Duneland Soccer Club soon will have a new practice field at Hawthorne Park
Its Park Board voted 3-0 to allow it after board member Jessie Campaniello
stepped down and presented the request as co-registrar of DSC. She said with
the club now having almost 60 teams ranging from 4 to 14 year-olds, practice
fields are badly needed.
According to Campaniello, DSC is by far the largest youth soccer program in
northwest Indiana. Hawthorne has softball, baseball, basketball, volleyball
and tennis/badminton courts but no soccer field, she noted.
Hawthorne's new practice site will be used by DSC weekdays only between 4
p.m. and 8 p.m. for a spring session and a late summer/fall session; the
field will be located west of Waverly Road south of Ackerman Drive in an
area used during the Chesterton Art Fair in August.
Campaniello said soccer will not be in session at that time. DSC agreed to
provide the goals, nets and striping of the field. The goals can be removed
Park Board president Becky Maranto asked a DSC representative to work with
park superintendent Jim Miller regarding parking, and with park
administrator Stephanie Miller on a contract for use of the grounds.
In a related matter, the board voted unanimously to allow State Park Little
League youth baseball to use the Hawthorne diamond additional days to now
include Monday through Friday.
The Park Board agreed to a two-month trial basis of having park labor
maintain the lawn and plantings at the town hall and police station as
requested by council president Michele Bollinger last month.
It was stipulated that the cost of materials needed for the work will be
reimbursed by the town to the Park Department.
The department currently plows snow at the town hall and police station for
the Street Department.
Jim Miller said while he's not making a case against mowing, he's concerned
there may not be enough money in his park budget. "We'll be limited on
hours. It'll be tight at the end of the year." He estimated it will take
about four hours a week to do both additional buildings or 100 hours over
the summer season May through September.
John Kipper has been hired and becomes the park's second part-time
maintenance employee. Miller said sometimes PACT workers are available for
labor but he can't count on it reliably.
Park Board member Rondi Wightman offered to investigate whether a Scout
troop or Porter County Master Gardeners might want to help the parks
maintain the Porter buildings.
On another matter, Miller said the Park Department has relocated its office
from the town hall to the basement of the community center with its own
copier. Business with the public will be conducted upstairs in an accessible
The Park Board spent much of its meeting discussing needed maintenance and
repair projects and the lack of money to pay for them.
The board did approve a $575 proposal from M.C. Zosso to upgrade electrical
lines in the Hawthorne community center to prevent circuit breakers from
repeatedly tripping. The work wasn't included in the recently completed
remodeling of the building's adjacent twin kitchens.
Maranto said the work, which included bringing restrooms up to code, came in
on target and under budget. Member Patty Raffin was thanked and drew
applause for spearheading the project from design to completion.
She reported that fixing a recurring Hawthorne drainage problem under
Ackerman Drive could prove to be costly. Initially jetting out the line was
considered, but instead of what could be a temporary fix it was agreed more
information is needed including possibly snaking a camera through the line
and eventually enlarging it.
If the latter isn't an option, Raffin said jetting the line annually may be
required to avoid the substantial water back-up that occurred in Hawthorne
following last September's record flooding. Federal FEMA money reimbursed
the park for damages.
After a brief discussion it was agreed to postpone until at least 2010 what
could be a $70,000 project to rip out and replace the vacated portion of
Rankin Street on Hawthorne's west side to become overflow parking for the
baseball diamond and community center events.
With fencing and sidewalk replacement added, Miller said the project could
swell to $100,000. He advised sewer line work may occur in this area and
could impact the park's plans.
The Park Board took no action on a proposal to make additional repairs to
the front porch at the community center. A metal railing was installed too
close to the concrete edges, which are cracking.
Maranto asked if the rails need to be removed and re-installed correctly.
Jim Miller said there is no safety issue and this new repair might stop the
cracking but then again, it might not. If anything is done a request for
CEDIT money from the Town Council likely will be made.
CEDIT money was OK'd for the community center kitchen/restroom remodeling
and for drainage work at Porter Cove Park.
Also Tuesday, Stephanie Miller reported over 400 adults and children
attended the recent Easter Egg Hunt and an open house to showcase the
community center remodeling. "We've never had such a big turn-out," said
At least 116 dozen filled plastic eggs were given away and refreshments were
served. Thanked for donations or in-kind service was Reprographic Art of
Michigan City, Chesterton's WiseWay and Jewel food stores, Starbucks of
Valparaiso, the Chesterton Tribune and Jeff Miller.
Stephanie Miller said spring and summer look very busy for park rental
reservations and the kitchen remodeling is a big hit.
In other business:
*Maranto announced the park's updated five-year master plan has been
accepted by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and qualifies the
park to apply for grants through the DNR.
*John Beckman updated the board on his schedule to continue restoring a
wetland north of Hawthorne over the summer. Boy Scouts will help with a site
clean-up this weekend, and tours eventually will be given.
*Voting 4-0 the board OK'd rental of both community center meeting rooms and
a nearby shelter for May 15 by Narcotics Anonymous for a non-alcoholic
pot-luck dinner. The fee was reduced to $200 and the need for a security
guard was waived. Maranto said the work NA does for the community is
invaluable, and that an anonymous benefactor will pay the $200.
*It was announced Bill Paulus Jr. donated $79 to purchase a magnolia tree as
a memorial for Bill Paulus Sr.
*Stephanie Miller was authorized to begin planning a Memorial Day observance
at Hawthorne's veterans' monument.
*The board agreed to arrange a work session with park liaison Todd Martin,
who was absent, to discuss setting up a park website. Updated photographs
will be needed, said Maranto, who's been posting information about park
rental availability on the Craigslist website.