Chesterton Tribune



Donations made for Chesterton Fire Department infant rescue box plan

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Chesterton Town Council Member Jim Ton’s invitation two weeks ago to the public to donate toward the installation and maintenance of an infant rescue box at the Fire Department is bearing fruit.

At the Town Council’s meeting Monday night, members gratefully received, and passed on to Clerk-Treasurer Stephanie Kuziela, three such donations:

* $500 from the Chesterton First United Methodist Church.

* $200 from Council 5929 of the Knights of Columbus, St. Patrick Catholic Church.

* And $100 from Ken and Zelba Miller.

The one-time cost of installing the system is $10,000, plus an annual fee of $200 to cover any upgrades to the device and a $40 monthly fee for alarm monitoring.

Meanwhile, Fire Chief John Jarka announced that the infant rescue box has been delivered and that he is currently arranging for its installation.

“It’s really moving forward,” noted Member Lloyd Kittredge, R-2nd.

“We can thank Chief Jarka for that,” added Ton.

The infant rescue box will work much like a depository at a bank: once it has been opened and then closed, it cannot be re-opened until the CFD has re-set it from inside. Boxes come equipped with three different alarms: the first is activated automatically when the box is opened; the second, when a baby is placed on the pad (which is either heated or cooled depending on the season); and the third time, when--if--the person leaving the baby elects to activate it.

Anyone who wishes to discuss the box further or to make a donation may contact Ton at or Jarka at 926-7162.

2019 Budget

In other business, the council held a public hearing on the advertised 2019 budget, which must still be reviewed and certified by the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance.

No one spoke in favor of the budget and no one in opposition to it.

The advertised tax rate for 2019 is $0.9963 per $100 of assessed valuation.

The total 2019 budget: $10,928,490, with $5,517,968 in the General Fund; $1,330,788 in Motor Vehicle Highway and $224,000 in Local Road & Street (the Street Department’s chief operating budgets); $499,300 in Park & Recreation; and $820,934 earmarked for debt service and bond repayment.

Bulletproof Vests

Meanwhile, Police Chief Dave Cincoski announced that the CPD has received a grant in the amount of $3,009.50 from the U.S. Department of Justice, to be used for the purchase of bulletproof vests for officers.

Half of the cost of new vests will be reimbursed, up to the amount of the grant, Cincoski said.

Law enforcement agencies in the State of Indiana are required to provide their officers with bulletproof vests, which have a lifetime of five years.

Flu Shots

By consensus members approved a flu shot program for town employees and their spouses.

Cost of the program: $28 per shot.

CFD Open House

Jarka reported that this year’s Fire Safety Open House on Saturday--coinciding with the beginning of National Fire Prevention Week--went extremely well.

“It was very well attended by the public,” Jarka said. “It was a great day.”

Spark in the Park

Another event from the weekend, Sunday’s Spark in the Park at Thomas Centennial Park in Downtown Chesterton, also got rave reviews from the council.

The event--featuring fire breathers, fire spinners, hula hoops, and neon lights--was “really good,” said Ton. “They had it all laid out spectacularly. It was a first-class act. And it was packed. The number of families and kids and dogs. It was a great event. And they had it all cleaned up that night.”

Park Superintendent Bruce Mathias concurred. “It was flawless, basically,” he said, then noted that Spark in the Park was really a trial run for an even bigger event under development for next fall at Thomas Park.

Thank You, Department Heads

Member Emerson DeLaney, R-5th, took a moment at the end of the meeting to express his appreciation to department heads and their employees for the great job they do. “A shout-out to the department heads, the group that makes things happen every day, and to the people who work with them,” he said.

“Just what you do on a daily basis, it shows Downtown,” he added, pointing specifically to the CFD Open House and the European Market on Saturday and to Spark in the Park on Sunday. “There wasn’t a parking spot available.”

“Thank you for everything you do, to give the community a quality of life,” DeLaney said.



Posted 10/10/2018




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