Chesterton Tribune



Town Code amended: Tree services must now remove debris themselves

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It’s now a violation of Chesterton Town Code for tree services to chop down trees on private property but leave behind the limbs and trunk chunks for property owners to dispose of themselves.

The fine for a first offense: $100.

The fine for a second: up to $2,500.

As Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg told the Town Council at its meeting Monday night, all reputable tree services doing business in town calculate the cost of chipping tree debris and removing it off site in their contract price.

A few services, however, have been low-balling the competition by leaving the tree debris for the property owners to remove themselves. What that really means, Schnadenberg said, is that it’s fallen to the Street Department--after the property owners have hauled the debris to the brush site off 15th Street--to dispose of it. And the Street Department simply doesn’t have the resources, the space, or the man-hours to be doing that.

“Brush pickup is one of many services we provide for normal trimming and pruning,” Schnadenberg said. “But when you start talking about large-scale tree removal, we’re just not equipped to handle that.”

Since 1994, Schnadenberg added, it’s been the Street Department’s official policy not to dispose of tree debris left by tree services. But that policy was never actually incorporated into Town Code, so there’s been no way to enforce it.

Now there is: members voted unanimously to amend Sec. 10-9 of the Town Code to prohibit tree services from leaving tree debris behind. As Town Attorney Chuck Lukmann observed, with fines for multiple violations going at up to $2,500 a pop “it will pay to follow these rules.”

2017 Paving List

In other business, members voted unanimously to approve Schnadenberg’s paving list for the 2017 season:

* Beverly Drive and Joal Drive.

* South 20th Street, from West Porter Ave. to a point approximately 400 feet south.

* Union Ave. between 21st and 23rd streets.

* Iowa Street.

* And 24th Place.

Schnadenberg’s estimated cost for the five paving jobs: between $100,000 and $120,000. The balance of $150,000 in CEDIT funds earmarked for roadwork this year will go to crack-sealing and striping, Schnadenberg said.

Also on the docket for re-paving: South Calumet Road from Porter Ave. to the Chesterton Post Office. That job will be funded with tax increment financing revenues.

Permit Fees Waived for Duneland Schools

Members also voted unanimously to waive the building permit fees for six projects in town which the Duneland School Corporation is scheduled to pursue this summer.

The work includes parking lot re-paving, roof work, and swimming pool repairs. The total amount of the fees waived: $21,000.50.

The cost of any mandatory inspections or surveys, on the other hand, the Duneland School Corporation will pay itself, Director of Support Services Greg Lindy said.

“It’s pretty much what we did last year,” noted Member Emerson DeLaney, R-5th, who took a moment to praise the council’s new and improved relationship with the Duneland Schools. “This year they followed the proper protocol and met with (Building Commissioner) Mark O’Dell. I think it’s an amicable relationship. It shows we can work together.”

Squad Car Equipment Contract Awarded

Meanwhile, members voted unanimously to award the contract for equipping the Police Department’s four new squad cars to Bartronics Inc. of Chesterton.

Bartronics’ quote of $60,517 was not, in fact, the lowest of the three received, Attorney Lukmann explained to the council. Technically the lowest quote was the one submitted by Waymire Fleet Equipment of Indianapolis: $58,275.

But Waymire’s quote was found to be unresponsive, Lukmann said, inasmuch as the company substituted alternative brands and models of equipment, not the ones cited by Police Chief Dave Cincoski in his quote specifications.

Lukmann added that Cincoski was very particular in his specs, in that he cited brands and models which are compatible with equipment salvaged from older squad cars no longer in the fleet and capable of being spare-parted.



Posted 5/9/2017





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