Chesterton Tribune



Old Quonset hut on Broadway ordered vacated and demolished

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The old Quonset hut-style building at 563 Broadway has been ordered vacated and razed, after Chesterton Interim Building Commissioner Mike Orlich determined the structure to be hazardous and its owner in non-compliance with the Nuisance Ordinance.

At its meeting Monday night, the Town Council voted 5-0 to hold a hearing to confirm Orlich’s order, to reject it, or otherwise to modify it.

A date for the hearing has not yet been scheduled and Orlich said that he will be working with Town Attorney Chuck Lukmann to finalize it.

After the meeting Orlich told the Chesterton Tribune that, over the last year or so, the owner of record--Paul Bogdan of Lake Station--has received several notices of non-compliance with the Nuisance Ordinance and ordered to abate the violations. Bogdan has not done so, prompting Orlich on June 17 to send Bogdan a certified letter ordering him to vacate and demolish the structure.

Bogdan has not responded to that letter.

Among other things, the building is unsecured and “wide open,” has been visited by vandals, and makeshift skateboard ramps have been constructed inside, Orlich said. There are also “electrical issues,” the “structural members are exposed to the weather, causing deterioration,” and in general it’s a public nuisance which poses a threat to residents’ safety and health, Orlich said.

The building was originally constructed by the Wilbar Manufacturing Company, sometime in the 1940s after World War II, for the production of its “Kar-Visor” line, a metal sun visor which attached to an auto above the windshield. It was later used by Foss Auto, then by J & L Body Shop, and for a few months, in the early 1990s, by the Chesterton Street Department for storage.

2014 Budget

In other business, the council held a public hearing on the advertised 2014 budget, which totals $15,869,385, or 5.5 percent less than the advertised 2013 budget of $16,793,442.

No one spoke in favor of the advertised budget and no one in opposition.

Major line-item differences between the 2013 and the 2014 advertised budgets: $1 million in 2014 for CEDIT, compared to $1.3 million in 2013; and $12,768 for Major Moves-Tollroad Counties, compared to $119,579 in 2013. The 2013 advertised budget also included a line-item for $800,000 in proceeds from that year’s stormwater bond, while the 2014 advertised budget does not.

The advertised 2014 General Fund: $5,969,068, or 5.9 percent more than the $5,638,304 advertised in 2013.

Vacations Granted

Meanwhile, members granted two vacation petitions, both for a platted but unimproved alley which runs east-west immediately south of West Porter Ave. and east of 15th Street. The petitioners: Roy Flaherty of 1413 W. Porter Ave. and Shawn Woodard, who owns the lot just west of Flaherty’s and is building a home there.

Flaherty said that east leg of the old alley--which runs north and then tees behind his home--was vacated years ago, leaving only the west leg still in play. Flaherty added that the only bit of the alley up for vacation is the west leg, not the north-south stretch.

Woodard, for his part, said that he’s seeking the vacation because the extra space would “help improve the rear-yard setbacks” for his new home.

At separate public hearings, no one spoke in favor of either petition and no one in opposition.

Members voted unanimously to grant the petitions.


Posted 9/24/2013