The Burns Harbor Town Council set Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. for a closed executive
session to discuss whether to bring litigation against Rainbow Mobile Home
Park owner Jacob Pasternac.
Council president Jim McGee said Wednesday he wants to expedite taking
action that will address the many problems at the trailer park on the town’s
east side. Councilman Mike Perrine said he’d like to determine what
assistance Burns Harbor can expect, if any, from the Indiana State Board of
Health in the matter.
The trailer park apparently hasn’t had either a state or town operating
permit for the business for over a decade, according to a local official.
The Burns Harbor Sanitary Board last month asked the council to address
alleged violations and outstanding sewer fees.
The town previously had a negotiated agreement with Pasternac over some
items but McGee indicated unacceptable conditions still remain.
Narrowly approved by the council was permission for town marshal Jerry Price
to allow police officers to take home squad cars for their personal use.
Voting yes were McGee, Perrine and Cliff Fleming; Toni Biancardi voted no.
Louis Bain was absent.
Price said he will have stringent rules for the take-home program, like
requiring a mileage log, not taking the squad where alcohol is exclusively
served and keeping the car within Porter County. Officers would be limited
to 200 miles each per month for personal use.
Four officers currently are eligible to participate in the program at the
discretion of Price and the Police Department liaison. A take-home policy
previously was allowed under a former marshal but later discontinued.
Perrine asked that individual logs be kept at the Police Department listing
where each car goes, but he asked if that could not be available to the
public. Clerk-treasurer Jane Jordan said the information has to be presented
to her to invoice as a taxable non-cash fringe benefit, which would be
McGee questioned whether personal use of a squad car was indeed taxable.
After the meeting Biancardi said she voted no not because the officers don’t
deserve it but because the tax obligation is not a necessary expense for the
town; also, she said town insurance may go up, especially if off-duty police
cars are involved in an accident or injury.
Perrine recommended calling a public council meeting with representatives of
The Village in Burns Harbor homeowners’ association to discuss some
His request came during a discussion whether the town should accept an
agreement for the stylized street lights in the neo-traditional subdivision.
Associate town attorney Charles Parkinson said this spring the council
discussed having the town be responsible for the lights’ wiring and utility
bills, and the HOA for the posts and lamps.
Council members didn’t recall seeing a final written form of that proposal.
Fleming, who is developer of The Village, said the matter has been hanging
for six months because when he recused himself from voting, the council
wouldn’t have a quorum due to absences.
Parkinson said Nov. 1 the town’s Advisory Plan Commission will consider a
similar agreement for future street lights in the remaining phases of The
Village submitted for platting.
Perrine said one of his concerns is that No Parking areas along The Village
streets are being ignored, making it difficult for emergency vehicles to get
around. The intentionally narrow streets promote an urban feel in the
development, which has rear alleys as well.
Perrine said the situation will require the cooperation of the town and the
HOA to get resolved. Now, “It doesn’t feel like we’re accomplishing a great