Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Schnadenberg: 5th/1100N danger is 'opinion' not fact

Back To Front Page

By KEVIN NEVERS

Chesterton Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg takes exception with the view expressed last week by Board of Zoning Appeal Member Thomas Browne, regarding the intersection of South Fifth Street and 1100N.

At the BZA’s meeting Thursday, Browne called that intersection “dangerous” and said that children walking to a new Duneland unit of the Boys and Girls Club at the former Lighthouse Christian Center, at 521 W. 1100N, would be in jeopardy when crossing the street.

The Duneland unit is petitioning the BZA for a use variance which would allow it to move its facility from the Methodist Activity Center on Lincoln Ave. to the old church.

Among other things, Browne noted that there is no sidewalk on the south side of 1100N, where the church is located; that kids would have to walk in the street or on private property to access the building; and that overgrown brush at the southeast corner of the intersection itself obscures visibility.

Schnadenberg, at Monday’s meeting of the Town Council, countered that the danger described by Browne “is more an opinion than a fact” and that he knows of no specific safety issues at that intersection.

The town has extended the sidewalk along the west side of Fifth Street south of 1100N. And, Schnadenberg said, kids wouldn’t have to walk along 1100N to get to the church at all but would need only to go 150 feet further south down Fifth Street to access the old church’s back entrance.

As to the brushy southeast corner of the intersection, Schnadenberg said that the property in question is actually located in unincorporated Porter County and that the town has neither the authority nor the jurisdiction to go onto the property and prune the vegetation.

Schnadenberg did say that the crosswalk striping at the intersection could be “enhanced.”

For his part, Member Jim Ton, R-1st, noted that, in fact, very few students from Bailly Elementary School would walk to the Duneland unit during the school year anyway. They would be bussed there, as they are now to the Methodist Activity Center.

The Duneland unit currently has 360 registered members. When school is in session, the club is open from 1:30 to 6:30 p.m., serving an average 141 children during the school day and about 42 children for various programs when the school isn’t in session.

Westchester-Liberty Trail

In other business, Town Engineer Mark O’Dell reported that staff has begun the design portion of Phase II of the Westchester-Liberty Trail, courtesy of a $405,834 grant from the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission, announced in May.

A request for proposalsÑthe initial step in hiring an engineerÑwill be administered by the Indiana Department of Transportation.

The grant would pay for roughly half of the $862,500 estimated cost of Phase II, which would extend the sidewalk along the north side of 1100N from the Rosehill Estates subdivision to 11th Street. Eventually, the Westchester-Liberty Trail will continue all the way along 1100N to 100E.

Phase II has been complicated by the designated wetlands along part of the stretch, west of 11th Street, and permits will have to be obtained from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The NIRPC grant may be used for any component of the project: engineering, construction, construction inspection, materials.

Also on Monday, members voted 5-0 to approve a $25,000 50/50 match grant awarded by the Lake Michigan Coastal Program, to pay for engineering Phase II of the Westchester-Liberty Trail.

That grant was also announced in May. The council has already approved using $25,000 from the town’s $60,000 share of the riverboat casino tax to meet the 50/50 match.

Tag Day Rejected

By consensus members agreed not to authorize the Pop Warner Pee Wee football program to hold a tag day fundraiser at two intersections in town.

Police Chief Dave Cincoski advised against allowing the tag day, based on the age of the kids involved: from 9 to 11.

From the CFD

Meanwhile, there was good news and bad news from the Chesterton Fire Department.

Deputy Fire Chief John Jarka announced that Fire Chief Mike Orlich was unable to attend Monday’s meeting because, about an hour earlier, he’d become a grandfather again.

The bad news: Engine 512 remains out of service. At the moment the truck is having its transmission repaired, Jarka said.

 

 

Posted 10/30/2013