With proposals in
hand for an engineering feasibility study of a railroad quiet zone in
Downtown Chesterton, the Town Council has taken the next step.
At their meeting
Monday night, they voted unanimously to form an ad hoc committee for
the purpose of reviewing the three proposals and choosing the successful
one. Tapped for the committee were council members Jim Ton, R-1st, and
Emerson DeLaney, R-5th; Town Manager Bernie Doyle; and Town Engineer Mark
The council also
instructed Doyle to arrange a meeting of the committee as soon as
possible--and to notify the press of that meeting--so that the contract may
be awarded to the successful proposer at its next meeting, Monday, Sept. 23.
The proposals were
submitted by the following:
--James F. Giannini
& Associates of Chesterton.
Consultants Group LLC of Chicago.
--And CTC Inc. of
Fort Worth, Texas.
Monday’s meeting, the council heard from three residents who live along or
uncomfortably close to the Norfolk Southern line, and who are in dire need
of some peace and quiet.
First up: Kim
Goldak, reading from a prepared statement: “Currently, we know what the one
major weak link is in our Downtown, namely, the noise from trains. Just as
we came together to promote our strengths, I believe that we should attempt
to exhaust all measures to remove our Achilles heel. We all know, whether
it’s a town hall meeting, sitting in a cafe or at the European Market, the
noise is overwhelming.”
“Our town has CEDIT
money, receives a tourism tax, and has other sources of money for the health
and safety of its citizens,” Goldak added. “There are grants available from
many sources, including federal and railroad moneys. I believe this should
be a high priority and in my opinion this council should do all that is
possible to make it happen to ensure that our Chesterton remains the amazing
town that we all love. I have complete faith in you to get this done.”
Joining Goldak was
Mitchell Batson, who grew up in Chesterton, moved away, then moved back, and
who is shocked by how many more trains pass through the Downtown than
did only 30 years ago. “It wasn’t so bad in the Nineties,” he said. “I just
don’t remember the trains horns being as prominent as they are now. It’s
about the quality of life. Thank you, I’m glad this is an issue that’s being
Robert Carp also
grew up in Chesterton. Back in the day, he figures, there were maybe 20
trains all day. Now there’s one every 20 or 30 minutes.”
Eighty a day, Ton
Let’s call it 80.
Summer, Carp said, is the worst, because living in a house without central
A/C means he has to keep the windows open, and that means the trains seem as
though they’re barreling down his hallway. Sometimes the engineers just lay
on their horns and blast them continuously, all the way from the South
Jackson Blvd. grade crossing to the North 15th Street one. “The quality of
life has gone down,” Carp said.