By KEVIN NEVERS
More than three years ago, in July 2002, former Chesterton Town Council
member John Kosmatka, R-1st, advocated the enactment of what he called an
“anti-porn ordinance.” He was a citizen at the time, speaking from the
floor, and nothing ever came of his suggestion.
But when Kosmatka ran for his old seat on the council in 2003, he campaigned
on the issue. “I do not want to see massage parlors, adult bookstores,
anything of that nature,” he told the Chesterton Tribune in April 2003. “I
like this town. It’s nice to see you don’t see any big Xs or signs or
Now, more than a year after Kosmatka resigned his seat in June 2004 to take
a position with the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, the council has taken his advice
At their meeting Monday night, members voted 4-0 to approve on its first
reading an ordinance which regulates—but does not outright ban—sexually
oriented businesses, 4-0 to suspend the rules, then 4-0 to approve that
ordinance on its final reading.
President Mike Bannon, R-5th, was not in attendance.
The ordinance does the following: restrict 11 classifications of
sexually-oriented business—adult arcades; adult bookstores, novelty shops,
or video stores; adult cabarets ; adult motels; adult motion picture
theaters; adult theaters; escorts; escort agencies; massage parlors; nude
model studios; and sexual encounter establishments—to a special S-1
district. And S-1 districts—which would have to be re-zoned by the Plan
Commission—would be further limited:
•No S-1 districts within 1,000 feet of any property zoned residential or
otherwise used or designated for residential purposes.
•No S-1 districts within 1,000 feet of a school, child care center, or child
care home; nursing shelter, care, or rest home; religious institution; park
or playing field; pool or billiard home or arcade; dance center or ice or
roller rink; park or other public recreational facility typically catering
to minors; indoor or outdoor theater; art gallery, museum, or library; or
any area where large numbers of minors travel or congregate.
•No S-1 districts within 1,000 feet of any intersection of any two streets
constituting an “entranceway” or “gateway” into town. The ordinance
specifically lists 14 such entranceways or gateways, including the
intersection of Ind. 49 with C.R. 1100N, Porter Ave., Indian Boundary Road,
Gateway Blvd., Voyage Blvd., and Sidewalk Road; the intersection of C.R.
1100N with South Calumet Road and Pearson Road; and the intersection of C.R.
1050N with Ind. 149 and C.R. 200W.
•And no S-1 districts within 1,000 feet of each other.
Sexually-oriented businesses are prohibited from displaying material related
to “specified sexual activities” in windows or to public view; prohibited
from posting signage containing anything more than the legal name and
address of the establishment; are permitted only two wall signs with a total
of not more than 40 square feet of surface area and a freestanding sign of
not more than 40 square feet of surface area; and are prohibited from
illuminating signs by means of exposed neon or exterior lighting or flashing
or animated lights.
Violators of the ordinance would be liable to a maximum fine of $2,500 per
“We would like to thank John for his vision and keeping the interests of the
town at heart,” said Member Jim Ton, R-1st.
Ton—who was elected by a Republican caucus last year to fill Kosmatka’s
seat—added that the ordinance is necessary “to preserve property values and
protect our children.”
In other business, members voted 4-0 to take under advisement bids for the
next three-year refuse and recycling contract, after rejecting the first set
of bids and re-advertising at their Oct. 10 meeting, when Town Attorney
Chuck Lukmann informed them that specifications on which the four firms
based their bids were deficient.
Firms bid on two separate specs. Under the first residents would receive up
to three 95-gallon wheeled carts to replace their existing 30-gallon cans.
Under the second or alternative spec, residents would retain their existing
•Regional Industries LLC, Valparaiso: up to three carts per home, $10.85 per
home per month in 2006, $10.96 in 2007, and $11.07 in 2008; without carts,
$8.80 in 2006; $8.98 in 2007; and $9.16 in 2008. Monthly cart rental: $1.75.
•Meyer Waste Systems, Chesterton, the operator of Able Disposal: up to three
carts per home, $10.50 per home per month in 2006, $10.81 in 2007, and
$11.14 in 2008; without carts, $9.75 in 2006, $10.05 in 2007, $10.36 in
2008. Monthly cart rental: $2.25.
•Allied Waste Services of Northwest Indiana, Crown Point: up to three carts
per home, $17.15 per home per month over the three-year life of the
contract; without carts, $12.19 over the life of the contract.
•Waste Management of Indiana LLC, Portage: up to three carts per home,
$19.85 per home per month over the life of the contract; without carts, no
Regional Industries’ first bid averages $10.96 per month over the life of
the contract; its alternative bid averages $8.98.
Meyer’s first bid averages $10.82 per month over the life of the contract;
its alternative bid averages $10.05.
Street Commission John Schnadenberg has said that the advantages of wheeled
carts are numerous. They’re harder for scavenging animals to access, they
won’t blow down the street on windy days, and they accommodate much more
garbage than the 30-gallon cans. And because they’re fitted for mechanical
collection by the trucks, they’re more efficiently emptied. Generally
speaking, Schnadenberg has noted, one cart per home would probably do the
When the council awards the next refuse and recycling contract, it will have
to decide whether to go with the carts or leave things as they are.
The current contract expires Dec. 31. This year Chesterton is paying Meyer
$8.16 per home per month and residents are paying a $9 monthly garbage user
fee to defray the town’s costs, which include the expense not only of the
refuse and recycling contract itself but also of collecting other debris—in
part leaves and brush—not covered by that contract.
Members also voted 4-0 to take under advisement bids for a new two-ton truck
for the Street Department.
•Great Lakes Trucks & Equipment Inc., Portage: $82,882.
•Lindco Equipment Sales, Merrillville: $83,600.
The truck—which would replace the old one sold at the town auction in
August—would be acquired under a lease-purchase agreement. Schnadenberg is
looking for a flat-bed model, not a dump body, to be used for general
maintenance and sign installation, capable of hauling a chipper and being
fitted with a plow and salt spreader. Schnadenberg has said that he has
sufficient moneys in his Local Road & Streets Fund to make the first of five
annual payments on the truck on its delivery, which Schnadenberg doesn’t
expect until December or January.