Chesterton Tribune



Chesterton Town Council looking to pipe, infill 1050N ditches in Crocker

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In June 2019, the Chesterton Stormwater Management Board authorized Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg and Town Engineer Mark O’Dell to scope the cost of piping and in-filling the ditches along 1050N from approximately Westwood Lane to Ind. 149.

The reason: the ditches are deep, way deep, and in places underground utility infrastructure has been exposed through erosion.

At Monday night’s Town Council meeting, Member Sharon Darnell, D-4th, wondered whether the town is in the position now to pursue that project. “Can we figure out how to fill in those ditches?” she asked. “There are exposed gas lines there.”

It’s an important project, Schnadenberg agreed, but the infrastructure work being done last year for the Springdale subdivision complicated things. “We needed to see where Springdale was going with their tie-ins,” he said. “But yes, the soil in those ditches is being eroded and it’s been hard to keep them stabilized.”

As O’Dell observed, Crocker was originally platted in 1982--“It’s almost ancient out there”--while Member Jim Ton, R-1st, added that for most of its existence Crocker was an unincorporated community separate from Chesterton, until annexed in the late 1960s.

A similar project was completed in 2017 along the north side of West Porter Ave. between 18th and 23rd streets, when that ditch was piped and in-filled.

Leaf Vac

In other business, Schnadenberg reported that the Street Department is in the market for a new leaf vac, now that it’s paid off a five-year lease-purchase agreement on a previously acquired one.

Schnadenberg said that he’s hopeful of obtaining the leaf vac through an interlocal contract for cooperative purchasing made available by HGACBuy, a government procurement service. Estimated cost: $85,000 to $87,000.

Salty, yes, but Schnadenberg noted two things: first, the Street Department would save between $5,000 and $10,000 on the price of the leaf vac if purchased through HGACBuy; and second, the Spartan brand leaf vac is equipped with a remote-control hose, which will eliminate the need for a laborer to work outside the vehicle raking and vacuuming.

Schnadenberg added that funding is available for a new leaf vac in the Refuse Account.

Banner Requests

At Schnadenberg’s recommendation, and by unanimous votes, the council approved two banner requests: one from the Duneland Chamber of Commerce promoting its Corkscrew & Brew event on March 14 (banner period March 7-16); the other, from the Chesterton Art Center promoting the annual Chesterton Art Fair on Aug. 1-2 (banner period July 20-Aug. 3).

The banners will be placed on East Porter Ave. and at the intersection of Indian Boundary Road and North Calumet Road.

Permit Fee Waivers

Meanwhile, members voted unanimously to waive building permit fees for several projects in the Duneland Schools, which will be undertaken prior to the start of the 2020-21 school year.

The projects: new chillers at WIS and CHS; a new domestic hot-water system at CMS; new doors at Bailly and CMS; a new HVAC in the server room in the Administration Building; and roof repairs at CMS.

Early Voting

Early voting will once again be held in the meeting room of the town hall this spring--from April 7 through May 4--from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

This year, however, a request has been made to extend voting hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays to 8:30 p.m. Those extended Thursday hours would conflict with three separate municipal meetings: Police Commission, Advisory Plan Commission, and Board of Zoning Appeals.

The council accordingly instructed Clerk-Treasurer Courtney Udvare to see if extended hours could be scheduled for a different weekday.

New Building Code

O’Dell, wearing his Building Commissioner’s hat, reported that the State of Indiana is now adopting the 2018 International Building Code, which will supersede the current 2012 version. O’Dell said that he and staff are currently working their way through about a hundred pages of changes.

The upshot, though, is that the Building Department will be enforcing these changes, and it’s conceivable that Town Council members will be hearing from builders not altogether happy about them.

Just a head’s up, O’Dell said.

Gadzala and Economic Development

O’Dell also reported that MS4 Operator and Special Projects Coordinator Jennifer Gadzala recently completed a 2020 Indiana Economic Development course at Ball State University.

“Jennifer said that it was an excellent course and she came back full of ideas,” O’Dell said.

Gadzala’s brief, as Special Projects Coordinator, is the implementation of projects to enhance Chesterton’s economic, beautification, and vitalization goals.

“Will you extend our congratulations to Jennifer on completing that course?” asked Ton.

West Indiana Ave. Sidewalk

Finally, O’Dell reported that quotes for the West Indiana Ave. sidewalk project will be opened at the council’s Feb. 24 meeting.

The sidewalk along the north side of West Indiana Ave. will be replaced roughly from Sixth Street to South 15th Street. The project is being funded through the $1.8-million general obligation bond issued in 2018 for infrastructure work.

Bid now on Chesterton’s used 2003 bucket truck

The Chesterton Street Department is now soliciting bids on its 2003 International bucket truck with a Telex boom with a 55-foot reach.

Bids are due by 4:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 24, and will be opened at that night’s Town Council meeting, at 7 p.m. A sealed bid form may be obtained from the Street Department.

View the bucket truck at the Street Department in the municipal complex, 1490 Broadway.


Posted 2/11/2020





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