Two weeks after the Chesterton Town Council approved a street tree-share
program, four residents have already signed up for it.
At the council’s meeting Monday night, Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg
reported that it didn’t take long for the new program to get traction.
Already, he said, four households have decided to pay the $75, in exchange
for which the Street Department will purchase and plant a six- to 12-foot
tree in the right-of-way of the resident’s home, generally that strip of
grass between the sidewalk and the street.
The residents, for their part, agree to water and maintain the newly planted
“We think this is going to turn out to be a pretty good program,”
The number of applications which the Street Department will accept every
year is limited, so persons wanting to take advantage of the program should
complete one now.
Applications are available from the Street Department at the municipal
complex at 1490 Broadway.
Schnadenberg also reported that four of the seven diesel-run vehicles in the
town’s fleet are eligible for retrofitting, under a 100-percent pay-back
grant offered through South Shore Clean Cities and the Northwestern Indiana
Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC).
That diesel-oxidation grant will pay for the replacement of the four
vehicles’ muffler systems, Schnadenberg said.
The cost of the retrofit: $10,170.36, which is completely refundable,
NIRPC itself is bidding out the retrofit contract and will handle the
logistics of the job.
Meanwhile, at Schnadenberg’s recommendation, members agreed unanimously to
increase the hourly wage of up to four Street Department workers by 50
cents, after they have been trained to operate and maintain the Stormwater
Utility’s new Aquatech jetting truck.
That truck is similar to the Sanitary Sewer Utility’s vacuum truck but has
additional capabilities and will be used for jetting and cleaning the town’s
stormwater sewer system.
The Aquatech vehicle is an “expensive unit,” has “a lot of gauges and meters
on it,” and a great deal of special training “is necessary to learn how to
operate it,” Schnadenberg said. He accordingly asked for the wage increase
for the four workers who will eventually man it.
“It’s worth the extra to have people properly trained on it,” Schnadenberg
Two workers are being qualified on the truck now, he added. Two more will be
qualified on it next year.
The Stormwater Management Board purchased the Aquatech truck in August at
cost of $295,000.