Chesterton Tribune



Chesterton Park Board discusses paint scheme, decor for boxcar restroom and caboose

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Arrangements are currently being made to transport from Orville, Ohio, the box car which the Chesterton Park Board purchased in January at a cost of $9,000, to the site in Michigan City where industrial sandblaster and painter Mike Stewart will retrofit it for use as a restroom facility in Thomas Centennial Park.

Meanwhile, the caboose which the Park Board also bought--from Stewart, at a cost of $15,000--is now awaiting retrofitting for use as a warming and cooling station, also in Thomas Park.

At the same time, architect Robert Niksic’s design for the plumbing and electric infrastructure of the boxcar has been completed and submitted to the state for review.

So the immediate questions for the board are these: Which historic railroads should the two train cars pay homage to, by way of their exterior paint job? And how should the interior of each car be outfitted and decorated?

Those questions the board grappled with at length at its meeting last week, following a detailed presentation by MS4 Operator Jennifer Gadzala, who’s been in decor discussions with Town Engineer Mark O’Dell, Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg, Town Council Member Emerson DeLaney, R-5th, and Richard Riley, owner of the Riley’s Railhouse at 123 N. Fourth St.

Gadzala offered a number of possible color schemes and materials for the boxcar restroom’s interior, but no decisions were made at the meeting.

Gadzala also suggested several options for the exterior of each car, including the livery of the New York Central (whose old passenger depot is now the home of the Duneland Chamber of Commerce), namely, a Tiffany blue; and that of the Monon Railroad (the “Hoosier Line,” which ran chiefly in Indiana from 1897 to 1956: two-tone grey with red and white trim. Again, no decisions were made.

The cost of transporting the boxcar from Ohio, in addition to the purchase price: up to $14,000. The cost of refurbishing the caboose’s exterior: up to $16,500. Other costs associated with the project: $10,000 for the ties and rails on which the cars will be sited at Thomas Park; $18,500 in architect’s fees; $35,000 to retrofit the two cars’ interiors; and $10,000 to build an ADA access ramp to the cars.

The project is being funded through the $2-million park bond issued late in 2015.

Waskom/Kipper Re-bid

In other business, members voted unanimously to authorize O’Dell to advertise for fresh bids for the Waskom and Kipper parks rehab. Those bids will be opened at the board’s March 6 meeting.

In November the board formally rejected separate bids for each park’s rehab after they came in significantly higher than the engineer’s original estimates of $539,120 for the Waskom project and $262,000 for the Kipper project.

Staff has since revised the specifications to make them--as O’Dell said at the board’s January meeting--“cleaner and clearer.” Among other things, the two projects have been combined into one and contractors will be required to attend a mandatory meeting prior to submitting their bids.

Dogwood Lighting

Meanwhile, members voted unanimously to award a contract to DLZ, in the amount of $20,695, to design lighting for the soccer fields on the west side of Dogwood Park.

A sum of $350,000 in proceeds from the park bond has been earmarked for the lighting project.

Chamber Events at Town Parks

Members also voted unanimously to grant the Duneland Chamber of Commerce the use of Thomas Centennial Park for the following events:

* Corkscrew & Brew, March 17.

* European Market, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays from May 5 through Oct. 27. The board agreed as well to extend the Chamber’s use of Thomas Park up to the bandstand.

* Party in the Park, Aug. 4.

* Trick-or-Treat Downtown, Oct. 26.

* Pumpkin Palooza, Oct. 27.

* Hometown Holiday Celebration, Nov. 24.

* Mistletoe Market, Dec. 1.

In separate unanimous votes, members agreed to allow the Chamber to use the east side of Dogwood Park on May 5--including use of the large shelter, if available--for its “Region Games” event as well as to waive the usage fee. Region Games is a competition pitting young professionals from around Northwest Indiana who will be raising funds for not-for-profits.



Posted 2/13/2018




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