and Rose Brick.
Members did have a
few pointed questions. Jim Ton, R-1st, said that he was under the impression
that at least part of the acreage was wetland, and that the 17 acres to
which LEL originally committed to donating must be active, not passive, park
replied by noting that former park superintendent Bruce Mathias had
expressed his interest in acquiring this particular parcel. “LEL is required
to give 17 acres,” she said. “This would be 27 acres.”
Darnell, D-4th, on the other hand, after confirming that there’s a vacant
house on the property as well as at least one out-building, indicated that
she would be altogether opposed to this donation unless LEL agreed to
demolish all structures and completely remove the spoils at its own expense.
Does the house have a foundation, a basement? Darnell asked.
“There’s a walk-out
basement,” LEL rep Keith Sharpe said.
“Well, that’s all
going to have to go,” Darnell insisted. “The park donation is a linchpin for
what you want to do with the replatting. We’ll graciously accept the land
from you, but you have to keep the buildings.”
“I wouldn’t be
supportive of this without the condition that all structures be removed,”
LEL attorney Kevin
Warren said that he understands the council’s position. “That’s one of the
details we’re working out.”
In the end members
voted unanimously to accept the park land donation, contingent on legal’s
review and approval of those details.
In other business,
Duneland Chamber of Commerce President Maura Durham appeared before the
council to apprise members of the Chamber’s tentative schedule for a pair of
The Taste of
Duneland is currently scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 5, Durham said, but
whether or not it’s actually held then, or at all this year, depends upon
the progress of the COVID-19 pandemic. Durham also noted that, given the
town’s official policy requiring mask-wearing and social-distancing at any
gathering of 25 or more people in a town park or on other municipal
property, the Taste of Duneland “obviously would have to be restructured and
Also: the Corkscrew
& Beer event, originally scheduled for March 14, then postponed to June 20,
then postponed again, is now once more on the schedule, for Saturday, Nov.
7. Again, whether the Chamber will be able to hold the festival at all
depends on the conditions on the ground, Durham said.
Thanks from Portage
Chief John Candiano took a moment at the end of the meeting to express his
gratitude to Chesterton Police Chief Dave Cincoski and his officers for
their much-needed assistance on two recent occasions. The first was at one
of the first large-scale demonstrations in Porter County following the death
of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minn. The second was a disturbance at a
Portage skating rink. In neither case did the Portage PD have available
manpower to respond adequately, so Candiano called on neighboring
departments for help, and Cincoski was happy to be of assistance.
“I want to thank
the town, Chief Cincoski, and his officers for their support,” Candiano
Ton also took a
moment at the end of the meeting to make a personal plea to Dunelanders to
wear masks, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread.
“Let’s not make
mask wearing a political statement,” Ton said. “Let’s make it a health
statement. Let’s make it about being well.”