Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Finding the money key to Thomas Park restrooms

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By PAULENE POPARAD

It’s the pricetag, not the project, that has the Chesterton Town Council investigating its options, said member Sharon Darnell.

She was responding to a question by Chesterton Park Board member Mark Dickinson, who asked at Tuesday’s park meeting about the status of a proposed restroom structure in Thomas Park.

Darnell said the architect’s estimate came back at approximately $240,000 so the restroom never was put out for bid. “There’s no shape, way or form we can come up with that kind of money with the state cutbacks the last few years,” she explained.

The restroom as originally planned would be a no-maintenance, handicapped-accessible masonry building with optional decorative exterior columns. Efforts are being made to find the needed funds, or scale back the design yet keep the building resistant to vandalism.

The project’s not off the council’s radar and hasn’t been forgotten, assured Darnell, who is liaison to the Park Department. Town manager Bernie Doyle is looking for alternate funding sources, she explained, because when the state makes budget cuts it usually orders money be deducted from the Park and Street Department budgets first.

Also Tuesday, park superintendent Bruce Mathias said he is awaiting delivery of new boards that were ordered to redeck two bridges over the Prairie Duneland Trail. The lumber had to be engineered due to the weight demand.

He and Park Board members complimented the job done by project leader Roy Flaherty and his Saturday work crew in rehabbing roofs in town parks. Bill Ford also donated two days time to work on roof and fascia. More roof work is planned at Dogwood Park.

Mathias also said two softball fields have gone from red clay to lime rock infields and base paths, and a bench has been installed at Coffee Creek Park.

On member John Kroft’s motion the board voted unanimously to allow Frontline Foundations to erect a suitably sized banner on the Thomas Park gazebo Aug. 29 through Sept. 29 promoting its upcoming event. The size is a reduction from Frontline’s originally requested banner.

Park Board president Vince Emanuel said Mathias and his staff “are doing a heck of a job in the parks with all this rain.” He also said the new green roof on a Chesterton Park shelter looks great.

 

Posted 7/10/2014