A month and a half
ago, on May 26, the Chesterton Town Council sent a letter of inquiry to the
Indiana Department of Natural Resources, seeking information and
clarification regarding the proposed banquet facility at Indiana Dunes State
The council did not
take an official position on the banquet facility at the time, and has not
since. But members did express an interest in certain aspects of the
DNR Director of
Parks Dan Bortner, for his part, promptly responded to the councilís letter
with one of his own, dated June 3.
The council took
receipt of that letter on June 12.
Both letters are
now part of the public record and at the councilís meeting Monday night,
Member Jim Ton, R-1st, released to the press his own summary of the townís
original letter and of Bortnerís response. Neither he nor this colleagues
discussed the issue at all, however, and it would appear that the council is
satisfied for the moment to let the matter rest.
A summary of Tonís
Question 1: The
IDSP 2008 Interpretive Master Plan included no mention of banquet service in
its discussion of restaurant service at the Pavilion. By whose initiative
and for what reasons was banquet service included in the 2011 Prospectus as
a minimum expectation?
to Q1: Facilities and infrastructure are generally addressed by a
Property Master Plan, not an Interpretive Master Plan. The Prospectus was
not, nor was it intended to be, directly related to the Interpretive Master
Question 2: Are
there concrete--as opposed to conceptual--plans for the banquet facility?
How can the public comment on these plans?
to Q2: Final plans are not yet completed nor will they be for some
months. The drawing presented at the open house on April 6 was designed to
show mass, not actual design. Input on the design should be e-mailed to
What environmental protections will be incorporated into the design of the
banquet facility, specifically to mitigate bird strikes?
to Q3: All opportunities for green construction and operating principles
will be considered.
Question 4: How
will the wastewater generated by the banquet facility be treated?
response to Q4: The wastewater will be treated on site at IDSPís current
There were no opportunities for public comment prior to the award of the
concession to Pavilion Partners LLC and the signing of the lease. How have
you responded to concerns about transparency?
to Q5: We provided comment cards at the open house and held a subsequent
public meeting. The DNR has also created a webpage which includes a
timeline, FAQs, and documents at