The Chesterton Tree Board, seeking to increase the number of street trees
planted in public rights-of-way, is offering residents a pretty good deal.
For a fee of only $75, the Street Department will purchase and plant a six-
to 12-foot tree in the right-of-way in front of a resident’s home—generally
the strip of grass between street and sidewalk—in exchange for which the
resident agrees to water and maintain the tree. The Street Department will
also ensure that all necessary utility locates are done prior to planting.
Tree Board President Nate Orsborn presented the plan at the Town Council’s
meeting Monday night. Members promptly vote 4-0 to greenlight it. Member
Sharon Darnell, D-4th, was not in attendance.
Although the Street Department’s “out-of-pocket expense is really pretty
minimal,” Orsborn noted, crews will expend a certain amount of man-hour
time, and for that reason the number of applications which the Street
Department will accept will be limited annually.
“It’s a win-win for residents and the town,” Orsborn said.
“This type of program really works out well in other communities,” Street
Commissioner John Schnadenberg said. “I applaud the Tree Board for pursuing
Of the application itself, Member Jim Ton, R-1st, said. “I think the
obligations are laid out very clearly and it’s very well written.”
Applications should be available soon from the Street Department at the
municipal complex at 1490 Broadway.
In other business, members voted 4-0 to renew for another year the
Chesterton/Duneland Chamber of Commerce’s lease of the old New York Central
passenger depot at 220 Broadway.
The monthly rental: $1,700, which Town Attorney Chuck Lukmann described as
being at the “lower end” of the market range but still well within the ball
The Chamber takes “very good care” of the building, Ton observed. “I
wouldn’t want to see it go on the market to someone who wouldn’t take care
of it or maintain its historical integrity,” he said.
Meanwhile, at Town Manager Bernie Doyle’s request, members voted 4-0 to
authorize the hiring during the Christmas season of an intern who worked for
the town over the summer.
The intern will earn around $1,200 in CEDIT moneys during her Christmas
break for helping Clerk-Treasurer Gayle Polakowski scan documents.