Chesterton Tribune

South Calumet Road could open to traffic late Friday

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By KEVIN NEVERS

Chesterton Town Engineer Mark O’Dell is hopeful that South Calumet Road will be re-opened to traffic by the close of business on Friday.

So he reported to the Chesterton Town Council at its meeting Monday night.

Minutes after the Utility Service Board voted unanimously to declare the Downtown an “emergency”—at a special meeting at 8 a.m. Monday—Solid Rock Paving & Excavating of Crown Point started laying asphalt and didn’t stop until some 700 tons had been put down, O’Dell said.

O’Dell told the Chesterton Tribune after the meeting that another 100 to 150 tons remain to be laid, following by binder and surface, seam grinding, and—most likely on Friday—thermo-plastic striping.

God willing and the creek don’t rise, South Cal will be open for the Fourth of July weekend, after being closed since March.

The original contract completion date had been June 4 but heavy rains in May put numerous dents in the schedule. Then, just as general contractor Rieth-Riley was ready to re-surface South Cal, Operating Engineers Local 150 went on strike, on June 9.

After declaring the Downtown an emergency on Monday, the Service Board voted to terminate Rieth-Riley’s contract, then to award a new contract—for the unit price of $148,628.45—to Solid Rock. That new contract includes prevailing wage protections, per Indiana Code and the bond specs.

Re-Zone Completed

In other business, members voted 3-1 to approve on final reading an ordinance which re-zones from R-2 to B-2 the ambulance barn property at the southwest corner of East Porter Ave. and Ind. 49.

Member Jim Ton, R-1st, reiterated the concerns which prompted him to vote against the motion on first reading: namely, that the Porter County Commissioners, owners of the 2.4-acre parcel, have not formally committed to keeping the ambulance barn open; and that the ground, as home to the Vietnam War Memorial, is “sacred.”

“My reservations have been stated and well reported,” Ton said. “Nothing new has occurred which would alleviate my concerns.”

The Commissioners petitioned for the re-zone on behalf of the Chesterton/Duneland Chamber of Commerce, which requires a commercial zone of the property in order to secure financing for a proposed $170,000 sign and LED message board on the southernmost part of the parcel.

The Commissioners have agreed to exempt a number of possible B-2 uses of the property, including all auto-service sales, fast food sales, and alcohol sales.

Earlier in the meeting, Morgan Park resident Leonard Sullivan expressed his own unhappiness about the re-zone. “Why can’t you just do it for the sign?” he asked. “There’s the potential for this to keep on growing. We have enough business.”

Re: Hotdog Cart

Meanwhile, Kimberly Krass asked the council from the floor for authorization to operate a hotdog stand somewhere in town. “Gourment dogs,” she said. “All beef.” Members referred Krass to department heads, who will advise her on a suitable location, then to Town Attorney Chuck Lukmann, who will draft a licensing agreement.

Municipal Facility Update

Building Commissioner Dave Novak reported that repairs of the new municipal facility’s leaking roof have been set for July 6-8.

 

Posted 6/28/2011