Chesterton Tribune



Burns Harbor funds Park Board request; town marshal prepares for school start

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At the Park Board’s request, the Burns Harbor Town Council agreed Monday to give the Park Department $2,000.

The council donated $500 to help fund the Oct. 18 Pumpkin Fest at Lakeland Park. The family-friendly event will include a 5K race with autumn-themed obstacle course limited to 150 runners. Ghosts and goblins might make an appearance as well.

The race will be on a different course than the inaugural Footloose 5K and kids’ fun run June 28, which drew over 400 adult and child runners as well as additional crowds for companion activities. Council president Jim McGee commended the Park Board for its initiative.

Proceeds from the Footloose and Pumpkin Fest events will be used for planned construction of a brick patio around the Lakeland gazebo.

Park Board member Marcus Rogala said about $8,000 has been raised toward the estimated $16,000 gazebo upgrade and he invited those who haven’t yet donated to do so.

On a 3-0 vote with members Jeff Freeze and Mike Perrine absent, the Town Council also OK’d giving the Park Department $1,500 to help purchase secure office furniture and a safe for the Lakeland arts & crafts building.

Rogala reminded residents that the town picnic takes place this Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m. at Lakeland. Chicken and drinks will be provided; residents are asked to bring a side dish or a dessert to share. Various activities are planned, and those attending are asked to bring their own beach towels, lawn chairs and bug spray.

Golf-cart law proposed

McGee also commended new resident Andrew Bozak for proposing the council adopt guidelines for the operation of golf carts on certain town streets. Bozak said the language is a variation of the Town of Porter’s law.

Bozak’s recommendation would allow, subject to certain regulations, the operation of golf carts on Burns Harbor streets with the exception of Indiana 149, U.S. 20 and U.S. 12 although such roads may be crossed at preapproved crossing areas so marked. Golf carts are not permitted to operate on sidewalks, trails, or multi-use town paths.

Only the number of occupants for whom factory seating is installed will be allowed, and no part of the body of the operator or occupant shall extend outside the perimeter of the golf cart while in operation.

Like a motor vehicle, written proof of financial responsibility when operating a golf cart on town streets is required at all times, and only licensed drivers may operate carts equipped with a rear-view mirror on town streets.

Among the additional restrictions, golf carts shall display a slow-moving vehicle emblem, no overnight golf-cart parking is allowed on streets, and a $100 fine for violating the ordinance applies. The ordinance exempts from the regulations public safety personnel or town employees using golf carts during special events.

The golf-cart proposal was referred to the town attorney for review. Former council member Cliff Fleming thanked Bozak and the council for being proactive, and the Park Department for promoting positive branding for the town.

School prompts patrols

Tomorrow is the first day of school for Duneland School Corp. students, and Burns Harbor town marshal Mike Heckman said his department will be ready.

“There will be a lot more of us out Wednesday than you’d normally see,” he told the council. Heckman plans to have extra officers on duty to discourage speeders.

In July town police handled 403 incidents, one vehicle crash, made 13 misdemeanor arrests and wrote 38 tickets.

Fire chief Bill Arney reported that last month firefighters responded to 32 calls spending 26 hours and 6 minutes on emergency scenes. Fire vehicles were driven 853 miles and firefighters trained 117.5 man hours. He noted the popular children’s Fire Services day camp was a success.

In other business:

*  It was announced the town’s Fall big-garbage-day trash collection will be Sept. 25.

*  Clerk-treasurer Jane Jordan said she will be out of the office next week.

*  The council voted 3-0 to renew its membership in and pay $500 in dues to the Northwest Indiana Forum.

*  A 2003 Impala formerly used by the town building inspector was decommissioned and sold to high bidder Amy Arney for $1,575. Two other sealed bids were opened during the meeting.

*  Councilman Gene Weibl said at the Sept. 10 meeting proposals will be presented for a road-paving schedule; if a decision is made, paving likely would begin this year.

*  Resident Ray Poparad asked about the status of the town-owned Westport community club building. McGee said the council is in the final stages of negotiation on a lease.

*  A public hearing will take place Sept. 10 on the proposed 2015 town budget with final adoption slated for Oct. 8. A draft is being finalized.

Posted 8/19/2014