The Town of Burns
Harbor will acquire 25 additional acres on Haglund Rd. belonging to the
Duneland School Corporation as the Town Council voted 5-0 Wednesday to
accept the purchase agreement.
The purchase will
be made in three payments totaling $242,500 from the Redevelopment
Commission’s budget which receives its funds from the tax increment finance
district. Half of the amount is to be paid in 30 days while the other 50
percent will be paid in two installments before the closing date of Feb. 28,
2019, according to the agreement.
Town Attorney Clay
Patton said there may be some additional costs for the last year from the
title company. The school corporation plans to lease the land for farming in
2017 and 2018 and will maintain the right to collect lease money for those
years, he said. The Town can start developing after that.
The Duneland School
Board for its part agreed unanimously to the purchase agreement at its
Council member and
RDC President Marcus Rogala had told the Chesterton Tribune the main
reason for the purchase is to promote economic growth for the Town’s vision
of its downtown area at Haglund Rd. and Ind. 149. It will expand the four
acres there that the Town already owns.
Although there are
no definitive plans yet, Rogala said the RDC believes this will show its
dedication to growth and draw interest from potential developers.
discussion from the Council Wednesday, member Eric Hull made the motion to
accept the agreement which was agreed to by his colleagues.
Rogala said the
Council had discussed the purchase of the land in closed executive sessions,
which is why the agreement had not been discussed in public before. Indiana
Code lists negotiations for government land purchases as one of the reasons
local governments can meet in executive session.
New Council member
Ray Poparad welcomed Kevin Tracy to the Council. Tracy was appointed by
Porter County Republican Party Chairman Michael Simpson last month to
replace Andy Bozak who is now the 1st District Representative on the Porter
The Council voted
5-0 to allow Tracy to take Bozak’s vacant seat on the Redevelopment
Commission. Rogala said he had received an application from former RDC
member Brad Enslen expressing interest in being on the RDC again, but he
recommended Tracy since he is a Town Council member.
Poparad said that
Bozak had sent a letter resigning his RDC seat. Another letter he received
was from Republican Crystal Westphal resigning her seat on the Advisory Plan
Since Tracy is also
the precinct committeeman for the Republicans, he will ask that Tracy
suggest a replacement for Westphal.
Also, the Council
voted 5-0 on Police Chief Mike Heckman’s request to appoint Officer Jeremy
McHargue as assistant police chief. Poparad also made McHargue a member of
the Plan Commission since he is a resident and a Town employee.
member Toni Biancardi announced that Officer Tim Lucas recently had his
third anniversary as an officer for the town.
President Amanda Sucku told the Council that the Parks Department will host
a family movie night from 6 to 8 p.m. this Friday with a showing of “The
Secret Life of Pets” at Lakeland Park. Also this month, Lego Club will be
from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 19 and Cupcakes and Canvas will be on
Sunday, Feb. 26 from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 15 is when the department will hold its regular Easter Egg
Hunt and another for special needs children.
that residents are enjoying the new park equipment.
The Council tabled
its motion to pay $3,600 in dues for membership this year in the Indiana
Association of Cities and Towns after learning that the amount is higher
than Chesterton’s and Porter’s dues.
Poparad said he
would like to know why that is and said he and Clerk-Treasurer Jane Jordan
will look into the matter before next meeting.
Jordan told the
Council that State Rep. Chuck Moseley, D-Portage, has selected Burns Harbor
to receive 100 tree seedlings this year from the Indiana Department of
Natural Resources. The Town may choose different quantities of trees up to
Poparad asked that
Fire Chief Bill Arney and Street Superintendent Pat Melton help give input
on where to plant them. The order is due at the end of this month, Jordan
In the Good of the
Order of the Community, Biancardi said that the Plan Commission will be
holding a public workshop on Monday, Feb. 27, 7 p.m. at the Town Hall to
review and gather input on its proposed minimum design standards for
There will be a
presentation made by Global Engineering of the different options being
workshop, the Plan Commission plans to hold a public hearing at its March
meeting to approve the standards for the Town Code. The final proposal will
be voted on by the Town Council.