Chesterton Tribune


Legalities of student built restroom facility in Thomas Park to be discussed

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One last thing needs to be done before CHS Building Trades teacher Jeff Larson and his students may begin construction of a public restroom facility in Thomas Centennial Park.

It has yet to be determined what exactly they’re permitted to build.

At the Town Council’s meeting Monday night, Member Sharon Darnell, D-4th, reported that she, Park Superintendent Bruce Mathias, and Larson will be sitting down and discussing the technicalities and legalities of the project.

“We have to get the parameters of what can and can’t be done legally,” Darnell said. “What the students may do and what they may not do.”

“We all want this done right,” she added. “We want it to be a community project. But we want it to be done right.”

After the meeting, Darnell told the Chesterton Tribune that it’s important to determine whether there are any specific areas of the build beyond the students’ capabilities.

In related news, and at the suggestion of Member Jim Ton, R-1st, plans for the facility will be available for public viewing at the town hall and at the municipal complex at 1490 Broadway. “We should have a level of transparency,” Ton noted.

Mathias has said that the ADA-compliant facility will be robustly constructed and is based on a design made available to the town by the City of Hobart. He has also said that the cost will probably be significantly less than the $150,000 to $175,000 which the council was prepared to pay, in CEDIT funds.

New Street

Department Trucks

In other business, by votes of 5-0, members authorized Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg to replace two old vehicles in his fleet: a 1998 dump truck; and a 1998 pickup truck which was just sold at the annual town auction.

Schnadenberg said that the new dump truck will be acquired through a lease-purchase agreement but that he still needs to spec it out and in all likelihood the truck won’t be available for delivery until next summer. He’ll pay for the truck through his Local Roads & Streets (LRS) fund.

Member Nick Walding supported Schnadenberg’s request. “We should pace it out or some year we’re going to need to get two new dump trucks,” he said.

The pickup truck, on the other hand, Schnadenberg will pay for chiefly with the proceeds of the old truck’s sale.

“That’s what the auction’s for,” Ton said.

Retrofit Grant

Meanwhile, members voted 5-0 to authorize Schnadenberg to apply for a 100-percent pay-back grant—offered through South Shore Clean Cities and the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission—for the replacement of the muffler systems of diesel-run fleet vehicles five years and older.

The diesel-oxidation grant would cover the entire cost—which Schnadenberg estimated at $1,200 to $1,500 per vehicle—of retrofitting the town’s six eligible diesel-run vehicles.

NIRPC itself would bid out the retrofitting contract and handle the logistics of the job, Schnadenberg said.

Right-of-way Agreement

Members also voted 5-0 to approve a new right-of-way agreement with Tom and Cynthia Needham. Under that agreement, the Needhams will be able to build another house on a platted municipal right-of-way located off 22nd Street and north of West Morgan Ave.

Right-of-way agreements enable property owners to build a road on an existing but unimproved municipal right-of-way, to facilitate their use of property. Such roads are not constructed fully to Town Code but they must be paved, 15 feet in width, and capable of supporting the weight of a fire engine.


Posted 10/9/2012