Chesterton Tribune



Burns Harbor moving forward with fire department addition

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Fire Chief Bill Arney reported at the recent Burns Harbor Town Council meeting that improvements to the Fire Department are nearly complete, including renovations in the bunkroom and day room.

The foundation has also been poured for the additional building, and construction on the outer shell and roof, by FBi Buildings Inc., out of Remington, Ind., is expected to start this week.

The renovations and additional building were originally in response to a possible agreement with Porter Regional where the Town was hoping a Porter paramedic would be stationed in Burns Harbor at all times running the ambulance owned by the Town. Porter Regional would have required what they deem “adequate gender separation” to stage employees in Burns Harbor. In response, the Redevelopment Commission said it would foot the bill for up to $200,000 in renovations back in July.

Though that deal didn’t come to pass, and the Town is expected to begin running its own ambulance service following approval of an additional appropriation at a Sept. 26 special meeting, Arney is continuing with the additional construction. “Either way, we were gonna need that because we’re out of space,” he said. Arney hopes to hire six to 10 part-time paramedics to staff the ambulance, and the new building will increase space for the Department’s current volunteers.


In other business, the Council approved on first reading an ordinance reinstating ambulance billing fees and changing the amount of the fees. The fee for ambulance service under the BHFD will range from $600 to $1,200 depending on the level of care required on scene and in transit. The Council will perform the second reading at the special meeting later this month.

The Council conducted a first reading of ordinance 284-2018, an ordinance establishing vendor fees for food trucks, farm stands, and other merchant booths all over Town. No one spoke for or against the ordinance in a public hearing, and the Council voted to suspend the rules, conducting the second reading and approving the ordinance the same night.

Council member Toni Biancardi was appointed to fill the vacant seat on the Redevelopment Commission until the end of the year. The Council is still looking for a citizen to appoint to fill the seat permanently. The application for town boards and commissions can be found on the municipal website.

The Council held a public hearing on its proposed 2019 budget. No one spoke for or against the budget and there was no Council discussion.

Police Chief Mike Heckman was approved to hire from his existing candidate list to replace a patrolman who recently resigned. The newest member of the BHPD will be approved at the next regular Council meeting.


The Lakeland Park beach is closed for the season, but Fall Fest is coming up on Oct. 13 from 5 to 9 p.m. There will be trunk or treat from 5:30 to 7 p.m. and a haunted walk around the lake at 7 p.m.

Building commissioner John Miller reported that the Town hall needs a new roof. He estimates a complete tear off, replacement of bad wood, and reshingle on the roof will cost around $14,000. Council President Ray Poparad said the roof may have to wait another winter. He will consult with Clerk-treasurer Jane Jordan to see if there is money in the budget for the repair this year.

Street Superintendent Pat Melton reported that large trash pick-up is Thursday, Sept. 20. A list of acceptable items can be found on the town website.


Posted 9/19/2018




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