The Chesterton Police Commission now has its full complement of members.
At its meeting Monday night, the Town Council voted 4-0 to appoint Brandon
Kroft to the commission. President Jeff Trout, R-2nd, was not in attendance.
Kroft will complete the unexpired term of long-time member Steve Brickner,
who resigned last month.
Member Jim Ton, R-1st, said that five residents were interviewed for the
seat, all of whom “were excellent candidates who brought something to the
table.” But Kroft has “particular assets needed for the Police Commission at
“There were a lot of good candidates out there,” agreed Member Emerson
DeLaney, R-5th. “And I’m very, very pleased to see more residents wanting to
get involved in our community.”
Kroft formerly sat on the Board of Zoning Appeals but the council did not
re-appoint him to the seat when his term expired at the end of last year.
Brickner, for his part, resigned on Jan. 8, citing differences of opinion
with some council members about CPD policy.
The commission’s first big task in 2010 will be to name a new chief, after
George Nelson announced his resignation last month pending his successor’s
From the CFD
In other business, members voted 4-0 to authorize Fire Chief Mike Orlich to
spend $35,000 in already earmarked CEDIT funds for the purchase of new
bunker gear. Orlich noted that the council approved a similar earmark last
year but added that going forward he hopes to be able to replace bunker gear
on a regular schedule through the Chesterton Fire Department’s annual
Orlich also announced that the CFD has been awarded a grant of $18,000—with
a $900 match—from the Federal Emergency Management Administration. The funds
will be used to purchase a forcible entry simulator, re-chargeable fire
extinguishers for training, and new CPR mannequins.
By consensus members authorized Orlich to consult with Town Attorney Chuck
Lukmann about contracting with a used fire engine broker to handle the sale
of the old ladder truck. Members authorized the CFD as well to use the town
hall on Wednesday evenings for its weekly business meetings now that the
Police Commission has moved its regular meeting day to the second Thursday
of the month.
Meanwhile, Clerk-Treasurer Gayle Polakowski took note of receipt of a letter
from resident Tom Lee thanking the CFD for its early-morning assistance one
day this month when his wife had fallen. “I can’t say enough about what your
people did for us,” Lee wrote. “Not only were they very professional they
also were very caring. They took their time, even though I’m sure, from my
experiences, they would rather be in their warm beds. . . . This town
doesn’t know what kind of a jewel we are lucky to have. Words can’t express
how thankful Diana and I are for all of their help.”
From the Streets
Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg announced that he has taken delivery
of a new salt brine machine plus a storage tank and truck pump. Typically,
he said, the liquid brine will be applied to dry roadways in advance of a
snow event to get a headstart on the melting process but it can also be used
for some de-icing as well. In three years, Schnadenberg has said, the
$22,000 equipment should pay for itself in salt savings.
The gear is currently being calibrated and should be available for use soon.
It cost 10 cents per gallon to mix the brine and will be applied to the tune
of 50 gallons per lane mile, Schnadenberg added.
Schnadenberg also said that the Fifth Street sidewalk project—from 1100 to
Hunters Court—should be ready to go out for bid in March. A total of $85,000
in CEDIT funds has been made available for that project.
Schnadenberg said as well that he is in the process now of compiling a list
of paving projects for the season. A total of $200,000 in CEDIT funds has
been made available for that work.
From the CPD
The Chesterton Police Department has responded to 174 calls so far in
February and to 870 in the year-to-date, Nelson reported.
Cyberspace is all atwitter about Chesterton.
As Town Manager Bernie Doyle announced at the Town Council’s meeting Monday
night, the Town of Chesterton now has accounts at twitter.com and
Go to twitter.com/chesterton_in and read the tweets about the comings and
goings and activities in Chesterton. Hot topics at the moment: the Town of
Chesterton’s new MS4 website and the 2010 census.
Go to Facebook.com, search for Town of Chesterton, and join the other 1,265
fans who are networking. “It seems like the number has doubled every four or
five days,” Doyle said.
Not only are the two venues good ways to keep abreast of life in the town,
they also could be used for emergency notifications and informal surveys,
Doyle told the council.
In related news, the Town of Chesterton’s municipal website is currently
scheduled to go on line on March 1, Doyle said. SH/Mindbend of Valparaiso
was awarded the contract for designing and implementing the website.
Meanwhile, Doyle said that he and Town Engineer Mark O’Dell and MS4 Operator
Jennifer Gadzala recently met with Jim Smith of Able Disposal to discuss a
complaint received about litter blowing out of the facility.
“We’re confident that this issue will be corrected,” Doyle said.
In other business, members voted 4-0 to place Doyle’s administrative
assistant, Stephanie Kuziela, on full-time status. Kuziela is not getting a
raise but will work one hour more per week, from 31 to 32, which makes her
eligible for benefits.
President Jeff Trout, R-2nd, was not in attendance.
Clerk-Treasurer Gayle Polakowski told the Chesterton Tribune after
the meeting that the cost for those benefits will be around $10,000.
Place on the
In a letter to the council, Robert Carter Jr., state historic preservation
officer with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, announced that the
Chesterton Residential Historic District was entered in the National
Register of Historic Places on Dec. 24.
That district includes, “roughly,” the following: 303-203 W. Indiana Ave.,
215-135 S. Second St., 202-210 W. Morgan Ave., and 201 W. Lincoln Ave.
“In addition to a degree of environmental protection, owners of listed
properties may be eligible to apply for matching federal grants for
restorations or preservation work, if funds are available,” Carter wrote.
“Owners of commercially-used properties are also eligible for federal tax
benefits for certified rehabilitation work.”
Tri Kappa Week
Members voted 4-0 to declare the week of Feb. 21-27 Tri Kappa week in the
Town of Chesterton, at the request of the Chesterton Epsilon Kappa Chapter.
Tri Kappa, founded in 1901, is an Indiana philanthropic organization.