Chesterton Tribune



Town of Chesterton enacts own funeral ordinance

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The Chesterton Town Council has enacted an ordinance identical to the one approved last month by the Porter Town Council, intended to maintain the dignity of funerals and the privacy of grievers.

At their meeting Monday night, members voted 5-0 to approve the ordinance on first reading, 5-0 to suspend the rules, then 5-0 to approve the ordinance on final reading.

There was no discussion of the ordinance.

The text of the ordinance:

“Sec. 16-30 Funeral protests.

“(a) Every person may freely speak, write, and publish the person’s sentiments on all subjects, but no person shall picket or engage in other protest activities, nor shall any association or corporation cause picketing or other protest activities to occur within 300 feet of any residence, cemetery, funeral home, synagogue, or other establishment during or within one hour before or one hour after the conducting of any actual funeral or burial service at that place.

“(b) As used in this section, ‘other protest activities’ means any action that is disruptive or undertaken to disrupt or disturb a funeral or burial service.

“(c) “As used in this section, ‘funeral’ and ‘burial service’ mean the ceremonies and memorial services held in conjunction with the burial or cremation of the dead, but this section does not apply to processions while they are in transit beyond the 300 foot zone.”

Violators of the ordinance are subject to a fine of $250.

The ordinance is intended to protect mourners from the sort of demonstration commonly staged by the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., at military funerals, for reasons best understood by that church’s members.

Westchester-Liberty Trail Update

In other business, Town Engineer Mark O’Dell reported that it’s possible some amount of surveying and environmental review done as part of Phase I of the Westchester Liberty Trail--that section along 1100N from 23rd Street to Rosehill Estates subdivision, completed in 2006--may be applicable to the next phase.

Members at their last meeting authorized O’Dell to begin exploring the feasibility of constructing a narrower sidewalk along the north side of 1100N from Rosehill Estates to 11th Street, so as not to encroach on a designated wetland which has brought the whole project to a standstill.

O’Dell expressed his hope on Monday that “some of the surveying done in the first phase may overlap” into the next phase, thereby saving some money. Mike Jabo of DLZ may have some pertinent information as well, O’Dell added.

Centennial Park Restroom

O’Dell also reported that architect Dave Kinel is nearing completion of his design of a restroom facility for Thomas Centennial Park.

Plans include a heated floor slab, to keep the facility warm enough in the winter so that the pipes needn’t be emptied; and a time lock.

When finished, the design will be submitted for review to the Indiana Building Commissioner.



Posted 4/9/2013