Chesterton Tribune

Porter walkway to extend into Chesterton

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The Chesterton Town Council has greenlighted in principle the Town of Porter’s plan to construct 286 feet of eight-foot sidewalk—about 4 percent of the length of the Orchard Pedestrian Way—along Chesterton public right-of-way, located on the west side of Waverly Road in the area of Woodlawn Ave.

Members instructed Porter Town Engineer Matt Kaiser at their meeting Monday night to prepare an interlocal agreement and submit it to Chesterton Town Attorney Chuck Lukmann for review, after staff agreed that several concerns raised by a Chesterton resident who lives in the neighborhood have been addressed.

Under that interlocal agreement, the Town of Porter would maintain that portion of the sidewalk located in the Town of Chesterton, until such time as Chesterton extends it and links it with the Dunes-Kankakee Trail, projected to run through the Chesterton Downtown. “That seems like a reasonable way to handle it,” Chesterton Town Engineer Mark O’Dell noted.

In related business, members voted 5-0 to make $2,500 in CEDIT funds available to retain a consultant to prepare an application for a grant which, if awarded, would defray part of the cost of engineering the Town of Chesterton’s portion of the Dunes-Kankakee Trail, which when completed will extend all the way from Indiana Dunes State Park to the Kankakee River in the area of Hebron.

Health and Wellness

In other business, members voted 5-0 to accept the proposal of health-insurance carrier American International Insurance, after being informed that its current carrier—reacting to what agent Mike Anton characterized as the town’s “over-heated experience”—jacked its rate for 2011 by 225 percent.

The rate quoted by American International, Anton said, provides for only a 6-percent increase. “Six percent is very favorable, even without the experience issue,” Anton said.

Members then voted 5-0 to initiate a wellness-program, under which all municipal employees will contribute $25 per month, with the opportunity to earn back up to $250 of their $300 annual contribution by participating in wellness lunches on topics such as smoking cessation, nutrition, stress management, and work safety.

Posted 12/21/2010