A representative of the Northern Indiana Public Service Company did appear
before the Chesterton Town Council at its meeting Monday--as Street
Commissioner John Schnadenberg had promised--to explain a little more about
the electrical service upgrade along Fifth Street which has necessitated the
removal of 17 public street-trees.
Rick Calinski told the council that a mile-long stretch of Fifth Street will
be affected, between park Ave. and 1100N, along the west side of which crews
will be replacing both lines and poles. Currently, that area of electrical
service combines two sometimes incompatible loads, a larger and a smaller,
which don’t work together especially well when the system is stressed.
“It’s a much needed project,” Calinski said. “I think it will be a benefit
to the community when completed.”
Crews will be removing 17 public street-trees and five private trees, the
owners of the latter of which have been contacted by NIPSCO arborist
contractor. “NIPSCO takes tree removal very seriously,” Calinski said. Then,
in the spring, NIPSCO will work with the Town of Chesterton to replace the
street-trees and perform new landscaping and streetscaping.
*The actual electric work should begin on Nov. 9 and the project should take
four to six weeks to finish, weather permitting.
*The shift from the old line to the new line should be virtually seamless,
Calinski said. “There might be a slight outage of a couple of seconds when
the switch-over is made.”
*NIPSCO will try to place the new utility poles further back off the street.
*Work will commence after 8 a.m. each day, after classes have begun at
Bailey Elementary and Westchester Intermediate schools. And crews will be
cognizant of each school’s dismissal time in the afternoon. Flaggers will be
on site to ensure traffic movement is smooth.
“I think every precaution has been taken” for safety,” said Member Jeff
Trout, R-2nd. “Updating the infrastructure is important to do.”
Calinski did note that, pending approval by the Indiana Utility Regulatory
Commission, NIPSCO will be undertaking a huge seven-year capital investment
in its electric service territory-wide, and that Dunelanders can expect to
see a number of projects in their communities.
Jeff Wozniak, who lives on Fifth Street, did make a few suggestions about
NIPSCO’s project. For one thing, more street lights should be installed,
particularly between Bailly and Westchester. “At night you can’t see the
sidewalk at all.”
Wozniak also said that his mailbox has been struck several times by passing
vehicles and wondered whether the town could install reflectors in the
Franciscan Alliance Signage
In other business, members voted 5-0 to approve the request of the
Franciscan Alliance (FA) ER department on Indian Boundary Road for
additional directional signage in the public right-of-way.
Clinical manager Travis Thatcher-Curtis told the council that ambulance
services which infrequently respond to the ER department have had trouble
finding the patient offloading area in the rear of the building. For that
reason, FA wants to install three 2’ x 2’ signs--blue background, white
lettering, reflective--along Indian Boundary Road and one along Council
The council okayed the request, pending the receipt from FA of a formal
petition for a waiver from Town Standards.