Chesterton Tribune



Chesterton to split the cost of new 911 dispatch equipment with Porter

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The Chesterton Town Council has agreed to split 50/50 with the Town of Porter the cost of purchasing new 911 equipment, needed to accept the transfer of emergency calls from the Porter County E-911 Dispatch Center.

Members voted unanimously at their meeting Tuesday night to make that investment.

The upfront cost of the equipment per town: $52,690.05, which Clerk-Treasurer Stephanie Kuziela said should be available in Cumulative Capital Development, a fund with a dedicated property-tax rate used exclusively for the purchase of emergency equipment.

Police Chief Dave Cincoski said that there will also be an annual cost of $6,000 for the town’s share of the phone line infrastructure, which he believes he can incorporate as a regular line item into his departmental budget.

Cincoski noted that the total cost of the equipment--$105,380.10--is significantly less than the amount quoted by the E-911 Dispatch Center: somewhere north of $500,000.

Both the Chesterton and Porter councils voted at their last meetings to maintain the Duneland Regional Dispatch Operations Center as an independent and stand-alone entity--rejecting an invitation from Porter County to merge 911 operations--after Cincoski and Porter Police Chief Jamie Spanier stated their belief that the Duneland Dispatch Center can offer residents and the police officers themselves more reliable and more knowledgeable service than the E-911 Center.

Superior Ambulance Contract

In other business, members voted unanimously to extend for one year the town’s contract with Superior Ambulance Service, which provides dedicated advanced life support EMS services to Chesterton residents with ambulance crews stationed at the Fire Department on a 24/7/365 basis.

Superior’s original three-year contract with the town expired in May 2016 and the council’s action on Monday is the third one-year renewal of it.

That contract specifies that, in the event of Superior’s recovering gross receipts over a certain amount, it will split that surplus 50/50 with the town, “up to an amount equal to the percentage of the town’s budgeted expenses which are attributable to EMS.”

In fact, however, Superior has never hit the gross-receipts threshold and the town has never recouped any of its EMS-related expenses.

Eagle Crossing PUD Amendment

Meanwhile, members voted unanimously to approve an amendment to the planned unit development ordinance governing the Eagle Crossing apartment complex in Coffee Creek Center.

That amendment provides for the conversion of a fire entrance off Rail Road into a permanent right-in/right-out entrance, necessitated by the reconfiguration of the parking lot to accommodate a natural-gas pipeline easement.

The amendment also provides for the relocation of handicapped parking following the decision to stripe angled spaces in place of perpendicular ones as well as to add some parallel parking.

The amendment was previously endorsed by the Advisory Plan Commission.

Salary Amendment

Members also voted unanimously to approve an amendment to the 2018 Salary Ordinance which increases by approximately $2 per hour the wage paid to the position of Lab Technician at the Utility.

The bump--endorsed by the Utility Service Board at its meeting last week--brings that wage to within 95 percent of the prevailing one paid in comparable municipalities in the area.

Taste of Duneland

Earlier in the evening, members voted unanimously to endorse the use of Thomas Centennial Park, portions of Broadway, and the parking lot of the Duneland Chamber of Commerce’s offices for a new event: a combined Party in the Park and Taste of Duneland, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 1.

Chamber President Maura Durham told the council that the Chamber has agreed this year to assume both the sponsorship and the organization of the popular Taste of Duneland from the Duneland Business Initiative Group (DBIG) but to combine Taste with the also popular Party in the Park, “to make a single big event.”

Durham added that she will be seeking the Park Board’s blessing on the event at its next meeting, Tuesday, June 5.


Posted 5/30/2018




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