The Burns Harbor
Town Council approved ordinance 296-2020, an ordinance establishing the
Westport planned unit development (PUD) on second reading at its meeting
The Westport PUD
outlines master developer Holladay Properties’ plan for a mixed-use Town
center development on the 32-acres across Ind. 149 from the Town Hall. The
development is slated to have a new municipal complex, including a Town
Hall/Community Center, along with residential and commercial developments
along part of the Burns Harbor section of the Marquette Greenway Trail.
The PUD came to the
Council with a favorable recommendation from the Plan Commission, with the
note that one lot was subdivided into two lots in compliance with Town Code
on the width and depth of lots. The same lot is planned to be further
subdivided anyway for Townhouses, according to Town Council Vice-president
and Plan Commission President Eric Hull.
business, the Council opted to waive the Westport primary plat application
fee because the Town would have been charging itself. Fees will not be
waived for third parties involved in the development of the Westport site,
Hull said. “Pretty soon it’s going to start to change. It will be other
entities paying their own fees.”
The Council also
adopted on first reading an ordinance establishing a Redevelopment Authority
for the Town. The RDA will make recommendations for the Town’s financing of
the new Town Hall/Community Center, Hull said. Financing options that have
been floated include the traditional bond process and a leasing option
that’s gained popularity recently.
The Council also
made appointments to the reestablished Burns Harbor Economic Development
Commission, which will make recommendations on tax incentives for new
development. Per Indiana law, one member of an EDC is appointed by a town
council president, one by a council as a whole, and one by the local county
council, which considers recommendations from the Town. Members serve
Nick Loving appointed Hull for the EDC seat that expires in January 2024.
The Council appointed Council member Angie Scott for the term that ends in
January 2023, and the Council opted to forward a recommendation that the
County Council appoint Loving for the term ending in January 2022. The
Council is slated to make its appointment at its Aug. 25 meeting. The first
meeting of the new EDC will be Wednesday, Sept. 9 at 5:30 p.m.
extended its COVID-19 safety plan for the Town Hall through Sept. 11.
Residents can do business at the Town Hall by appointment only, masks are
required in the building, and those entering are subject to temperature
checks with a contactless thermometer. The Town will also continue to waive
sewer bill late fees through August.
approved an additional appropriation for the RDC to allocate an extra
$139,490.16 in tax abatement fees to fund the Town Ambulance payroll and an
additional appropriation for the RDC to spend its $1.74 million Next Level
Trails grant funds on construction of Phase 3 of the Marquette Greenway
Trail this year. No one spoke for or against either additional appropriation
in a public hearing.
The Council adopted
on first reading an ordinance bringing Town Code regarding temporary
political signs in line with Indiana Code. The Council then suspended its
rules and passed the ordinance on second reading because the 2020 general
election is fast approaching.
The Council voted
to purchase a new camera and necessary software to live-stream meetings on
the Town website not to exceed $1,500. The expense will be reimbursable from
the $58,528 in COVID-19 relief funds the State has earmarked for the Town.
Good of the Order
business, Fire Chief Bill Arney reported he’s also going by the name “Mobile
Decon” since the Town’s new Nacere Solutions disinfectant misting machine is
in his care. The machine works “like a big bug bomb” to disinfect entire
rooms at once. The machine and 12 gallons of the disinfectant solution it
requires cost around $1,260 last monthÑanother charge that will be
reimbursable though COVID-19 relief funds.
Arney reported he’s
used the new machine at the Fire Department and Town Hall so far. He’s
started disinfecting the Town Hall meeting room in advance of meetings, and
he’ll hit other high traffic spots once a week.
Loving took a
moment to mourn the late town historian Bill Meyer. “We’re really going to
miss his presence in the Town, and we really thank him for all the work he
did on the Town’s history on our behalf.”