By KEVIN NEVERS
As the slow dull
gray bleak grind of winter continues, folks can be sure of one thing: when
it’s over, when it’s finally done and gone and the world is green again, the
roadways are really gonna be awful.
Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg put it succinctly on Monday, in his
report to the Redevelopment Commission, “I’ll just say, the roads are
falling apart. And I have a feeling we’re going to have a problem when the
frost gets out of the ground.”
Not every road
everywhere, Schnadenberg noted. Crack-sealing maintenance has gone a long
way to keeping 1100N between Fifth Street and 100E largely intact and free
of potholes. But 1050N from Babcock Road to Ind. 49 is simply crumbling,
A portion of that
stretch of 1050N is the jurisdiction of the county, and Schnadenberg said
that he will be approaching the Porter County Highway Department at some
point about a joint re-surfacing project.
In the meantime,
however, Schnadenberg is working on a list of road projects for the 2014-15
seasons, with an eye to both whole-hog re-paving and preventive
“Compared to some
of our neighboring communities, our roads are the best,” Member Paul Tharp
Schoenfelt, for his part, expressed his deep gratitude to the Street
Department--and to the other departments as well--for their unflagging work
in clearing snow from roads and alleys, plowing cul-de-sacs, and opening
storm drains in advance of thaws. “Its most
appreciated in my neck of the woods,” he said.
Later in the
evening, at the Town Council’s meeting, Member Jim Ton, R-5th, commented on
the alacrity with which the Street Department has been patching potholes.
“Just driving around town, they’re doing a great job,” he said. I see a
pothole one day and it’s gone the next.”
DeLaney, R-5th, thanked the Street Department in particular for patching a
magnificent pothole in front of Chesterton High School.
“You could have
lost a Volkswagen Beetle in that one,” Ton joked.
While on the
subject of potholes, members voted unanimously to authorize an expenditure
of $28,985 for the purchase of a new hot patcher. Schnadenberg said that the
current one is old and broken and that the equipment itself is an excellent
year-round investment, with the money for the purchase available in the
Local Roads & Streets fund.
Town Manager Bernie
Doyle took a moment at the end of the Redevelopment Commission’s
meeting to report that the Porter County Economic Development Alliance has
provided the Duneland Economic Development Corporation--the Chamber’s
not-for-profit arm--$25,000 in funds for facade improvements.
That award will be
distributed among the Tri-Towns of Chesterton, Porter, and Burns Harbor,