The Town of
Chesterton won’t be getting a Safe Haven baby box any time soon, at least
not until Indiana’s Safe Haven law has been changed.
As Fire Chief John
Jarka reported at the Town Council’s meeting Monday night, under the current
law--which permits a mother to surrender an unwanted newborn child
anonymously and without fear of prosecution--baby boxes may only be
installed at hospitals.
The boxes currently
in place at the Coolspring Township Fire Department in LaPorte County and
Woodburn FD were both grandfathered in, Jarka said.
The developer of
Safe Haven Baby Boxes, however, Woodburn resident Monica Kelsey, expects the
current law to be amended to include fire-department installations by the
General Assembly in its next session. “With the proven success of the
location at Coolspring Fire, she has had overwhelming responses for new
boxes to be installed--in Gary, Dyer, Hammond, and several other places--so
the belief is the bill will pass successfully,” Jarka said.
The cost of a baby
box could be as high as $10,000, Jarka noted, although Kelsey has several
“committed sponsors” of the program, including the Knights of Columbus,
which has pledged to pay for 100 boxes throughout the state. Should a
sponsor assume the cost of installation, the only ongoing expenses would be
monitoring-- the Coolspring Township FD found an alarm company which is
donating the monthly cost--and electric for the box’s heating and cooling
In other business,
Town Manager Bernie Doyle announced that the owner of the old salon at 420
Broadway is applying for an alcohol license under the town’s officially
designated riverfront district--within the boundaries of which a dining
establishment may receive an alcohol license exempt from local
quotas--extending 3,000 feet on either side of Coffee Creek between Woodlawn
Ave. and the Indiana Toll Road.
Doyle had no
further information but said that he was hopeful he will have an update in
the near future.
have benefited from the riverfront designation, established in 2009,
including Villa Nova Pizzeria & Bistro, The Octave Grill, Ivy’s Bohemia
House, Gastro 49, and--most recently--Volstead.
Commissioner John Schnadenberg reported that a new LED-illuminated
directional sign has been installed at the intersection of 1100N and 100E.
That sign directs out-of-towners westbound or eastbound on 1100N--en route,
for instance, to or from events at CHS or Dogwood Park--clearly to the
A companion sign
was installed earlier this fall on East Porter Ave., just east of South
“It looks great,
both ways, either east- or westbound,” said President Jim Ton, R-1st.
Ton took a moment
at the end of the meeting to offer his and his colleagues’ condolences to
the family of Chesterton resident David Jones, 24, who died on Saturday
after being struck by a semi while he was trying to bicycle across Ind. 49.