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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.