The conduit for the
Town of Chesterton’s fiber-optic network has been laid and the fiber itself
is mostly installed.
The “meet-me room”
at the municipal complex--the nerve center of the network--is substantially
The network itself
has been physically connected to a pre-existing fiber-optic network operated
by Spread Networks between New York and Chicago (although it isn’t yet
And the network as
a whole should be ready soon for testing, starting with the tie-in to the
Duneland Schools located in town.
So Town Engineer
Mark O’Dell reported at Tuesday’s meeting of the Redevelopment Commission.
“It’s moving along great,” he said.
remains, however, for the project’s completion date to be extended, to July
2, under one of three change orders unanimously approved by the commission
on Tuesday. Those change orders add a total of $136,177.89 to the original
contract price of $1,233,673.91. With previous change orders included, the
new project price is $1,508,140.45, an increase of $274,466.54 or 22 percent
to the original contract price.
The three new
change orders include costs associated with the following: micro-fiber
splicing needed but not specified in the original contract; the purchase of
asphalt to repair road cuts; locations where the contractor CSU Inc.
discovered that boring--a far more expensive procedure than trenching--was
required; and the necessity of open-cutting a stretch of South 11th Street,
after NIPSCO was unable to definitively locate a six-inch natural-gas main
buried beneath it.
Members also agreed
unanimously to extend to June 2 its $51,912 construction inspection contract
with Lawson-Fischer Associates. The added cost of $11,640 brings the new
contract price to a total of $63,552.
South Calumet Road
In other business,
Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg reported that he has opted to forgo
the use of a Tensor fabric layer in the South Calumet Road re-paving
project. The idea behind the fabric--which would have been sandwiched
between a one-inch asphalt sub-surface and three and half inches of
surface--was to reduce the likelihood of “reflective cracking,” that is, the
communication of cracks in the concrete beneath the road up through asphalt.
the commission that the logistics involved with deploying the fabric would
have greatly complicated the project. “We could get into a lot of trouble
keeping it in place,” he noted.
project’s new specs provide for a milling of the roadway down to bare
concrete, applying a one-inch layer of asphalt to level and fill the
existing cracks in the concrete, then laying an inch and a half of binder
and another inch and a half of surface, for a total four inches of new black
estimating the cost of the project at $160,000, including striping the
roadway. A Community Crossings state infrastructure grant of $40,194.99 will
reduce the town’s share of that price tag to approximately $116,024.
voted unanimously to adopt their annual resolution declaring the need to
continue capturing tax increment financing revenues from the town’s three
different TIF districts.
By making that
determination, the commission is reserving for its own use all incremental
property-tax revenues paid by the businesses in those three districts,
including those which would otherwise be distributed to the other eligible
taxing units: the Duneland School Corporation, for instance, and the
Westchester Public Library.
Town Attorney Chuck
Lukmann did note that that up to 15 percent of this year’s captured TIF
revenues will find their way back, indirectly, to the Duneland School
Corporation, by way of the cost of connecting the schools to the fiber-optic