Chesterton Tribune



Schnadenberg looking to repave North Calumet Road, South Park Acres in 2020

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Chesterton Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg has submitted an application for a 50/50 Community Crossings state infrastructure grant which would partially fund a pair of major re-paving projects this season.

The first: North Calumet Road between Indian Boundary Road and the Norfolk Southern right-of-way.

The second: the whole of South Park Acres, including South Park Drive, Timber Court, and Elm Court.

As Schnadenberg told the Town Council at its meeting Monday night, he’s chosen these two projects because in both cases extensive--and invasive--utility work is being planned for 2020. NIPSCO is looking to move a natural-gas main from the west side of North Calumet Road to the east side; while Indiana American Water Company (IAWC) expects to replace the water main in South Park Acres.

“If you can get 50 percent of your projects funded, that’s a good thing,” Schnadenberg said.

Schnadenberg told the Chesterton Tribune after the meeting that NIPSCO and IAWC have pretty much committed to the utility work. Matching funds for the North Calumet Road re-pave would come from tax increment financing funds, as North Calumet Road is located in the Town of Chesterton’s original TIF district. Matching funds for the South Park Acres re-pave would come from the proceeds of the $1.8-million general obligation bond issued in 2018 exclusively for infrastructure work.

Schnadenberg noted that both North Calumet Road and South Park Drive are already in rough shape, and it will only get rougher after NIPSCO and IAWC have taken excavators to them. “So this would be a good chance to get them re-paved,” he said.

West Indiana Ave.

Sidewalk Project

Another project to be funded with the GO bond revenues this year is the replacement of the sidewalk along the north side of West Indiana Ave. roughly from Sixth Street to South 15th Street.

On Monday the council voted unanimously to authorize Town Engineer Mark O’Dell to solicit quotes for that project, to be opened at its Feb. 24 meeting.

O’Dell told the Tribune after the meeting that exactly how much of the sidewalk gets replaced depends on the amount of money left from the GO bond.


In other business, O’Dell reported the demolition of the old Kmart on Indian Boundary Road has nearly been completed. “The Kmart building is almost down,” he said, then added that the owners of the property--a New Jersey real estate firm--have been in conversations with the Utility about a sanitary sewer service tap-on.

However, no application for a building permit or other paperwork has yet been submitted to the Building Department, so O’Dell was unable to say what exactly the New Jersey firm has planned for the site.

From the CFD

Meanwhile, Members Jennifer Fisher, I-5th, and Jim Ton, R-1st, congratulated the Fire Department on taking delivery of Engine 515, as reported by Friday’s edition of the Trib.

There’s one issue, however, which needs to be hashed out: the engine was delivered well after the contract date, resulting in $21,000 in “liquidated damages.” Fire Chief John Jarka said that the $21,000 could simply come off the top of the contract price--dropping it from $505,746 to $484,746--or could instead be used as a credit at the dealer, Spartan/Smeal of Valparaiso, for the purchase of new extrication equipment.

“New car technology has changed a lot,” Jarka said. “Our cutters are 30 years old. They cut but they don’t cut like they used to.”

Members voted unanimously to take the matter under advisement after Town Attorney Chuck Lukmann expressed an interest in researching the issue first.

Members also voted unanimously, at Jarka’s request, to declare surplus--with an estimated value of $5,000--the CFD’s 1988 Chevrolet Grumman command van. “The town really has no need of this vehicle,” observed Fisher, the council’s liaison to the CFD. And Jarka added that these vans are increasingly being converted into food trucks.

Building Inspector

Finally, members voted unanimously to approve an ordinance authorizing the employment of Dave Lohse as Building Official III, following his upcoming retirement from the Police Department.

Lohse currently serves as Assistant Police Chief.

The position of Building Official has been vacant since the retirement last year of Ed Surgener.

Redevelopment Commission

Earlier in the evening, at the regular monthly meeting of the Redevelopment Commission, members voted unanimously to elect Jeff Trout the 2020 president; Nick Walding vice-president; and Clerk-Treasurer Courtney Udvare secretary.



Posted 1/28/2020




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