Chesterton Tribune



Council OKs $1.8M bond for roadwork

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The Chesterton Town Council has greenlighted a $1.8-million general obligation bond issue the proceeds from which will be used to finance major road repairs and sidewalk improvements.

At their meeting Monday night, members voted unanimously to approve an ordinance authorizing the five-year bond issue, then unanimously again to approve an ordinance appropriating the proceeds from the issue.

At a public hearing prior to the vote, no one spoke in opposition to the bond issue. One person spoke in favor of it: Engineer Steve Williams of the Chesterton Fire Department and president of Local 4600 of the International Association of Firefighters. Williams praised the issue for freeing up other funds to make a sustainable raise possible for municipal employees.

This bond issue follows on the heels of a previous five-year $1.5-million issue, the last payment on which the town made this year. Town Attorney Chuck Lukmann has said that the maximum interest rate on the new issue will be 4 percent. At that rate, owners of homes assessed at $150,000 will pay $10.30 more annually than they paid to service the debt on the previous issue. Owners of homes assessed at $250,000 will pay $20.57 more annually; and owners of businesses assessed at $100,000 will pay $15.63 more annually.

“It’s a positive move and I think we need to do it,” Member Jim Ton, R-1st, said of the bond issue.

The proceeds from the issue will be used to fund a number of high-priority roadwork projects, including the re-pave of South 11th Street between Park Ave. and 1100N.

Bonus Approved

In other business, members voted unanimously--at the recommendation of the Stormwater Management Board--to amend the 2018 Salary Amendment to award a one-time bonus of $2,500 to MS4 Operator Jennifer Gadzala.

Besides administering the town’s Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) program--a complicated federally mandated initiative designed to reduce the release of pollutants into local receiving waters--Gadzala is the town’s GIS guru, she was instrumental in completing the town’s successful application, two years in a row, for a Community Crossings infrastructure grant, and she was the brains behind the enormously successful crowdfunding campaign which raised more than $70,000 in additional moneys for the boxcar restroom project in Thomas Centennial Park.

“Jennifer has continually gone over and above what I have expected from someone in her position,” Stormwater President Tom Kopko said at the board’s meeting last week. “She has showed herself to be a conscientious and exemplary employee as long as I have worked with her.”



Posted 6/26/2018




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