The bids are in for
the Chesterton Fire Department’s new engine.
At its meeting
Monday night, the Town Council voted unanimously to take those bids under
advisement until staff and legal have reviewed them.
* $508,746: Smeal
Fire Apparatus of Valparaiso.
* $519,915: Sutphen
of Dublin, Ohio.
* $524,989: Alexis
Fire Equipment of Alexis, Ill.
* $584,647: Fire
Service Inc. of St. John.
The new engine is
slated to replace Engine 512, a 2000 Pierce Saber which--until it lost its
rear axle and threw the differential in July during routine driver
training--had been the CFD’s main backup, in support of the primary engine,
No. 510, a 2015 Sutphen.
Fire Chief John
Jarka determined that the cost of repairing the 18-year-old Pierce Saber was
likely higher than the vehicle was worth. He also investigated the
feasibility of replacing it with a demo model but learned that those
available are too small for the amount of equipment the CFD regularly
carries to a scene.
In this case,
speccing out a new engine was considerably easier than the last time the CFD
was in the market for one, three years ago, since Jarka already had to hand
the bid package used to acquire the Sutphen.
The CFD has one
other backup engine but it’s 26 years old: No. 511, a Pierce International.
Re-Zone on South
In other business,
members voted unanimously to approve a re-zone of three parcels on the west
side of South Calumet Road between Westchester Ave. and Washington Ave.,
from commercial to residential.
That re-zone was
previously endorsed by a 4-3 vote of the Advisory Plan Commission.
The three parcels
are owned by Shinn Building & Developing Corporation and have gone unsold
and undeveloped for seven years, since Shinn Building was permitted to
develop the six lots behind them into single-family, on the condition that
the three lots fronting South Calumet Road remain commercial.
Building--owned by Paul Shinn--sought the re-zone on the ground that there
is no interest in developing the three parcels commercially.
As Member Nate
Cobbs, R-4th, said of the re-zone, “It went through two meetings (of the
Plan Commission) and it was thoroughly vetted.”
Chesterton Comprehensive Plan specifically designates those three lots as
commercial--Member Emerson DeLaney, R-5th, said that the Comprehensive Plan
“is a guidance” that “can be massaged.”
Member Jim Ton,
R-1st, agreed. Two years ago, a “livable center study” conducted by the
Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission found that the Town of
Chesterton has the “largest livable center in Porter County,” that is, an
area in town where residents can walk or bike to businesses without need of
driving. That’s because, Ton said, Chesterton “blends” commercial and
residential exceedingly well.
DeLaney did have
one suggestion for Shinn’s attorney, Greg Babcock, namely, that Shinn
consider selling one of the parcels--an oddly shaped one--to the town, for
future use as a trailhead for the Dunes Kankakee Trail, which, when
completed, will connect Indiana Dunes State Park to the Kankakee River.
Current plans for the route of the Dunes Kankakee Trail take it down South
Babcock said that
his client would be happy to have conversations about Emerson’s idea.
Amending PUD for
Residences of Chesterton
voted unanimously to approve an amendment to the planned unit development
ordinance governing the Residences of Chesterton, the nursing home under
construction immediately south of Sidewalk Road, east of Ind. 49, and west
of Village Point in Coffee Creek Center.
amendment--also endorsed by the Plan Commission--reduces the number of
parking spaces provided by the PUD from 116 to 88.
Members also voted
unanimously to authorize Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg to begin
preparing specs to go out to bid for next year’s asphalt contract.
indicated that it would be smart to lock in a price earlier rather than
later, given the possibility of sharply increasing fuel prices.
Next year’s paving
season will be a busy one, inasmuch as the council earlier this summer
issued a $1.8-million general obligation bond for roadwork and sidewalk