Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Downtown businesses may now apply for 2 percent improvement loans

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By KEVIN NEVERS

The Chesterton Economic Development Company (CEDC) is open for business.

So Town Council Member Jim Ton, R-1st, announced at Monday night’s meeting.

Capitalized at $120,522.05, the CEDC is now ready to accept applications from Downtown businesses for 2-percent CHAMP (Chesterton Hometown Asset Maximization Program) loans, which may be used for a variety of improvements, Ton said.

Since being revitalized last year--after a moratorium was called in the program in 2012--the CEDC has been working on revisiting the terms of the old program and revamping the application form.

“This is not the old facade loan,” Ton said. Loans may be obtained for any manner of business improvement: paint, furniture, carpeting, technology, signage. “Be open minded. Think out of the box.”

The 2-percent loans must be re-paid in full after five years, with two installments per year. A maximum loan amount has not been set, Associate Town Attorney Connor Nolan said. “There are different thresholds of information for different size loans.”

“We want to make loans available to as many businesses as possible,” Ton did note. “We don’t want to put all the funding into one pot.”

Applications are available online at www.chestertonin.org or at the Clerk-Treasurer’s Office, 1490 Broadway. The CEDC will review all applications and forward its recommendations to the Town Council, which will make the final decisions.

The CEDC loan program dates to 1986, when the town received a federal grant, of which around $100,000 remains.

Re: Waskom Tennis Courts

In other business, Tom Archibald pressed the council on the design of the new tennis courts at Waskom Park, as the contractor for the rehab project, Gariup Construction Company of Gary, prepares to begin work.

Archibald expressed concerns specifically about the orientation of the tennis courts, noting that the courts built at Chesterton Park were “built wrong,” not on a north/south axis but more on a northwest/southeast axis, leading to problems with sun glare.

Archibald also said that the new courts need 12 inches of subsurface stone, not six inches.

“I’m not here to accuse anyone of doing something wrong,” Archibald said. “I just want to make sure it’s done right, so in three years we don’t have cracks.”

Member Nate Cobbs, R-4th--who acts as liaison to the Park Board--suggested that Archibald speak to that body about the matter. On the other hand, Cobbs added, the engineering was done by a highly reputable firm, DLZ.

Re: RR Crossing, Trash Cans

Meanwhile, a resident of the Estates of Sand Creek brought two questions to the council on Monday:

* Could the town begin the process of making the Norfolk Southern grade-crossing at C.R. 250E a quiet zone?

* Could his 96-gallon rollaway garbage can be replaced with a smaller 64-gallon model.

The answer to those questions: no, and probably no.

As Ton noted, the grade-crossing at C.R. 250E is located in unincorporated Westchester Township. Even if the town had the funding available to pursue a railroad quiet zone there, it couldn’t, as the Porter County Commissioners have jurisdiction.

On the subject of the rollaway garbage cans, “there’s one size and one size only,” said Member Emerson DeLaney, R-5th. “That’s what Republic Services offer and that’s all they offered in the negotiations.”

Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg, for his part, was slightly less confident. “I’m not going to sit here and say one way or the other,” he said. “But I can check it out for you.”

New Deputy Clerk-Treasurer

Clerk-Treasurer Stephanie Kuziela took a moment to introduce the council to her new Deputy Clerk-Treasurer: Tina Clinton.

“She’s already proved herself an asset to the town,” Kuziela said. “I’m very excited to have her on board.”

 

Posted 8/15/2018

 

 

 

 
 
 
 

 

 

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