Chesterton Tribune



Chesterton still balking at fireworks donation

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The Chesterton Town Council appears not to be of a mind to contribute $2,500 in cash to this year’s edition of the Duneland Chamber of Commerce’s annual fireworks extravaganza.

Chamber President Maura Durham made the request at the council’s last meeting, April 24, when she requested both $2,500 in in-kind services--from the Police and Fire departments--and $2,500 in actual funding. At the time members granted the in-kind donation but tabled the monetary one.

On Monday, Durham returned to the council, to find members unwilling to un-table the issue. “See you again in two weeks?” Durham ventured.

“It’s up to you if you want to come back,” replied President Jim Ton, R-1st.

Members did not directly address the reason for their frugalness, but earlier in the meeting Ton had occasion to make note of a “difficult situation” with respect to this year’s budget, evidently referring to a shortfall in the 2017 General Fund estimated at $800,000. “This year we’re not in the financial situation we were in last year,” he said. “Everybody recognizes our financial situation.”

The fireworks extravaganza will be held on June 29 on the lakefront.

Party in the Park

Members did, however, vote unanimously to authorize the Chamber to hold its annual Party in the Park from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 12, at Thomas Centennial Park, pending the Park Board’s approval.

Durham noted that there’s no longer an entrance fee to attend the event but that food will be available for purchase from local eateries and food trucks. The Chamber is arranging with the Road to Life Church to provide bounce houses and other family-friendly activities.

Hooked on Art

Members also voted unanimously to authorize Frontline Foundations Inc. to hold its sixth annual Hooked on Art festival at Thomas Centennial from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23.

“I think this is one of the most outstanding things we can do for the community,” Ton said.

Public Hearing on Vacation Continued

In other business, members voted unanimously to continue a public hearing on the petition of Deer Run Apartments LLC for the vacation of a portion of Taylor Street to their next meeting, May 22.

That hearing was originally scheduled for Monday but Town Attorney Chuck Lukmann told the council that the LLC has only recently provided a legal description of the property in question.

Deer Run Apartments LLC is asking the council to vacate that portion of Taylor Street because for years now residents of the complex have been using it--technically illegally--as a parking lot.

Sidewalk Waiver

Meanwhile, members instructed staff to review a petition from Brian Lewandowski and A1 Construction for a waiver of the Town Standard requiring a sidewalk in front of all new construction.

Lewandowski is requesting the waiver for a new duplex at 1801-03 Westchester Ave.

DeLaney on the Splash Pad

Member Emerson DeLaney, R-5th, took a moment at the end of the meeting to express his astonishment at the size of the new splash pad being installed at Chesterton Park.

“It’s big,” he said. “It’s really big. And it’s going to be good for the town.”

Ton on the Boys and Girls Club

Ton also took a moment to say how much he enjoyed the recent ribbon-cutting for the Duneland Boys & Girls Club new facility expansion.

“I’m very impressed by the new facility but I’m even more impressed by the Boys and Girls Club’s purpose: to provide a safe haven for our children after school,” Ton said. “Congratulations for the great renovation of the building and congratulations for your work in the community.”




Posted 5/9/2017




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