Chesterton Tribune

Porter Park Board eyes heating and cooling options for community building

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There’s agreement the Hawthorne Park community building’s 22 year-old furnace needs replacement, but the Porter Park Board wants more information before doing that and possibly upgrading the air-conditioning system as well.

Meeting Tuesday, park superintendent Jim Miller outlined one plan that could cost $3,000 or more, but that isn’t the ultimate solution to keeping the building cool on hot days.

“We can’t really have people in here sweltering when they’re paying for the building,” said board member Patty Raffin.

With the summer heat coming soon and park administrator Stephanie Miller saying 2011 rentals are being booked at a fast pace, board president Rondi Wightman said a special meeting may be needed to consider expanded HVAC proposals Jim Miller was asked to get. The board wants one package bid and one alternate bid for a supplemental AC system.

Also Tuesday, Joel Pisowicz said he has all nine initial holes of Hawthorne’s planned Frisbee (disc) golf course funded through donations. The board approved purchase of the basket stations. Installation is pending agreement on their exact locations; portable baskets have been used to establish the course.

Pisowicz and Miller said an effort is being made not to infringe on other areas or activities on Hawthorne’s east side.

Scott Beard of Boy Scout Troop 928 was given the go-ahead as his Eagle Scout project to build three or four bat houses 12 feet tall and each holding approximately 300 bats. Miller will approve the sites. Bats will help make the area more mosquito-free.

Each bat box will cost about $100. Wightman said she’ll sponsor two boxes. The project ties in with ongoing efforts led by John Beckman who, with the help of Scouts, 4-Hers and volunteers, is restoring wetland and natural areas on Hawthorne’s north side at the Little Calumet River.

Wightman debunked any apparent perception that the Park Board has given final approval to the town’s plan to route a Waverly Road drainage project through Hawthorne Park. She said park officials require more information so a decision would be premature.

Formally assigned on a 4-0 vote to a budget line item with appreciation were a $300 donation from Duneland Kiwanis and a $5,000 donation from the estate of former Park Board member Bud Tilden. Wightman said organization of the new Bud’s Buddies park foundation group is progressing with a mission statement, biography of Tilden and investigation of non-profit tax status.

In other business:

•Event planning is underway for the July 4 Duneland community festival at Hawthorne Park including a morning parade through Porter.

•At 1 p.m. Memorial Day a public program with a speaker and soloist will take place at the Hawthorne veterans’ memorial; if bad weather the event will be moved indoors.

•Interviews will take place soon for staff to run the park’s upcoming summer children’s program. Nathan Long was hired as seasonal summer help and was the first employee to undergo a background check under a new policy for all hires.

•Approved was spending not to exceed $600 to replace an aging 13-foot plastic slide at Porter Cove Park. Also OK’d was not to exceed $250 to purchase mulch for and replace damaged shrubs at Dune Meadows Park.

•Due to conflicts the Park Board changed its next meeting to June 16 at 7 p.m.


Posted 5/19/2011