breaker’s been tripped in the Town of Chesterton, and it looks as though
department heads are going to have to scramble to make ends meet.
At the Town
Council’s meeting Monday night, Clerk-Treasurer Stephanie Kuziela announced
that the town’s 2016 certified levy--the total amount of property-tax
revenues which Chesterton would otherwise have collected this year--has in
fact been cut by 7.8 percent, that is, by $482,250.75, following the
application of circuit-breaker credits.
breaker--or tax cap, as it’s been called--limits a property owner’s tax
liability to a certain percentage of a property’s gross assessed value, 1,
2, or 3 percent, depending on the class of property.
A good thing for
property owners, in other words, but a problem for a municipality when a
bunch of taxpayers trip the circuit breaker at the same time.
The bulk of the
$482,250.75 “shortfall,” moreover --$363,593.08 -- has been carved from a
General Fund which had previously been certified at $4,044,321, Kuziela
reported. Brass tacks: Police Chief Dave Cincoski and Fire Chief John Jarka
will need to find a way to make do with less.
As will Street
Commissioner John Schnadenberg, who saw his $679,608 certified levy for
Motor Vehicle Highway get cut by 8.9 percent; and Park Superintendent Bruce
Mathias, who saw his certified levy of $382,279 similarly get cut by 8.9
members that she would have more detailed information and recommendations at
their next meeting.
In other business,
members voted 5-0 to award the contract for a new splash pad at Chesterton
Park to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder, Rain Deck of Mesa,
$104,686 bid was less than half of the second lowest one submitted:
$216,470, by Vortex Midwest Aquatic Play Solutions of Williamston, Mich.
The splash pad--one
of the projects being funded by a $2-million park bond issued in
December--will be installed south of the tennis courts at Chesterton Park.
FD Truck Swap
Members also voted
5-0 to approve an ordinance formalizing a swap between the Chesterton Fire
Department and the Burns Harbor FD, under which the former will transfer
ownership of its old 1992 rescue truck to the latter, in exchange for which
the CFD will get the BHFD’s 2006 light rescue truck and a $25,000 cash
The 1992 rescue
truck, originally acquired to carry the CFD’s rescue tools and has no hose-
or water-carrying capability, will be made obsolete by the department’s new
engine, currently being manufactured with sufficient compartment space for