A couple of
generations of kids grew up playing on it.
It was a campaign
issue in several of the 2015 Chesterton Town Council races.
And now it’s gone,
nearly half a century after it was first installed: the playground equipment
at Dogwood Park.
At the Park Board’s
meeting Tuesday night, Superintendent Bruce Mathias reported that the
45-year-old equipment has been ripped out, and indeed folks driving by
Dogwood Park earlier in the day might have noticed the limbs of the old
apparatus, stacked like cordwood by the side of the parking lot on the east
side of 23rd Street.
That old equipment
will soon be replaced by a new set, already purchased at a cost of $182,109.
Now it only needs to be installed, along with two other new sets of
apparatus, one for Chesterton Park ($23,596), the other for Olde Towne Park
The estimated cost
of installing the three sets: $120,000 to $130,000--below, that is, the
$150,000 threshold at which municipal projects need to be bid out. Under
state law, however, the board still needs to solicit three quotes for the
job, which members voted unanimously to do, from the following firms which
specialize in such installations: Wampler Works Inc. of Rensselaer; Hacienda
Landscaping of Plainfield, Ill.; and Green-Up Landscape, also of Plainfield.
In other business,
members voted unanimously to authorize the Duneland Diamond League to use
the baseball field in Chesterton Park, at the corner of West Porter Ave. and
South Fifth Street, for its 2017 season.
Prior to the vote,
Dan Ameling of Duneland Diamond reviewed the work done on the facility last
year, much of it by Rebuilding Together Duneland and the Chesterton/Porter
Rotary Club: among other things, a retaining wall was built under the left
field bullpen fence; decorative trees were planted down the right field
line, flower bulbs in the planter, and a variety of shrubs and ground cover
where needed; 20 yards of mulch were also spread and a broadleaf killer
applied to the infield and outfield grass.
built a new “Chesterton Park” sign. “It’s not completely done,” he noted.
“There are still a few artistic additions left. It’s been a labor of love.”
This year, Ameling
added, the backstop fencing is scheduled to be replaced, brick pavers
installed behind the backstop from one dugout to the other, and the flagpole
rebuilt, the latter possibly as a Boy Scout project.
Down the road--and
pending funding--Ameling has put these projects on his wish list: a
scoreboard, a shelter/concession stand/restroom, a utility
tractor/lawnmower, new bleachers, and new backstop fencing.
Certainly the field
got a lot of use in 2016. As Ameling reported, around 50 boys played on four
Babe Ruth teams in the spring and 50 on another four Babe Ruth teams in the
fall, along with two adult teams in the spring. Total games played last
year: 54 youth games and 20 adult.
“Thank you for all
your hard work,” Member Mark Dickinson said.