, for his part congratulated the Town of Porter and the Chesterton/Duneland Chamber of Commerce for again this year taking the lead in arranging the fireworks extravaganza off the Indiana Dunes State Park beach.

July 4 Parade?

Member Jim Ton, R-1st, on the other hand, volunteered to make himself available for liaison should any community group wish to organize an Independence Day parade next year. “Just a simple parade,” he said. “No carnival. No fireworks. There’s nothing like standing on a sidewalk and watching marching bands and fire trucks.”

The council would be happy to allow any group interested in pursuing a parade to use the town hall’s meeting room.


Ton also expressed his condolences to Clerk-Treasurer Gayle Polakowski on the death of her mother, Virginia Adams Maguire Bateman, who passed at the age of 89.


Member Emerson DeLaney, R-5th, had a couple of shout-outs on Monday: one to Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg, who just marked his 25th year in the position and his 28th year of service to the town; and to former member John Kosmatka, who is spending the summer in town after finishing his most recent posting abroad in Riga, Latvia.


Posted 7/13/2010