Chesterton Tribune



Town Council hears petition for mobile fashion truck

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It’s like a food truck, only it’s clothing and accessories.

It’s the Luxe Wagon, a 20-foot potato chip truck converted by Dot Kesling and Paige Fessenden, and it may be coming to a neighborhood near you, to purvey on the fly its line of women’s fashion and home apothecary goods.

Kesling appeared before the Chesterton Town Council at its meeting Monday night, hoping to be issued a peddler’s license.

In fact, Town Attorney Chuck Lukmann said, it’s unclear exactly what sort of permitting might be required for the Luxe Wagon, whether a lot or a little or none at all. The first order of business, accordingly, is a detailed account of how Luxe Wagon would operate in the Town of Chesterton: where would it park? how often? what would its hours of business be?

Kesling did say that she and her partner tried to get a spot at the European Market but were told that, at present, there are enough women’s clothing and jewelry merchants selling there.

Ordinarily a person applies for a peddler’s license through the Clerk-Treasurer’s Office and the Police Department, and Lukmann advised Kesling to begin there. He would then consult with Clerk-Treasurer Stephanie Kuziela and Police Chief Dave Cincoski, after receiving a more detailed description of the business.

Member Emerson DeLaney, R-5th, did note that brick-and-mortar businesses do tend to complain about mobile merchandising, on the ground that the playing field isn’t level because food trucks, for instance, don’t pay property taxes.

“A lot of businesses pay rent but not property taxes,” Kesling replied. “And we will be paying rent to owners of property” on which the Luxe Wagon sets up shop.

“It’s a little bit different business model,” added Member Jeff Trout, R-2nd. “And I’m not opposed to it. But we need to do everything by the book.”

Lease of Town

Property Proposed

In other business, Lukmann reported to the council that a telecommunications firm is interested in leasing municipal property at the old Street Department site on Grant Ave. for the purpose of erecting a cell tower.

Such a deal would provide the town with a new source of revenue, Lukmann said, but the feasibility and safety of a tower on the property need to be investigated. The company--which he didn’t name--is willing to pay the $3,000 cost of such a study, with the understanding that it may not like the results of the study and that no promise should be inferred from the town’s willingness to explore the offer.

Members voted 5-0 to greenlight that study.

Westchester-Liberty Trail

Meanwhile, Town Engineer Mark O’Dell reported that the Indiana Department of Transportation has approved American Structurepoint to engineer Phase II of the Westchester-Liberty Trail, which will extend the sidewalk on the north side of 1100N from Rosehill Estates to Fifth Street.

Last year the town was awarded a grant of $405,834 in Transportation Alternatives Program funding from the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission. O’Dell has estimated the total cost of Phase II at $862,500, and the $405,834 grant may be used for any component of the project, from engineering to construction. INDOT will be administering the funding itself.

Right now, O’Dell said, the town is negotiating an engineering contract with American Structurepoint.

Traffic Signal Upgrade

O’Dell also told the council that the upgrade of the traffic signal at Indian Boundary Road and North Calumet Road is on track for a July letting. INDOT is also administering this project, which is being partially funded by an 80/20 grant of $223,578.

Ind. 49 Utility Corridor

Finally, O’Dell told the council that the winter punch list for the Ind. 49 utility corridor has been completed and that the general contractor, LGS Plumbing of Crown Point, has a spring punch list, a very short one, left to do.

The lift station’s pumps and generator are all operational, O’Dell said, and the corridor itself is now capable of being commercially developed. “We’re shovel ready on that one.”




Posted 3/26/2014