Chesterton Tribune



Set in stone: Burns Harbor TIF board discusses marking trails

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Burns Harbor Redevelopment Commission member Brad Enslen suggested at last night’s RDC meeting that the Town should take credit for its trail projects in a permanent way.

“In the town where I grew up, in the oldest part of Town, there were sidewalks I had to traverse with my bike and on either side of those sidewalks was a stamped circle with ‘WPA’ on it, so that got me thinking about our trails, that we should mark our trails,” Enslen said.

‘WPA’ stands for the New Deal-era program Works Progress Administration, instituted as a way to keep people employed during the Great Depression. So, Enslen saw those stamps clearly more than 40 years after they were put down.

Enslen said there might not be an RDC 40 years from now, but people should know who made Burns Harbor’s trails, especially the Marquette Greenway.

“We spend $50,000 on this and that and three weeks later nobody remembers that the RDC or the Town spent that money,” Enslen said.

“That’s a big project for a town with only 1,700 people. When we started talking about it, we only had 1,100 people. It’s a large undertaking for such a small town to do, and I think we should be proud that we’re accomplishing this.”

RDC President Eric Hull approved of the idea of a stamp in the pavement, saying it could be a common feature that even goes on new sidewalks. Dan Botich, with SEH Engineering, said from the audience that he recalls seeing similar stamps in his Town and that “It’s actually a great idea for locational purposes.” Botich said the stamps can mark the boundaries of the Town on the Greenway, serve as milemarkers so people know how far they’ve gone, or even be important landmarks if someone has an emergency on the trail.

Botich said he would find out the cost of creating such a stamp from Glen Peterson at Global Engineering, who is working with SEH on the environmental surveys and trail alignment for the Greenway.

Food Truck Square

Commissioner Toni Biancardi reported the Duneland Chamber of Commerce is interested in running Food Truck Square again next year, but with a reduced schedule and a more streamlined system for collecting money from vendors.

“They’re interested in it being once a month and more of a big event with something for everyone,” Biancardi said.

Hull said he thinks the reduced schedule will mean the event has better attendance, “I think with the success that we did have last year with attendance at certain events, I think its well perceived in the community and its something we should continue until something else goes on in that place.”

Fire Truck Funds

Hull reported that since the funds the RDC allocated to the Fire Department earlier in the year, originally $100,000 for the new fire engine the Town is purchasing in January, were used to get the Town ambulance service up and running and fund an addition to the Fire Department, the RDC needs to contribute another $100,000 before the truck is delivered. The Commission voted to allocate $100,000 out of its general fund, which is funded by Tax Increment Financing money.


Posted 12/13/2018




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