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,
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
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.
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.