The railroad’s time is on the town’s dime.
So Chesterton Town Engineer Mark O’Dell reported at Monday’s meeting of the
It works this way: in order to qualify for a federal grant—administered by
the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission—which would defray
two-thirds of the hard construction costs of installing a new traffic signal
at the intersection of Indian Boundary Road and North Calumet Road, the town
must pay the CSX railroad an up-front retainer of $10,000, deposited into an
account from which the railroad may draw funds to pay for any time spent on
the project by its own engineers or experts.
O’Dell said that the traffic signal’s underground infrastructure is located
on CSX right-of-way.
Town Attorney Chuck Lukmann saw no problems with the retainer, so long as
everything’s transparent, “every application is known, and we can trace it
down the road.”
Members accordingly voted 5-0 to authorize O’Dell to establish the account
and deposit $10,000 in tax increment financing funds into it.
The estimated construction cost of the new traffic signal—which will feature
a decorative mast arm, a new control cabinet, and all new wiring—is
$255,700. The federal grant would pay for around 67 percent of that cost or
$173,160. The town will pay the balance in TIF moneys as well as the $47,900
Update on the
Ind. 49 Corridor
In other business, Member Jeff Trout reported that the commission is still
in discussion with Porter County officials about a possible partnership in
the Ind. 49 utility corridor project, under which utility infrastructure
would be extended as far south along Ind. 49 as U.S. Highway 6 in
unincorporated Liberty Township.
The Town of Chesterton is itself working on financing Phase I of the
project, which would extend sanitary sewer service, stormwater, water, and
fiber optic infrastructure to Chesterton’s southernmost boundary, on the far
side of the Indiana Toll Road.
Meanwhile, Mike Jabo of DLZ reported that the general contractor for the
South Calumet District project is now working with the electrical
subcontractor, the lighting vendor, and the lighting manufacturer, trying to
determine how and why water is getting into the lighting ballast for the two
welcome signs at the intersection of 100E and 1100N.
The manufacturer, Jabo added, has supplied a new type of lighting for
installation, to see if that will resolve the problem.
Members also voted 5-0 to approve three claims: $196.36 from Midwestern
Electric Inc.; $3,975 from Harris Welsh & Lukmann; and $10,572.50 from DVG
Inc., the contracted engineer for the Ind. 49 utility corridor project.