The Chesterton Town Council has accepted the bid from Horizon Investments
Inc. for a $1.8-million general obligation bond issue for road and sidewalk
Horizon Investments, a subsidiary of Horizon Bank, submitted the lowest of
six bids: a 2.6-percent interest rate, a significantly more favorable rate
than the maximum acceptable one of 4 percent previously set by the council.
Members voted unanimously to accept the bid at their meeting Monday night.
Town Attorney Chuck Lukmann expects the bond sale to close before the
council’s next meeting, Aug. 13. “It was a very successful bid opening,” he
noted, with six of the bidders submitting rates under 3 percent.
This five-year bond follows on the heels of a $1.5-million issue, the last
payment on which the town made this year. That bond financed a number of
major paving projects, including South Fifth Street between 1100N and West
Porter Ave.; South 11th Street between 1050N and 1100N; and West Porter Ave.
between South 15th Street and 23rd Street.
No calculations were immediately available on what property-owners will be
paying to service the bond issue at 2.6 percent. At the council’s June 11
meeting, however, Lukmann said that, in the case of an issue at the full
4-percent interest rate, owners of homes assessed at $150,000 would pay
$10.30 more annually than they did on the $1.5-million bond; while owners of
homes assessed at $250,000 would pay $15.63 more annually.
The Fate of Engine 512
In other business, members discussed the fate of Engine 512, the 18-year-old
main backup engine which threw its differential last week after the U-bolts
securing the rear axle to the chassis failed.
Fire Chief John Jarka was not sanguine about the wisdom of repairing the
engine, which could cost more than the 2000 Pierce Saber is actually worth.
Besides the actual structural damage, the engine is badly corroded, which
Jarka speculated may have less to do with road salt--none of the other
vehicles in the CFD’s fleet has sustained that degree of rust--than with the
way it was manufactured.
Member Jim Ton, R-1st, noted that the Pierce has given the CFD problems
almost from the first, and that the late fire chief, Warren “Skip” Highwood,
often complained about a list in the frame, which caused it to be sent back
to the manufacturer several times for work. “It’s been snake-bit since we
got it,” he said.
The CFD does have a third engine, a 1992 Pierce International, which is
road-worthy and still capable of pumping water but is far smaller than the
CFD’s main engine, a 2015 Sutphen, and unable to carry much in the way of
rescue equipment. Still, there’s no question that the town’s firefighting
capability remains uncompromised. “We can adequately supply water to a fire
in large amounts,” Jarka said.
In the end, members voted unanimously to instruct Jarka to investigate the
feasibility of purchasing a used demo engine to replace the 2000 Pierce.
Meanwhile, members voted unanimously to take under advisement a pair of
quotes for repairs needed to be made to the town hall roof:
* $46,000 from International Roofing of Burns Harbor.
* $62,550 from Gluth Brothers Roofing Company Inc. of Hammond.
Members also voted unanimously to pay the $7,479 bill for the Indiana State
Board of Account’s recent audit of the town.
“The state sets up the audit and they charge us,” observed Member Emerson
Of that audit Kuziela said that it went well. “They had a couple of comments
but other than that no issues. And we already have plans in place to resolve
President Lloyd Kittredge, who sat in on the meeting with SBOA, concurred.
“They were very pleased with what they saw,” he said.