Chesterton Tribune                                                                                   Adv.

NIPSCO and town to get on same page during outages

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For the last week or so, it seemed like Duneland was getting clobbered every other day by one powerful storm or another.

Actually, Duneland was getting clobbered every other day.

And NIPSCO is conceding that its communication with the Town of Chesterton, following the storms and the resultant outages, wasn’t the best, Town Manager Bernie Doyle told the Town Council at its meeting Monday night.

“We fared relatively well,” Doyle noted, “better than LaPorte,” where a number of houses were hit by downed trees. But, he said, the town wasn’t always on the same page with NIPSCO, especially following the storm on Friday, June 18, which cut power to some 95,000 customers across its service territory.

Doyle hastened to add that NIPSCO’s resources have been stretched very thin by the series of storms. Even so, NIPSCO has itself suggested that its response in Duneland could have been stronger. “They came to us and asked ‘What can we do to do a better job?’” Doyle said. “They want to do a better job of communicating with us.”

Doyle said that he will be having a sit-down soon with NIPSCO officials.

Bond Issue

In other business, members voted 5-0 to approve on its first reading an ordinance which authorizes a general obligation bond issue for the new 15th Street building, 5-0 to suspend the rules, then 5-0 to approve that ordinance on its final reading.

Under the ordinance, the bond issue may not exceed $2 million, which is just over the price of the project as submitted by likely low bidder Bergland Construction of Chesterton: $1,927,000.

And because the total estimated cost of the new 15th Street municipal building is less than 1 percent of the town’s grossed assessed value, the project does not qualify as a “controlled project” under IC 6-1.1-20-1.1.

A municipality and other taxing units like school corporations may not, without a great deal of inconvenience, finance a “controlled project” through a general obligation bond issue—secured by property-tax revenues—if at least 100 registered voters in the jurisdiction sign a petition remonstrating against the issue.

Town Attorney Chuck Lukmann noted that, at the moment, only $175,000 in general obligation bonds issued by the town are outstanding. There are other bonds outstanding, however: stormwater, sewer, and TIF-financed ones, for instance.

Lukmann added that the bond issue should close on or about Aug. 12.

In related business, members voted 5-0 to schedule a public hearing at its July 26 meeting on the appropriation of the proceeds from the bond issue.

The municipal building itself is actually Phase II of the overall project, with Phase I—the construction of a street-salt storage facility and a cold storage facility—already underway on the property at 116 N. 15th St., formerly owned by United Tractor.

Total estimated cost of the overall project: $2.615 million, split between the $2 million bond issue and around $600,000 in Major Moves funds from the State of Indiana.

K-9 Fundraisers

Meanwhile, Police Chief Dave Cincoski took a moment to thank everyone who’s been generously donating to the effort, spearheaded by the CPD’s Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 141, to raise money for the establishment of a departmental K-9 unit.

Cincoski noted that Friday’s spaghetti fundraiser, sponsored by Chesterton First United Methodist Church, went swimmingly well, and that Saturday’s dunk tank, manned by officers in Thomas Centennial Park during the season’s debut of Cruise Night, went splashingly well.

“Both were resounding success,” said Cincoski, who got dunked himself a couple of times on Saturday.

“Thank you to all the citizens for contributing to a worthy cause,” Cincoski said.

Member Emerson DeLaney also thanked everyone who made Cruise Night a gas, including especially the cruisers themselves and the CPD and CFD.

Octave Grill to Open

DeLaney announced as well the grand opening, probably this weekend, of the town’s newest bistro: The Octave Grill on South Calumet Road, just north of the Chesterton Tribune Offices.

It’s the first restaurant to benefit from the council’s designation last year of a Riverfront District, DeLaney noted.

Celebrate America

Member Jim Ton, R-1st, for his part, urged everyone to remember this weekend, as they gather for cookouts and fireworks, the real meaning of Independence Day. “Celebrate the fact that we live in the greatest country in the world,” he said.

Fireworks at the State Park

President Jeff Trout, R-2nd, encouraged everyone who can do so to enjoy the fireworks extravaganza on Friday, July 2, on the beach at Indiana Dunes State Park.

“You just won’t see anything else that spectacular locally,” he said.

Trout thanked the Town of Porter and the Chesterton/Duneland Chamber of Commerce for taking leading roles in the organization of the event.



Posted 6/29/2010




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