Chesterton Tribune



ArcelorMittal tax funds eyed to help picnic shelters in Burns Harbor parks

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Members of the Burns Harbor Redevelopment Commission said Wednesday they would be willing to give the money they receive from the ArcelorMittal tax abatement agreement towards removing the concrete from old shelter locations at Town parks and getting them rebuilt.

Clerk-Treasurer Jane Jordan said that the Town anticipates receiving $100,000 from ArcelorMittal which under current structure goes to the RDC.

Burns Harbor Town Council President Ray Poparad argued that he feels the money should go to the Council so it can be used for improvements like the park shelters.

“I think it needs to come to the Council. All of it,” he said.

RDC President and Town Council member Marcus Rogala, along with RDC member Nick Loving, said they would prefer the RDC continued receiving the money and both agreed that they would advocate the funds be used for the park shelters. Rogala said the RDC can give money to the parks even if they are not within the Town’s tax increment finance (TIF) area because the parks serve the business and residents within the TIF.

The RDC will address the matter at its July meeting, Rogala said.

Prior to the Town Council meeting, the RDC approved using $4,000 of the revenue from ArcelorMittal towards fireworks and other event expenses for the Town Picnic on Saturday, Aug. 26

Park Board representative Angie Scott said the parks department does not have the resources to bust up the concrete itself at the old shelters. The Street Department was able to remove the concrete from the one shelter at the dog park.

Council member Toni Biancardi asked Scott if the parks department could find out what the costs would be to replace the shelter before next month’s RDC meeting.

Park activities this summer

Meanwhile, Scott announced that summer camp at Lakeland Park starts next week, June 12-16, and is free to ages 4-11. Other weeks are July 10-14 and July 31-Aug. 4. All times are from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. There will be arts and crafts, team sports and swimming, she said.

An art camp is offered after the summer camps which go to 2:30 p.m., Scott said. Those must be pre-registered for and cost $50 per child. Spots are limited and children are asked to bring a lunch. Parents who want to pre-register can contact Parks Director Kim Burton at

The annual Footloose 5K walk/run is Saturday, June 24 at 5 p.m. followed by an after celebration with the band Lava Rock at Lakeland Park at 7 p.m.

The Council approved the request for police to close Westport Rd. and Haglund Rd. during the run. Rogala said he will send out notice to remind the residents.

There will also be an archery event from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, July 8 hosted by Deep River Bowmen.

Home on Ind. 49

All department heads told the Council May has been busy for them.

Building Commissioner Randal Lopez and Fire Chief Bill Arney said police alerted them to an abandoned home in the 1100 block of Ind. 149, south of Trans United Inc.

“It would definitely fall under the nuisance chapter of (our ordinances), which makes it a condition unfit for human habitation,” Randal said.

He and Arney said they discovered the home to be “wide open” with breaches in the windows and walls and about two feet of water in the basement.

Arney said he doesn’t know how long the home has been abandoned but the gas and electric were still on, which he immediately shut off. He thinks the utilities are being paid by a trust.

Arney suggested the Council consider condemnation measures or get someone to board up the house to prevent from anyone entering the home and being injured.

Poparad said he would ask that the owner of the trust be contacted first thing Thursday and determine what action should be taken.

Mosquito fogging

The Council allocated funds for Jordan to authorize up to four mosquito foggings this summer. Each fogging would be $800, which is an increase from last year, Jordon said.

Four foggings were approved last year as well but only two were done, she said.

In other matters:

-- The Council is donating $10,000 to the Town Picnic on Aug. 26 and the Council voted 4-0 to permit Leroy’s Hot Stuff to sell alcohol. The vendors will serve the food instead of asking residents to bring a dish. Biancardi said residents will receive something that commemorates the Town’s 50th anniversary this year. The picnic will include a bounce house for children donated by Praxair.

-- The Council agreed to contribute $300 towards the Family 4th Fest in Porter’s Hawthorne Park on July 4.

-- Jordan said County Auditor Vicki Urbanik told her last week that no remonstrances have been filed in her office on the Council’s action to increase the Town’s Cumulative Capital Development fund from 3.04 cents to 4 cents per $100 of Assessed Valuation. The deadline for remonstrance is June 14 before the issue goes to the Department of Local Government Finance for its consideration.

-- Staff anniversaries this month included Arney who has been a town employee for nine years and Town Marshal Mike Heckman for ten years.

-- Poparad said the state this year is offering a 75/25 matching grant for road funding for local municipalities. Jordan added that the state will give up to $1 million maximum for a 25 percent match.

-- Tabled to July was a proposal from HR Services in Indianapolis to update the Town Employee handbook. The Council said they would like to hear more information.

-- The Council will meet on Tuesday, June 20 to start work on the 2018 budgets.



Posted 6/9/2017




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