Chesterton Tribune                                                                                   Adv.

State Park Little League donates for Porter ballfield

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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 donation.

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.

Early request 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 or later?

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 fright

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.


Posted 10/20/2010




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