Chesterton Tribune



Thomas to get historical marker; Duneland Diamond plans more upgrades

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The Duneland Historical Society won permission Tuesday to erect a historical marker in downtown Chesterton's Thomas Park to commemorate historic Broadway buildings.

The Chesterton Park Board enthusiastically approved the DHS project, which spokesperson Dorothy Meyers said will cost her group about $1,000. She was accompanied by DHS member Marilyn Cook.

Meyers said the professionally made marker will be in the style of state/federal park information boards. She proposed locating the marker on the south side of the Thomas gazebo because the angled marker would contain a circa 1913 photograph of the block of north-facing Broadway buildings across the street.

If the first marker goes well, added Meyers, DHS could erect a second one in another location.

Park director Bruce Mathias said the size of the structure is appropriate for Thomas Park. Board member Mark Dickinson commented, "It looks very tasteful and would fit in very well."

On John Kroft's motion the Park Board voted 3-0 with Jim Crawford absent to approve the project as proposed. After the meeting Cook said preparations for the marker will begin.

#In a related Thomas request, Frontline Foundations development director Derek Frazier requested that his group be allowed use of the downtown park Sept. 27 for an art festival. He said last year more than 2,500 people attended. Set-up would be Sept. 26.

#Board president Vincent Emanuele said Frazier will need to submit a formal request letter and application for review, but Kroft said it sounded like a request the board would approve.

#Dan Amling of Duneland Diamond Baseball updated the board on the many projects his group, in cooperation with the Chesterton-Porter Rotary Club, completed at Chesterton Park's southeast ball diamond in 2013.

#More site upgrades are planned this year as well, he explained, because "we want to make that corner a showcase." The diamond is located at the intersection of Fifth Street and Porter Avenue.

Amling said the projects undertaken last year represented a total investment of approximately $23,000 thanks to gifts/materials/labor from Duneland Diamond, Rotary, Town and Country Fencing, Tazco Concrete, Joe Brys, Von Tobel, Raffin Construction, Midwest Construction, Dunes Office Supply, Clark's Landscaping, Phoenix Materials and Joe Conway.

Emanuele said the Park Board will send each participant a thank-you. "We really appreciate what you do out there," he told Amling.

By unanimous vote the Park Board designated Duneland Diamond the primary lead for ballfield use and Amling the contact for other groups wishing to share field time.

The Chesterton subdivision control ordinance requires developers to present their plans to the Park Board for comment. Attorney Greg Babcock for developer Bill Stone described a planned 25-lot, single-family subdivision at the southwest corner of County Roads 1100N and 50W across from Bethlehem Lutheran Church.

"We need to start somewhere to get some new housing going," he told Park Board members.

The 10.5-acre project is very near Dogwood Park. Babcock said no park land will be donated in the subdivision, but a park impact fee will be paid per ordinance as well as sidewalks built to access 1100N and 50W.

Dickinson asked if the detention pond will be fenced. Babcock said yes, and it will have a dry bottom and be maintained by a POA.

In other business Mathias said bad weather has hampered the removal of all park holiday decorations, but Kroft said he's happy to see the Santa House has been removed from Thomas for safekeeping.

Town manager Bernie Doyle thanked Mathias for helping plow snow from the recent winter storms, and Dickinson said it's good to see departments cooperating with each other because it's part of being a community.


Posted 2/5/2014




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