Chesterton Tribune

 
 

Downtown park restroom project inching ahead

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By KEVIN NEVERS

The proposed public restroom facility in Thomas Centennial Park is moving forward.

Slowly.

But it’s moving forward.

At the Chesterton Town Council’s meeting Monday night, Town Engineer Mark O’Dell said that he, Park Superintendent Bruce Mathias, and CHS building trades teacher Jeff Larson had a productive meeting last week.

The upshot of that meeting: local architect Dave Kinel will tweak a restroom design which he formerly did for the City of Hobart.

“We’ll get a better concept drawing and bring it back to you,” O’Dell said.

The idea now is for Larson’s building trades students to construct the restroom as a class project and a space in Thomas Centennial Park has already been cleared for the site.

Mathias has estimated that the cost of the restroom will probably be significantly less than the $150,00 to $175,000 which the council was prepared to pay, in CEDIT funds.

Westchester-Liberty Trail

In other business, O’Dell had a spot of bad news. And some of good.

The bad: the Lake Michigan Coastal Project (LMCP) will not accept a grant application from the town for the hard construction costs of the new phase of the Westchester-Liberty Trail, along 1100N from the Rose Hill Estates subdivision to 11th Street.

The good news: LMCP will accept a grant application for the design and engineering costs.

Phase I of the Westchester-Liberty Trail has already been built: the sidewalk along the north side of 1100N from 23rd Street to Rose Hill Estates. But the project has been complicated by the fact that a sizable stretch of the next phase—all the way to 11th Street—falls in a officially designated wetland, which will likely require the design and construction of some kind of boardwalk.

When completed, the trail will have its terminus near Rail Road.

2013 Budget Ordinance

Meanwhile, members voted 5-0 on first reading to approve the 2013 budget ordinance, then 5-0 to suspend the rules and 5-0 to approve the ordinance on final reading.

That ordinance provides for a total advertised budget of $16,793,442, of which $4,404,007 will come from property taxes, at a rate of $0.7970 per $100 of assessed valuation. This year’s official tax rate is $0.7466.

Lease-Purchase

Members also voted 5-0 to authorized Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg to acquire a new pickup truck—to replace a 1998 model which just sold at the annual municipal auction—under a lease-purchase agreement. Schnadenberg had planned to pay for the new pickup partially with the proceeds of the old truck’s sale but opted to go for a lease-purchase agreement, given the state of uncertainty over department funds with the winter creeping up.

“The interest rates are low and we can always pay it off without penalties,” Schnadenberg said.

“Seems reasonable enough to me,” observed President Nick Walding, R-3rd.

 

 

Posted 10/23/2012