The Chesterton Town
Council has voiced its support for the South Shore commuter line’s
At their meeting
Monday night--and at the suggestion of President Jim Ton, R-1st--members
voted unanimously to forward to the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation
District (NICTD) a resolution in support of the project, which would add a
second track in the current single-track territory between Michigan City and
period on the double-tracking project is currently open.
NICTD is pursuing
the project to cut travel times to Chicago and add more trains to the
schedule, in an effort to make Northwest Indiana a more attractive bedroom
location for folks who work in Chicago. “It’s an economic development issue
for the region,” Ton said. “It will create additional jobs and cut commute
“This is a very
good, well thought out economic driver for Northwest Indiana,” agreed Member
Emerson DeLaney, R-5th. “It’s going to change the scope of the region.”
In other business,
members voted unanimously to obtain two appraisals--per Indiana Code--of the
old Lipinski Automotive property at 1300 Broadway, with an eye to its
The cost of the
appraisals: $2,000 and $2,500.
Lipinski has put on the market--is contiguous to the rear of the municipal
complex at 1490 Broadway and would provide not only an acre and a half for
possible future expansion of the Street Department facilities at the complex
but also an additional point of ingress and egress.
Attorney Julie Paulson emphasized that contracting for the two appraisals in
no way commits the town to the purchase of the property. Under state law,
the town could offer no more for the property, if the council was of a mind
to acquire it, than the average of the appraisals.
Members also voted
unanimously to approve the vacation of a platted but unimproved portion of
Church Street in Crocker, where it dead-ends to the north.
The vacation was
requested by Daniel Britzke of 1711 Church Street, who owns two parcels on
either side of the right-of-way. Britzke told the council that he was
seeking the vacation in order to consolidate the two parcels into a single
piece of contiguous property.
At a public hearing
prior to the vote, no one spoke in favor of the vacation and no one in
unanimously as well to approve on first reading the town’s advertised 2018
provides for a property-tax rate in 2018 of $0.9588 per $100 of assessed
valuation, compared to a rate of $0.8079 this year and $0.9494 in 2016.
Although the 2018
rate represents a 19 percent-increase over the 2017 rate, the latter was
slashed by the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance following a
calculation mistake last year by the Clerk-Treasurer’s Office. The 2018 rate
represents less than a 1-percent increase, on the other hand, over the 2016
rate. “We’re back to what we should be collecting,” Clerk-Treasurer
Stephanie Kuziela told the Chesterton Tribune after the meeting.
The 2018 budget
also reflects a statutory 4-percent growth in property tax collection,
At a public hearing
prior to the vote, no one spoke in favor of the budget and no one in