Chesterton Tribune



Contract awarded for park boxcar restroom

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The Chesterton Park Board has awarded the contract for the retrofit of the boxcar restroom in Thomas Centennial Park.

At their meeting Tuesday night, members voted unanimously to award the contract to Larson-Danielson Construction of LaPorte, which submitted a base quote of $255,916 for the retrofit itself and an alternative quote of $424 for an anti-graffiti finish.

Architect Robert Nicksic of James F. Giannini & Associates, who designed the retrofit of the boxcar, originally estimated the cost of the buildout at $105,000, well below the $150,000 threshold at which a public works project in Indiana must actually be formally bid out. The Park Board accordingly sought quotes on the project.

The funds for the project are coming from the $2-million bond issued late in 2015 for a variety of park projects.

Member Mark Dickinson did note that the quotes for the retrofit came in high. “It’s a little more than I expected,” he said. “But you’re going to run into that.”

By unanimous votes, the board also awarded two other contracts--pending legal review--related to the project:

* One, in the amount of $29,750, to Mike Steward, d.b.a. Preferred Contractor Services Company of Michigan City, for sandblasting and seal-coating the boxcar’s exterior as well as for steam-cleaning and de-greasing its interior.

* A second, in the amount of $16,985, also to Steward, for gutting and painting the interior of the caboose--which will be used as a warming/cooling station and community space--as well as cutting 13 windows in it. Steward will be donating the electrical refurbishment of the caboose.

In January the board purchased the 10’ x 50’ boxcar from the Orville Railroad Heritage Society of Orville, Ohio, for $9,000 and also authorized an expenditure of $14,000 to Schlatter Inc. for the overland transportation of the boxcar to Steward’s shop in Michigan City.

In January as well the board purchased the caboose from Steward for $15,000 and authorized an expenditure to Steward of up to $16,500 to refurbish the caboose’s exterior.

Meanwhile, Richard Riley, the owner of Riley’s Railhouse at 123 N. Fourth St. in Chesterton and the prime mover of the boxcar project, reported at Tuesday’s meeting that he is currently conferring with Schlatter Inc. and Joe Wagner, owner of Joe’s Towing Inc., about the on-site placement of the boxcar and caboose in Thomas Park.

Wagner, he said, may be able to provide a 60-ton crane capable of maneuvering each train car onto the 110- to 120-foot section of track immediately north and east of the Duneland Chamber of Commerce’s offices. He noted that the rough work involved in the retrofitting of each car will be done at Steward’s shop, but the finish work on site in Thomas Park.

The installation of utilities to the boxcar restroom--which R.V. Sutton Inc. of Liberty Township has agreed to donate--will not involve any disturbance to the Chamber’s offices or parking lot, Riley added. The water line serving the restroom facility will be trenched on the back side of Thomas Park just south of the tree line.

Crowdfunding and Kudos to Hopkins Ace

In related business, MS4 Operator Jennifer Gadzala was delighted to report that the crowdfunding campaign succeeded in raising fully $75,407.88. Included in that amount is the $31,000 dollar-to-dollar match provided by the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority.

Also included in that amount, Gadzala noted, is the $3,000 raised through the Round Up campaign at Hopkins Ace Hardware. “I want to give a huge shout-out to Mark Hopkins for all of his stoic support of this project,” she said.

Gadzala noted that there were more than 5,000 separate transactions during the campaign period in which Hopkins Ace customers rounded up their purchase to the nearest dollar. And there were more than 100 donations made to the crowdfunding platform provided by Patronicity, she said.

Waskom/Kipper Contract

The board awarded one other contract on Tuesday: the one for the rehabilitation of Waskom Park in the Ironwood subdivision and Kipper Park in the Westchester South subdivision.

The lowest responsive and responsible bidder: Gariup Construction Company of Gary, with its base bid of $653,500 and alternative bid of $65,000 for synthetic turf.

Gariup’s base bid came in nearly $150,000 under the original engineer’s estimate of $801,120.


Posted 5/2/2018




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