Voice of the People
Karen Tallian’s position on the South Shore Extension is wrong. The State
Legislature has a lot of gall asking retired persons on fixed income to bear
the burden of paying for mass transit for those with high paying jobs in
Chesterton and Ogden Dunes had mass transit to Chicago about 40 years ago,
but they switched to autos and lost it. What guarantee does the legislature
have that people will use the Westlake Extension?
The extension will use tracks of existing railroads. If the legislature had
not deregulated the railroads, they would be responsible to provide this mass
transit, if needed at a nominal cost.
Tallian complained that one billion dollars has already been used to repair
the Borman. The damage was not caused by autos, it was caused by heavy
trucks, box cars on the public roads.
The legislature made another mistake 50 years ago when they allowed the 18
wheeler box cars on the super highways. This caused many railroads to
disappear from small town America and helped destroy the greatest rail system
in the world.
The solution now is to move the 18 wheeler box cars off the public highways
and back on the railroads. Let the private sector improve the railroads. The
legislature should be advised that these units moving one hundred rail cars
is equal to six hundred trucks.
When the toll road was begun in the 1950s, the law provided they pay no taxes
or assessments. The toll road used about 40 acres of land per mile. This lost
taxation was absorbed by property owners of the township. The toll road
dumped their water on neighbors’ land and in ditches, but paid no ditch
assessment. The toll road is now leased to the private sector and they enjoy
the same benefits.
The Porter County Surveyor and Drainage Board are trying the same scheme.
Builders, developers and speculators up stream from the Swanson-Lamport Ditch
are attempting to have people in the assessed portion pay for their drainage.