Chesterton Tribune



Progress continues on 1100N sidewalk

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Walsh and Kelly Inc. is making good progress on Phase II of the Westchester-Liberty Trail, Chesterton Town Engineer Mark O’Dell reported to the Town Council at its meeting Monday night.

O’Dell said that he expects Walsh & Kelly to have completed the first stage of the project--the half-mile of sidewalk between South 11th Street and South Fifth Street, along the south side of 1100N--by the end of the week.

Walsh & Kelly will then begin the much more complicated second stage: along the north side of 1100N from Rosehill Estates to Woodland Drive. More complicated, because crews will first need to cut back a great deal of wetland vegetation and then infill it before they can start building the forms and pouring concrete.

Under a permit issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the town earlier this year entered a wetlands mitigation agreement to purchase 0.91 acres in a wetland mitigation “bank” located in Lake County, at a cost of $19,000, to replace the acreage which will be disturbed in the construction of the new sidewalk.

O’Dell did warn motorists to expect unscheduled day-to-day road closures along 1100N. “A lot of fill has to be brought in,” he said.

The Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission has awarded the town three separate 80/20 grants totaling $1,074,394 to cover engineering and construction costs as well as to fund right-of-way acquisition and wetland mitigation. The sidewalk was designed by American StructurePoint under a $188,230 contract awarded in September 2014, while Walsh & Kelly’s low bid of $547,049 was substantially less than the original estimated construction cost of $700,000.

Community Crossings

Grant Submitted

In other business, Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg reported that he, O’Dell, and MS4 Operator Jennifer Gadzala have completed and are ready to submit their application for a Community Crossings 50/50 infrastructure grant from the state.

The grant, if awarded, would fund three different projects: a re-pave of South Calumet Road from Porter Ave. south to the Chesterton Post Office; a re-pave of Wabash Ave. from North Calumet Road to Waverly Road and then of Waverly Road north to Woodlawn Ave.; and a box culvert to replace the bridge on East Porter Ave. over Sand Creek.

Schnadenberg said that he’s hopeful of hearing news on the application later this summer, and--should the town receive a grant--paving could begin in September. The town used a Community Crossings grant to pay half the cost of re-paving 1100N last year between South Fifth Street and Pearson Road.

Schnadenberg did take a moment to express his appreciation to Gadzala, who “was instrumental in putting all three packets together,” he said. “She did a great job.”

More on the CEDC

Meanwhile, members completed the process of re-establishing the long dormant Chesterton Economic Development Corporation (CEDC) by voting unanimously to appoint President Jim Ton, R-1st, to the last seat on the body.

Ton exercised presidential prerogative at the council’s previous meeting by appointing Richard Riley to the CEDC. Riley is the owner of Riley’s Railhouse at 123 N. Fourth Street.

The purpose of the CEDC is to revitalize the Downtown by making loans to business owners for facade improvements. Loans of up to $5,000 at an interest rate of 2 percent will be available when the CEDC is once again up and running. Loans must be repaid in full after five years, with two installments per year.

Clerk-Treasurer Stephanie Kuziela told the Chesterton Tribune after the meeting that the loan program dates to 1986, when the town received a federal grant. Approximately $100,000 remains of that grant, which Kuziela said has been “rolling over year after year.”

As of 2012, according to Town Manager Bernie Doyle, the town had awarded 43 loans totaling $533,321.21

The CEDC’s main purpose is to review loan applications. Also having seats on the CEDC--as constituted by its bylaws--are the Clerk-Treasurer, the Town Engineer, and the Town Manager.


Posted 7/17/2017





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