Chesterton Tribune



Chesterton Park Board nearly ready to issue RFP for Coffee Creek Park project

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The Chesterton Park Board is nearly ready to issue a request for proposals (RFP) from qualified consultants to prepare a masterplan for the redesign of Coffee Creek Park.

At the board's meeting Tuesday night, Town Engineer Mark O'Dell distributed a draft RFP and asked members to provide their comments on it within the next few days, with the idea of formally issuing the RFP by mid-month.

Members then voted unanimously to schedule a special meeting for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 19, to open all submitted RFPs.

O'Dell expects a number of engineering consultants to take an interest in the project. The specs for the RFP envision a four-phase "reinvention" of Coffee Creek Park:

-- Phase I: the masterplan itself; a new overlook; and a hillside seating area in the "corner" where East Indiana Ave. meets Lois Lane.

-- Phase II: a hillside seating area immediately south of Lois Lane; landscaping; and a recirculating waterfall from Lois Lane down to Coffee Creek.

-- Phase III: an amphitheater and pavilion on the far east side of the Coffee Creek Park; an expansion of the sledding hill; and additional seating. -- Phase IV: dredging of the pond; and the installation of a fishing pier and aerator/fountain.

The draft RFP which members are currently reviewing is for Phase I only and will begin with the masterplan, which will combine all envisioned components of the project, including the proposed removal of the office building at 111 S. Calumet Road to make way for a staircase connection between the Downtown and Coffee Creek Park.

The Park Board is also looking in Phase I for the design of a new overlook with construction drawings and technical specifications prepared for bidding, as well as all necessary surveys and permitting for the overlook.

Finally, the Park Board wants the consultant to design a new seating area--based on concept drawings provided by the Redbud Landscaping Company--for the embankment at the terminus of East Indiana Ave., along with construction drawings and technical specs for that seating area.

The Park Board anticipates the completion of the masterplan in four to six months; with the design of the new overlook and embankment seating within two to three months.

Five-Year Masterplan

In other business, members voted unanimously to adopt by resolution the Park Department's new and revised five-year masterplan, which consultant Chuck Lehman told the board the Indiana Department of Natural Resources has reviewed and approved. The new masterplan includes as one of its components the Coffee Creek Park project, Lehman said. As Lehman noted of the vote, "This is really no more than a formality at this point."

The submission of the masterplan, Lehman added, makes the Park Department eligible for Land and Water Conservation Fund matching grants, which among other things can be used for land acquisition, park equipment, and trail development. Farewell, Candy Tucker Meanwhile, Superintendent Shane Griffin reported that Thomas Centennial Park is officially Christmased up.

"It looks really good, all lit up," he told the board. In addition, the boxcar restroom in the park has been closed for the season.

Griffin concluded his remarks by thanking President Candy Tucker for her service to the Park Board. Tucker is stepping down after the expiration of her term on Dec. 31.

Member Wendy Marciniak also expressed her gratitude to Tucker, who has been a strong, judicious advocate of the parks during her tenure on the board. "I just want to say farewell to Candy Tucker," Marciniak said.

"You will be missed, and thank you so much for your service to this board over the last four years."

 Executive Sessions

At Member Paul Shinn's urging, members voted unanimously at the end of the meeting to hold an executive session, at 5:45 p.m. Jan. 5--prior to their first regularly scheduled meeting of 2021--to discuss employee performance.

That meeting will include the new board member, whomever the Town Council names to succeed Tucker.

Shinn suggested that the board hold quarterly executive sessions for the purpose of discussing employee performance.



Posted 12/3/2020




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