Dunes Action is
crying foul after DNR employees were recently seen providing maintenance
services at the comfort station built at Indiana Dunes State Park beach by
Pavilion Partners LLC.
Under the terms of
the LLC’s lease with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Pavilion
Partners is responsible for providing--at its own cost--“cleaning,
janitorial, and supply services for the required public restroom/shower
built the comfort station in 2015, to replace the one in the gutted
In fact, however,
the DNR says that the decision was made this year to replace the LLC’s
janitorial contractor--which did maintain the restrooms in 2015 and
2016--with DNR employees, in order to provide better, more punctual service.
DNR also says that Pavilion Partners is fully compensating the DNR both for
man-hours and for materials like toilet paper and hand soap.
DNR Director of
Communications Phil Bloom released the following statement this morning to
the Chesterton Tribune: “Under the lease contract, Pavilion Partners
is responsible for maintaining the comfort center at Indiana Dunes State
Park. In 2015 and 2016, Pavilion Partners met that obligation by hiring an
outside company. This summer, PP is instead partnering with DNR staff at the
park to perform the duties. Because DNR staff already are on site, they can
complete necessary maintenance in a timely fashion as well as respond
promptly to special situations. Pavilion Partners is reimbursing DNR fully
for staff time and materials.”
brought the issue to the Tribune’s attention after deadline on
Friday. In an e-mail Dunes Action member Norm Hellmers stated that two DNR
employees were first observed at the comfort station on July 12 and, when
questioned, said that they were replacing toilet paper holders.