Chesterton Tribune



Boxcar and caboose could be on site in Thomas Park June 30

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The boxcar restroom and caboose comfort station could be on site at Thomas Centennial Park on Saturday, June 30.

That, at any rate, is the target date, Chesterton Town Engineer Mark O’Dell reported to the Park Board at its meeting Tuesday night.

To that end, the board voted unanimously to enter into a contract with trucking firm Schlatter’s Inc., at a cost not to exceed $10,000, to transport the two train cars from Michigan City--where Preferred Contractor Services Co. is currently re-finishing them--to Thomas Park. Schlatter’s previously transported the boxcar to Michigan City from Orville, Ohio, where it was purchased from the Orville Railroad Heritage Society.

Richard Riley, prime mover in the boxcar restroom project, did note that it’s undecided at this point whether a crane will be used to place the two cars on tracks. Joe’s Towing Inc. does have a 60-ton crane which could do the job, he said, but there needs to be a face-to-face first between the two firms.

In related news, Riley told the board that on Friday, June 1, R.V. Sutton Inc. undertook and completed the installation of the sanitary sewer line which will service the boxcar restroom facility. “Mr. Sutton did not get out of that machine for 12 hours,” he said. “And he had it all flat for the European Market the next day. We owe Rudy Sutton a big thanks.”

Sutton donated the excavation work as an in-kind service, with a value of around $7,500.

On the subject of donations, MS4 Operator Jennifer Gadzala reported that yet another contribution has been received for the project, this one in the amount of $3,000 from the Norfolk Southern Railroad, whose livery--classic red with a”NS” in white italic lettering next to the silhouette of a horse’s head--will be painted on the caboose comfort station. With the Norfolk Southern’s donation, she added, more than $78,000 has been raised from the community, to be used for landscaping the facility.

Meanwhile, sometime between now and June 30, two more things need to be done, O’Dell said. Around 107 feet of rail need to be acquired and placed on site; and the Park Department needs to install a water line to service the facility. The latter will be done in-house, O’Dell noted, with the Park Department’s trencher.

Dogwood Lights

In other business, members voted unanimously to purchase from Musco Sport Lighting a set of eight lights, plus poles and fixtures, to serve three soccer fields at Dogwood Park, for the amount of $307,900.

Because both the Park Department and Musco are members of the National Joint Purchasing Agreement, there was no need to go out for bid on the lights, as the purchase price was already significantly reduced.

Musco will pour the concrete bases, erect the poles, and install the lights themselves. But a separate contractor will be needed to do the electrical work to juice them, and as part of their motion members agreed to go out to bid for that contract.

The three soccer fields immediately north of the softball diamonds will be served by the new lights, with the center field--No. 3--getting four, and the fields on either side of No. 3--No. 7 and No. 4--getting two each, O’Dell said.


Member Candy Tucker took a moment at the end of the meeting to suggest, strongly, that given the sheer volume of projects currently underway in the town’s parks, another pair of hands is needed at the Park Department.

“I believe it’s time to hire another full-time laborer,” Tucker suggested to her colleagues. “And it’s in the budget.”

Her colleagues agreed and the board voted unanimously to direct Superintendent Bruce Mathias and Administrator Hilary-Thomas Peterson to advertise the position.






Posted 6/6/2018




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