State Park Little League showed its appreciation for using the baseball
field at Hawthorne Park by donating $900 to the Porter Park Board on Tuesday
for ballfield maintenance.
SPLL president Joe Wagner presented the check. “We appreciate what you’ve
done for us. It’s great for our kids.” Board members thanked Wagner for the
Later in the meeting board president Patty Raffin asked park superintendent
Jim Miller if the ballfield’s closed concession stand would be in shape to
re-open next spring. “Personally I think we should be moving toward that to
offer a full-service field,” she stated.
Miller said he doesn’t see that happening because the concession building is
used for storage. If a more efficient way to store the items can be found,
he added, limited sales of pre-packaged items might be feasible if there’s
an interested party willing to sell concessions.
The building has water and sewer lines in place, said Miller, and the
long-term goal is to add a unisex bathroom to replace the portable toilets
supplied during the summer. Also, constructing a separate storage shed might
be a solution, he said.
With $900 now in hand, Raffin and Park Board member Jessie Campaniello asked
Miller to propose some options before the next baseball season.
for CEDIT funds
In other business the board authorized Miller to ask the Town Council to use
$5,498 of its designated $20,000 CEDIT funds for 2011, but park liaison
Councilman Jon Granat later said the CEDIT account is in the red and
appropriations aren’t likely to be made.
CEDIT is the town’s share of revenue from the Porter County economic
development income tax.
The $5,498 would be used to purchase materials to install insulation,
relocate a door and make other improvements to the new pole barn on
Hawthorne’s east side. Labor would be provided by the Chesterton High School
Building Trades class at a savings of $4,000.
In lieu of a customary cash donation for a percentage of the labor cost, at
Miller’s suggestion the Park Board voted 3-0 with Rondi Wightman absent to
give the park’s inoperable 1997 GMC dump truck to the class to be repaired
and used for its projects.
CEDIT money now
The Town Council earlier this year approved $6,000 in 2011 park CEDIT funds
to have a concrete floor poured and sealed in the pole barn.
After the meeting Granat was asked by the Chesterton Tribune if, with
the $5,498 request pending, he had a problem appropriating more than half
the park’s 2011 CEDIT funds in 2010. He said he did not but there is no
CEDIT to be distributed at the current time.
With CEDIT in the red, that led to a question how the Town Council is
preparing to participate soon in a $1 million bond sale that has the CEDIT
fund pledged to make future bond repayments. Granat said at least $100,000 a
year will be needed from CEDIT for debt service so disbursements might not
be there for individual departments as they have been in the past.
The town receives about $385,000 a year from CEDIT in installments. CEDIT
money was borrowed by the Town Council in previous years to make inter-fund
operating loans while awaiting delayed distribution of overdue local
property taxes. Such loans had to be repaid by Dec. 31 typically.
Boo Bash Sunday
The Park Board finalized plans for Sunday’s Boo Bash children’s Halloween
party at the Hawthorne community center from 1 to 3 p.m. Games, refreshments
and a costume contest are planned. “We have a lot of great prizes,” said
member Becky Maranto.
Park administrator Stephanie Miller said 2010 income from facilities rentals
is slightly behind that of 2009. The Park Board voted unanimously to allow
Girl Scout Troop 30370 to use the west Hawthorne shelter free of charge
Friday afternoon for a ceremony.
Miller said vandals broke off the peak of the Millennium Gazebo in that
area, and a police report has been made with a request for extra patrols.
The board voted to allow Miller to use $549 of an $800 insurance check from
a previous park theft to buy a snowblower to replace one that was stolen.
Also approved was not to exceed $500 to contract for someone to cut down
overgrowth at Lake Charles Park.
Miller announced a sugar maple donated by Bill and Zathoe Sexton was planted
at Hawthorne in memory of the late Ray Raffin, Raffin’s son. She expressed
her appreciation. Bill Sexton also is donating shelving for the new pole
barn, said Miller.