Chesterton Tribune



Round up campaign at Hopkins Ace for Coffee Creek Park

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In 2018, a round up campaign at Hopkins Ace Hardware raised more than $3,000 for the boxcar restroom project in Thomas Centennial Park.

Now Ace owner Mark Hopkins wants to do it again, this time with an eye toward fundraising for the ongoing cleanup and rehab of Coffee Creek Park.

Hopkins made his pitch at the Chesterton Park Board’s meeting Tuesday night. “My wife told me I should probably get permission from you before I go ahead and do it on my own,” he joked.

Permission was immediate, enthusiastic, and grateful. “That’s a very generous thing to do,” Member Wendy Marciniak said. “Thank you.”

Hopkins hasn’t quite decided yet how long the round up will go, but at least until the end of June and possibly until Aug. 1. But during that period customers will be asked whether they’d like to round up their purchase to the nearest dollar, with the spare change going to Coffee Creek Park.

Hopkins, along with Member Paul Shinn, has been one of the prime movers in the cleanup of the park. Last year scores of cubic yards of scrub and brush were removed, and bags of trash collected.

In related business, Hopkins was pleased to report that Duneland Rebuilding Together has agreed to make the rehab of Coffee Creek Park one of its community projects in April, and that the Coffee Creek Park Committee will be meeting soon to determine the goals and scope of the work.

Hopkins also reported that the Chesterton-Porter Rotary Club has expressed an interest as well in making Coffee Creek Park one of its long-term projects.

Westchester Court

In other business, Jeff Wozniak, a resident of Westchester Court, made note from the floor of the overgrown vegetation in the heavily wooded area at the center of the cul-de-sac, where 10 bushes are now encroaching on the roadway and creating blind spots in which motorists could very well fail to see children playing or bicycling.

Under the impression that the area is one of town’s parks, Wozniak requested that the Park Department do some pruning.

Except, as Superintendent Bruce Mathias said, it’s not a park. The Park Department has occasionally maintained the area, however, at Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg’s request, he added. “We just picked it up to help him out.”

The area does not appear to be owned by an HOA, and Town Engineer Mark O’Dell suggested that it might be a public right-of-way, but that he will have to check. In any case, O’Dell said, it would be easy enough for him, Mathias, and Schnadenberg to take a look at the area and determine a solution going forward.

Young Professionals

Meanwhile, members voted unanimously to grant the Duneland Chamber of Commerce usage of Dogwood Park from 1 to 7 p.m. Friday, May 15, where it will once again host the annual Young Professionals benefit fundraiser.

Tickets purchased for the fundraiser will benefit regional nonprofits. Leroy’s Hot Stuff will be serving food and beer, and Park Department staff will help the Chamber install temporary fencing for the event.

Duneland Exchange Club

Members also voted unanimously to allow the Duneland Exchange Club to erect a banner in Thomas Centennial Park to mark Prevention of Child Abuse Month in April.

The Duneland Exchange Club has been observing the Prevention of Child Abuse Month for many years.


Assistant Superintendent Shane Griffin reported that the new shelter at Dogwood is proceeding. “It’s coming along nicely,” he said. “The roof comes in next week,” Mathias added. “That’s what we’re waiting for.”

Griffin also reported that at next month’s meeting he should have a report on the upcoming season of Chesterton Cruise Night, held on the last Saturday of the month through the summer in Downtown Chesterton. Brad Pikula, owner of Mel’s Detail at 105 Brown Ave. in Chesterton, is interested again in assisting with the event’s organization and promotion, Griffin noted, while Dean Biddle, owner of Dean’s Tire & Auto at 1603 S. Calumet Road, would like to join the effort as well.

Mathias requested, and was given, authorization to work with legal on a contract for the demolition of the old Park Department building on the east side of 23rd Street.

And Member Paul Shinn asked Mathias and Griffin to conduct safety inspections of the skate park off South 15th Street and the overlook at Coffee Creek Park.

April Meeting Date Changed

Members voted unanimously to change the date of next month’s meeting to Wednesday, April 8. The time will remain the same: 6 p.m.

The meeting was re-scheduled to accommodate extended early voting hours at the town hall on Tuesdays and Thursdays in April.



Posted 3/6/2020




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