Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Don't neglect businesses east of Indiana 49, council told again

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By KEVIN NEVERS

Two weeks ago, Victoria Brock of Westchester Township urged the Chesterton Town Council to find some way to make the businesses east of Ind. 49--along and off Indian Boundary Road--more “consumer friendly.”

In particular, Brock said at the time, out-of-towners southbound from I-94 are highly unlikely to turn left onto Indian Boundary Road and, if they do, they’re just as unlikely actually to find their way to any specific business.

Two weeks later, Brock’s comments inspired a couple of other folks to make a similar plea to the council, at its meeting Monday night.

Matt Jewison noted from the floor that motorists southbound on Ind. 49 simply can’t see Indian Boundary Road east of Ind. 49 as they approach the intersection “because it’s blocked by trees.” As a consequence they’re almost certain, if unfamiliar with the town, to turn right onto westbound Indian Boundary Road.

Jewison’s suggestion: signage well in advance of the intersection which names specific restaurants and directs motorists with a left-turn arrow.

Joy Marburger, for her part, pointed out the peril which bicyclists and pedestrians put themselves in when attempting to cross Ind. 49 at Indian Boundary Road. A striped crosswalk, she said, would reduce at least some of the risk.

Member Jim Ton, R-1st, thanked Jewison and Marburger for their suggestions and said in reply that the town’s relationship with the LaPorte District of the Indiana Department of Transportation--which has complete authority over signage and stripping on and along Ind. 49--is quite good.

Only just recently, Ton remarked, INDOT has placed--at the town’s request--a number of signs along Ind. 49: “Chesterton Next Three Intersections,” “Porter Ave.,” and “Indian Boundary Road.”

Town Engineer Mark O’Dell, for his part, said that he will talk to INDOT about possibly updating business signage on the approach to Indian Boundary Road.

Meanwhile, Ton also announced that INDOT is planning major pothole repairs along Ind. 49 and is considering a re-surfacing project as well.

Re: Fireworks

In other business, Police Chief Dave Cincoski reported that he’s recently been taking a lot of complaints from residents about the discharge of fireworks in their neighborhoods. Their plea: to make the town’s fireworks ordinance more restrictive.

The problem: under state statute, the town’s ordinance is already as restrictive as it’s going to get, Cincoski said.

Town Attorney Chuck Lukmann put it this way. “The law as written does not allow you to be more restrictive,” he said. “It’s as simple as that.”

The town’s ordinance bans the discharge of all fireworks all year long, but for a few days before and after July 4 and a few hours on Dec. 31.

Hey, Thanks

Town Engineer Mark O’Dell took a moment to express his gratitude to Ton--the town’s representative on the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission and in fact an officer on NIRPC’s Executive Board--for Ton’s advocacy recently in prevailing on NIRPC to award an additional $547,725 grant to the town for Phase II of the Westchester-Liberty Trail.

NIRPC had originally elected to discontinue funding Phase II, after awarding a grant last year in the amount of $405,834.

O’Dell on Monday said that, while he was arguing for the additional funding in the trenches, Ton did a superb job working his colleagues on the Executive Board. “It was a team effort all the way,” O’Dell said.

Phase II of the Westchester-Liberty Trail runs along the north side of 1100N from the Rosehill Estates subdivision to Fifth Street. O’Dell’s estimate of Phase II’s total cost: $862,500. NIRPC’s total contribution: $953,559.

 

 

Posted 8/13/2014