Chesterton Tribune

Building Commissioner reports some residents unhappy with new DNR flood plain map

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The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has released a new flood plain map and apparently some folks in Chesterton—and outside Chesterton—have been receiving notification from their mortgage holders that their properties are now officially inside the flood plain.

And that they are accordingly to required to purchase flood insurance.

So Building Commissioner—and Town Flood Plain Manager—Dave Novak reported to the Town Council at its meeting Monday night.

“Generally they’re not happy,” Novak said.

Although he’s not yet completed a review of the map, Novak said that perhaps a dozen lots which were not previously included in the flood plain now are, mostly in the Dickinson Road area, around 1100N.

Novak noted that property owners can appeal the inclusion of their lots in the new map and that he can tell them the steps they need to take, but that it’s his understanding mortgage holders “still have the right” to insist on flood insurance.

So folks had better consult with their mortgage holders before going through the appeal process.

Personnel Policy

In other business, members voted 5-0 on first reading to approve an ordinance amending the town’s Personnel Policy, 5-0 to suspend the rules, then 5-0 to approve that ordinance on final reading.

The ordinance amends the Personnel Policy in three ways:

•All employees with municipal e-mail accounts are forbidden from conducting personal business on them, and are forbidden from using personal e-mail accounts for municipal business. Employees should have no expectation of confidentiality in their use of municipal e-mail accounts, which are “a privilege and may be revoked at any time.”

•Employees may not post to their personal social-media pages—like Facebook or Twitter—during working hours or on municipal computers. Employees “should remember that, to our citizens, employees are always representatives of the Town of Chesterton” and must conduct themselves accordingly. When an off-duty employee does post a comment about the Town of Chesterton or on any municipal issue, he or she must clearly identify himself by name and position and must also include a disclaimer that he or she is not necessarily representing the town or reflecting an official municipal view or position.

•“Snow event” is defined and, in the event of one, the Personnel Policy declares that “the failure to report to work will be considered an unpaid, excused absence.” Employees may make timely arrangements for a pickup from home. If such is not possible and the employee does not show for work, he or she may take annual leave or personal time. If no such leave is remaining the employee, he or she will be allowed to work the missed time over the next two pay periods. “Town employees who neither call to arrange town-sponsored transportation or to indicate that they elect not to report for work will be subject to discipline for an unexcused absence.”

Relay for Life

Members voted 5-0 to authorize 2012 Relay for Life Duneland to conduct fundraising activities from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 4, June 2, and July 7 at the following locations: South Calumet Road and Broadway; Eighth Street and Broadway; 11th Street and 1100N.

Relay for Life had also asked to fundraise at the intersection of South Calumet Road and Porter Ave. but Police Chief Dave Cincoski judged that too dangerous a location and suggested instead the intersection of Broadway and 15th Street.

Last Thought

Member Jim Ton, R-1st, took a moment at the end of the meeting to chide certain members of the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission for “political grandstanding” at NIRPC’s last meeting, Jan. 19.

“People were using that meeting to further their own political agenda,” Ton said. “I was disappointed.”

Ton did not explain his comments during the meeting but after told the Chesterton Tribune that he was referring specifically to a motion pushed by representatives from certain municipalities, mostly in Lake County, to endorse a resolution against proposed “right-to-work” legislation.

NIRPC in fact did adopt an anti-right-to-work resolution, Ton said, on the strength of weighted votes.




Posted 1/24/2012