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
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
•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