Chesterton Tribune



Dogwood Parks new playground equipment now open to kids

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The new playground at Dogwood Park is officially open for business.

So Chesterton Park Superintendent Bruce Mathias reported at the Town Council’s meeting Monday night.

Installation of the playground equipment was actually completed some time ago, but it couldn’t be opened for use until fall-protection had been installed. At its meeting last week, however, the Park Board balked at cost of a new anti-static turf technology--upwards of $250,000--and opted instead to invest $3,000 in crushed mulch.

The mulch, which Town Engineer Mark O’Dell said meets code in every respect, was installed late last week at Dogwood Park and will also be installed at the new playgrounds at Chesterton and Olde Town parks.

Meanwhile, the Park Department is still waiting for the grass to grow around the new splash pad at Chesterton Park before opening that new facility. “The grass is beginning to pop up,” Mathias was happy to say, “thanks to the Chesterton Fire Department’s watering it every day.”

The splash pad is scheduled to open on Tuesday, July 4.

With respect to the splash pad, Mathias did ask the council to amend the 2017 Salary Ordinance by increasing the hourly wage for the Director of Summer Programs from $9 to $14.

In the past, Mathias said, that position has typically been filled by a college student. “With the splash pad, though, we really want an adult overseeing operations down there.”

Members agreed by consensus to instruct Associate Town Attorney Julie Paulson to draft an amendment to the 2017 Salary Ordinance.

Both the new playground equipment at Dogwood Park and the splash pad at Chesterton Park are just a few of the projects being funded by a $2-million bond issued late in 2015, noted Member Nate Cobbs, R-4th, at the end of the meeting. Cobbs took a moment specifically to thank Mathias, Town Engineer Mark O’Dell, and other staff for their superb work in shepherding the projects on line. “We’re now seeing the fruit of your efforts,” he said. “An awful lot more will be coming out this year and next.”

Superior Ambulance Contract

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

Superior’s original three-year contract expired in May 2016 and was renewed at that time for a period of one year.

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.

Cumulative Capital Development

Meanwhile, members voted unanimously by resolution to re-establish for another year Cumulative Capital Development, a fund with a dedicated property-tax rate of $0.04 per $100 of assessed valuation used exclusively for the purchase of emergency vehicles.

At a public hearing which preceded the vote, no one spoke in favor of the resolution and no one in opposition.

Riverbottom Produce Agreement

Members also voted unanimously to re-new for another season--through October--the town’s agreement with Riverbottom Produce to sell fruits and vegetables from a tent located in the municipal parking lot on the north side of Broadway, immediately east of the water tower.

“I think they’ve done a good service to the town over the years,” said President Jim Ton, R-1st. “And I’ve always be pleased with their product.”

CFD Window Contract

Finally, members voted unanimously to award a $3,890 contract to Trout Glass & Mirror of Chesterton to replace eight windows located in the town hall and fire station.



Posted 6/13/2107





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