So far this winter—with maybe six weeks until we’re out of the woods—the
Chesterton Street Department has used 775 tons of road salt, roughly 40
percent of the usual 2,000 tons spread on the town’s streets over the course
of a normal season.
At the Town Council’s meeting Monday night, Street Commissioner John
Schnadenberg reported that, while there have been no really heavy snows, his
crews have been called out a total of 13 times.
“There’ve been a lot of small snow falls so far,” Schnadenberg said. “An
inch, half an inch. They add up.”
For a minor fall, he noted, crews will normally use 60 to 70 tons of salt.
Through the middle of February, the 2012-13 season appears—knock on wood—to
be shaping up as a repeat of the 2011-12 season, when only 1,600 tons of
road salt were spread, Schnadenberg said.
Yet even should the Town of Chesterton have need for less than that amount,
it will still have to buy at least 1,600 tons, of the 2,000 tons which it’s
ordered through a state purchasing program.
Dump Truck Bids
In other business, members voted 5-0 to take under advisement the three bids
received for a new dump truck for the Street Department.
•$149,082, from Truck City of Gary Inc.
•$153,425, from Chicago International Trucks of Gary.
•$159,160, from JX Peterbilt of Indianapolis.
The new truck will replace a 1998 model, will be acquired through a
lease-purchase agreement, and will be paid for through the Street
Department’s Local Roads & Streets fund.
In related news, and on the recommendation of Member Sharon Darnell, D-4th,
the council voted 5-0 to earmark the entirety, 100 percent, of the town’s
share this year of the riverboat gambling tax for sidewalk replacement and
repair and ADA compliance.
In past years the council has earmarked 50 percent of the town’s share for
sidewalk replacement. But with the council’s recent finalization of a new
federally mandated plan to retrofit municipal facilities to comply with the
Americans with Disability Act, members agreed on the need to commit some
funds to ADA compliance.
From the CFD
Meanwhile, Fire Chief Mike Orlich reported that Engine 512 is currently out
of a service, after the vehicle’s charging system went on the fritz.
The system is being rebuilt, Orlich said.
By consensus, members agreed to declare February Tri Kappa Month in the Town
Members also agreed to take under advisement an offer by Steve Brady of
Heritage Advisory Group for “a complete analysis and thorough review” of the
town’s municipal health insurance coverage.
“We would then make recommendations for long-term strategies to reduce costs
and advise the town on the implementation of the changes,” Brady said.
Brady emphasized that his firm would not be competing with existing
vendors and would use the town’s own historical data, not industry
standards, in its review.