This year’s edition
of Chesterton Cruise Night--about to enter its 10th season, from 5 to 9 p.m.
Saturday, May 25--may have a sponsor, the first real sponsor since its
owner of Mel’s Detail at 105 Brown Ave. in Chesterton, told the Park Board
at its meeting Tuesday night that he would like to become Cruise Night’s
guardian angel. “ I want to make it not necessarily a better event but a
more exposed event,” he said.
definitely a car guy. “My interest in (Cruise Night) is the cars,
obviously,” he noted. “We do a lot of shows in Chicago and the Suburbs. But
there’s nothing really local here.”
With the exception,
that is, of Cruise Night, which the Park Department has become the de
facto sponsor of, by virtue of the monthly event’s use of Thomas
Centennial Park. But aside from the Park Department’s promotion of Cruise
Night on its Facebook page--and the Street and Police departments’ closure
of Broadway up to Third Street--it’s never truly been a municipal event but
rather an informal gathering of classic car buffs on the last Saturday of
the month during the summer.
Until now, though,
Pikula’s six-day-a-week work schedule has prevented him from stepping up.
Now he’s cut his hours to weekdays only and is in a position to put his back
into it. Among other things, Pikula sees putting his extremely popular Mel’s
Detail Facebook page to work on publicizing the event. He’s already got a
local DJ and a food truck lined up for the May 25 Cruise Night, and he
tentatively has a band on tap for the June 29 Cruise Night.
Pikula plans to
enlist Zeno Rossetti’s Chesterton graphics shop for banners and signs, and
he hopes to persuade local businesses to provide door and raffle prizes as
well. “It’s not something I’m really going to make any money off,” he added.
Member Paul Shinn,
who’s been trying to drum up a sponsor for Cruise Night since at least last
year, was delighted by Pikula’s offer. So were his colleagues, and by a
unanimous vote they authorized Associate Town Attorney Connor Nolan to work
with Pikula on a contract with the town. The board also encouraged him to
work closely with Park Administrator Hilary Thomas-Peterson about
In other business,
members heard their second request in less than a year from a resident to
install a pickleball court at an eligible park facility.
Making the request
was Art Waters, who with his wife is a new convert to the sport of
pickleball: “a paddle sport”--according to Wikipedia--“that combines the
elements of badminton, tennis, and table tennis” played on a netted court
about a third the size of a tennis court.
“It’s a new sport,
good for young and old,” Waters told the board. “It’s low impact. And
there’s not a lot of running.”
Shinn, recalling a
similar request made in October by Paul Petro, for the creation of a
pickleball court at Chesterton Park, promised that he and park staff will
review the town’s park properties in search of a court--possibly a
basketball court--which can be used for pickleball.
“Portable nets are
an option,” Town Engineer Mark O’Dell added.
Park Impact Fees,
voted unanimously to award two consultancy contracts to Lehman & Lehman of
--The first, in an
amount not to exceed $21,500, to conduct a new study of the town’s
park-impact fee, a per-home fee charged to builders of new residential
housing, revenues from which may be used only for the development of
new park property.
--The second, in an
amount not to exceed $17,500, to perform an update of the Park Department’s
five-year master plan.
Nolan told the
board that the study expenses may be covered with revenues from the
park impact fee.
dogwalkers will soon have no excuse ever to leave their pets’ waste behind
when strolling in any of the town’s parks.
That’s thanks to
Hopkins Ace Hardware, whose owner, Mark Hopkins, had donated 10 dog waste
stations to the Park Department.
includes 4,000 bags and 25 can liners.
“So you won’t have
to step in anything anymore,” Hopkins told the Park Board at its meeting
Tuesday night. “Or you shouldn’t have to, at least.”
Superintendent Shane Griffin told the grateful board that those 10 stations
will soon all be installed throughout the town’s park system.