Chesterton Tribune



Chesterton Fire Department gets green light to spec out new engine

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Chesterton Interim Fire Chief Eric Camel has the go-ahead to begin preparing specifications for a new engine, after Engine 510 was totaled earlier this fall while on an emergency run in an accident at the intersection of Ind. 49 and 1100N.

The Town Council unanimously voted to green-light Camel as well as to approach Westchester Township Trustee Suzanne Philbrick about the possibility of the township’s making up some of the difference between the cost of a new engine and the insurance payout on the old one. The CFD provides fire protection service for select portions of unincorporated Westchester Township.

As Member Jennifer Fisher, I-5th--liaison to the CFD--explained to her colleagues, she and Camel have been working on options to replace Engine 510 “but we’ve been unable to find anything used which would be adequate.”

“The information you’ve provided to the council was very well done,” Member Jim Ton, R-1st, told Fisher prior to the vote. “I appreciate your efforts for working with Interim Chief Camel and Interim Deputy Chief Nate Williams.”

Unused CPD Vacation Hours

In other business, members voted unanimously to approve Interim Police Chief Nick Brown’s request to extend some officers’ unused vacation hours into 2021. “Due to COVID, many officers weren’t taking vacation,” Brown said. “They were working for sick officers, to keep our roads covered.”

Ton, liaison to the CPD, voiced his support of Brown’s request. “They did that in good faith,” he noted.

Towing Ordinance

Meanwhile, members voted unanimously to approve an ordinance which specifies a policy for municipal towing services, including eligibility requirements, hours of operation, and authorized fees. Among other things, towing services must accept credit cards in payment on scene and may not recommend repair or body shops.

Also: “Towing services shall be designated and serve solely at the discretion of the Chief of Police. If more than one service is authorized to tow vehicles at the request of the Police Department, a tow list shall be established by the department and a rotation scheduled shall be implemented.”

Liability Insurance

Jim Anton of Anton Insurance Agency reported that premiums for the town’s 2021 property and liability insurance will increase by nearly 12 percent.

That increase, he said, is “exposure based,” partly the result of a jump of around $800,000 in municipal property values; partly the result of a net increase in the municipal fleet of 11 vehicles.

2021 Council Officers

At Ton’s suggestion, members voted unanimously to re-elect Sharon Darnell, D-4th, to the presidency for 2021; and Lloyd Kittredge, R-2nd, to the vice-presidency. Ton cited the need for consistency and seamlessness going into 2021, after a very difficult 2020.

Special Meeting Scheduled

Members also agreed to hold a special meeting by Zoom at 5 p.m. Monday, Jan. 4, for the purpose of announcing board and commission appointments for 2021.


Ton took a moment at the meeting to laud Clerk-Treasurer Courtney Udvare for her fine work during the recent audit of municipal accounts by the Indiana State Board of Accounts (ISBA).  "Our clerk-treasurer did an outstanding job in presenting for the audit,” he said. “Thank you for a great job, Courtney.”  Ton added that he was unable to comment on the audit itself, but the results will be released soon by ISBA.

Utility Superintendent Dave Ryan thanked his staff for its superb work during a difficult year and also the council for its ongoing support of the Utility.

Fisher ended the meeting by expressing her gratitude to her colleagues. “2020 presented many hardships and challenges, and I’m so grateful I have been able to serve with you,” she said. “I’m honored and humbled to have served with you. And I want to wish the community a happy, healthy, excellent New Year.”



Posted 12/30/2020




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