Chesterton Tribune



Boxcar restroom retrofit continues so does Waskom project

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The restroom retrofit of the boxcar in Thomas Centennial Park continues apace.

At the Chesterton Park Board’s meeting Tuesday night, Town Engineer Mark O’Dell reported that the project is “moving along very well,” although the boxcar’s confined space only allows one trade at a time to work inside.

So the plumbers, the electricians, and so on are “having to take turns,” O’Dell said.

Meanwhile, the general contractor, Larson-Danielson Construction of LaPorte, is waiting for delivery of the deck lumber, not expected yet for some weeks. O’Dell noted that the contractual deadline for completion of the project will need to be extended, to accommodate the delay in delivery.

Superintendent Bruce Mathias, for his part, reported that NIPSCO has completed installation of electric service for the boxcar and caboose comfort station and that work on the brick path is done as well. Grading, however, will have to wait for dryer weather, Mathias said.


In other business, O’Dell reported that the general contractor on the Waskom/Kipper parks rehab project has completed work on the drainage system at Waskom, located on Michael Drive and serving the Ironwood subdivision. Among other things, an ADA playground will be installed at Waskom, new tennis and basketball courts, and a concrete sidewalk.

O’Dell said playground equipment should be delivered in 60 days and that the new tennis court will be 21 feet at each end. He added that the new basketball court been reduced to three-quarter size, after Paul Petro, speaking from the floor, urged the construction of a half-size basketball court. “I’ve never seen anyone playing full-court basketball there,” Petro said.

Work on Kipper, located on Olivia Lane and serving the Westchester South subdivision, has not started yet, O’Dell said, although he’s hopeful it will well before the end of the year. There the basketball court will be removed and a play structure for kids 5-12 installed, as well as a shelter and benches.

Total project cost for both rehab projects: $653,500, well below the original engineer’s estimate of $801,120. The low-bidder for the job: Gariup Construction Company of Gary.

Also speaking from the floor on the subject of the Waskom job was Ironwood resident Rob Petro, who said that he’s pleased that the tennis court’s dimensions are “good.” But, he added, “Think about not just what the kids need. Think about what the adults need too. The adults are paying for it.”

Wayfaring Signage

Meanwhile, at O’Dell’s recommendation, members voted 4-0 to approve the purchase of two additional wayfaring signs for the Prairie Duneland Trail, under an 80/20 grant from the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission. The point of the wayfaring project: to post uniform directional and other signage along the entire length of the trail.

O’Dell specifically recommended the purchase and installation of two 7’ 8’’ signs identifying the parking lots at Pearson Road and Babcock Road as trailheads. They’re not actually, but they do serve the Prairie Duneland Trail, which few users of the trail--or other motorists for that matter--realize. “People don’t really know what the lots are for,” O’Dell said.

The total cost of the signs, under the 80/20 grant: around $2,400. And O’Dell said that the board originally approved a total project cost of $65,000 for all signage but has spent far less, about $56,000.

“This is federal grant money,” O’Dell noted. “We would never get this pot of money again. And this way these parking lots would be labeled now.”


At Mathias’ request, members also voted 4-0 to declare surplus two mowers.

Those mowers will be put on the block at the annual municipal auction, Wednesday, Oct. 17, at the Street Department, 1490 Broadway.

Viewing will begin at 6 p.m. and the auction itself at 7 p.m.


President Paul Shinn took a moment at the end of the meeting to express his gratitude to Chesterton resident Pat Carlisle for her generous gift of $300 to the Park Department Gift Fund.

Party in the Park/Taste of Duneland

Mathias and Member Candy Tucker also took a moment to thank the Duneland Chamber of Commerce for its combined Party in the Park/Taste of Duneland event on Saturday at Thomas Centennial Park.

“It went very well,” Mathias said.

“It was wonderful,” Tucker agreed.



Posted 9/7/2018




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