Chesterton Tribune



Cincoski urges residents to get to State Park fireworks early on Monday

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The annual fireworks extravaganza at Indiana Dunes State Park will be held on Monday, July 1.

The fireworks are scheduled to begin at 9:15 p.m. but at the Chesterton Town Council’s meeting Monday night, Police Chief Dave Cincoski urged folks to get there early.

Really early.

In past years, Cincoski told the council, the sheer volume of visitors has forced authorities to close Dunes State Park well in advance of the fireworks, and all parking along any stretch of Ind. 49, south of the entrance to the park, will be banned.

Nor will there be a shuttle service this year to and from the park.

Vendors, on the other hand, are scheduled to begin selling food at 6 p.m.

The personal use of fireworks is prohibited at Dunes State Park, as is the possession or consumption of alcohol.

Cincoski did express his gratitude to the Porter County Emergency Management Agency, which is providing first-responders at the park with its mobile command center as well as installing a temporary radio tower to boost signals in the park’s notorious dead zone.

The Porter County EMA, Cincoski said, “is really bending over backwards for us.”


In other business, Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg reported that this season’s six Community Crossings projects--partially funded through a 50/50 state infrastructure grant--have been completed, but for striping here and there.

The projects: South 11th Street between Park Ave. and 1100N ($279,542.25); South Eighth Street between Broadway and West Porter Ave. ($79,847); West Porter Ave. from South Calumet Road to South Eighth Street ($107,755.75); South 15th Street from Broadway to Washington Ave. ($115,813.60); 100E from 1100N to 1050N ($83,318.40); and curb replacement along East Morgan Ave. in Morgan Park ($331,985).

Now, Schnadenberg said, he, Town Engineer Mark O’Dell, and MS4 Operator Jennifer Gadzala will begin working on next year’s Community Crossings grant application, as the next funding round officially commences on July 1.

And on Monday, July 15, Schnadenberg hopes to proceed with the next round of this year’s paving season. “There should be about eight roads in the next round,” he said. “That’s weather dependent, though. With all the rain the contractors are behind.”

Then, in August, the Street Department will turn its attention to sidewalk replacement, Schnadenberg added.

Circuit Breaker

Meanwhile, Clerk-Treasurer Stephanie Kuziela reported that this year’s circuit-breaker cut in the town’s total property-tax levy was, $639,919.47: $139,690.47 more than projected. But the town’s actual total levy was also $560,567.02 more than projected.

Which means that the unanticipated hit on the 2019 budget is only $79,352.44: a manageable amount, Kuziela said, because the “overall effect of $80,000 spread across the entire town budget is minimal due to having cash balances at the end of 2018.”

Second Appraisal

Members voted unanimously, at Associate Town Attorney Julie Paulson’s recommendation, to secure the services of another appraiser, after one of the two retained by the council to appraise the property at the southeast corner of South Calumet Road and East Porter Ave. proved to be “non-responsive.”

Paulson noted that the other appraiser originally retained by the council has already provided an appraisal of the property, which members are interested in purchasing as part of a proposed realignment and widening of that intersection.

Paulson said that the new appraiser should have a turn-around of approximately two weeks.

Earlier in the evening, the Redevelopment Commission similarly voted to secure the services of a new appraiser. Should the transaction proceed, the property would be purchased with tax increment financing moneys administered by the commission.

Seeks to Dedicate

Members also voted unanimously to instruct staff to work with Nick Scalise, the owner of property at 1957 Texas St., which according to a survey unaccountably includes the entirety of Texas Street fronted by his parcel.

Scalise wants to dedicate the roadway to the town, so as not to have to pay property taxes on it. He expressed as well a concern about liability, given that motorists are--technically--driving on his property.

Memorial Day 2020

Finally, members voted unanimously to instruct staff to work with LaPorte resident and Vietnam War veteran Louise Spear on the details of a Memorial Day parade in honor of 1964 CHS graduate Thomas Manning, who died in Vietnam in 1967 while serving with the 359th Transport Company.

Spear--who also served in the 359th--is making arrangements for a 5,000-gallon tanker, the same kind of vehicle which the 359th was tasked with moving and protecting, to be in the parade next year, as well as a pair of gun trucks.

Plans include as well a service at Manning’s grave at Graceland Cemetery in Valparaiso on the Sunday before Memorial Day.


Posted 6/25/2019




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