By KEVIN NEVERS
Folks who’ve walked past the old Antiques 101 building lately will have
noticed that the sidewalk in front of it, both on Broadway and South Calumet
Road, hasn’t been shoveled, apparently all winter.
It’s a treacherous path of ice and re-frozen snow which is really
unavoidable by pedestrians whose destination takes them past the building,
which hasn’t been tenanted in years.
Folks with business in the Downtown have been grumbling to shopkeepers about
the sidewalk. One of them finally took his complaint to the Chesterton Town
Council, at its meeting Monday night.
Joe Waggoner--who was tactful enough not actually to name the building he
was talking about--voiced his concern about the
“hazard” and warned the council that some unlucky person is liable to break
a leg or a hip while trying to navigate the ice field which is the sidewalk.
There’s an ordinance requiring property owners to cut their grass and
another one requiring dog walkers to clean up after their pets, Waggoner
noted. Is there not an applicable one governing unshoveled sidewalks?
Members took the complaint under advisement.
After the meeting, though, Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg told the
Chesterton Tribune that in fact there
is no ordinance--to his knowledge--requiring either residents or business
owners to shovel the sidewalks fronting their property.
Schnadenberg added that he and Town Engineer Mark O’Dell are aware of the
problem at 101 Broadway and have discussed it. But before any precedent is
set, he said, “we need to confer with the Town Attorney.”
Schnadenberg did say that the Street Department spread salt on the
handicapped ramp at that intersection.
New Grapple Truck
In other business, members voted 5-0 to authorize Schnadenberg to obtain
quotes for a second grapple truck, with the idea of taking delivery on it
this summer and making the first payment on a lease-purchase contract in
Schnadenberg estimated the cost of a new one at around $150,000.
The grapple truck already in the Street Department’s fleet has proved a
valuable piece and flexible piece of equipment, Schnadenberg said.
Re: Sick Days
Meanwhile, members voted 5-0 to permit municipal employees with unused sick
days from 2014 to sell 50 percent of them back to the town--up to three full
sick days--in the form either of wage compensation or a deposit into their
health savings account.
The council had already approved this policy last year but recently
discovered that it had not been put into effect nor codified in the
personnel policy manual.
“I apologize to employees,” said Member Emerson DeLaney, R-5th. “You have
this coming to you.”
At Schnadenberg’s recommendation, members also voted 5-0 to accept as public
roadways the streets and cul-de-sacs in the Stone Meadows subdivision on
1100N, just west of C.R. 50W.
That subdivision has received primary plat approval and infrastructure has
been installed. No houses have yet been built, however.
Schnadenberg said that the roads in the subdivision had been built to spec.