Chesterton Tribune

 

 

TIF board interested in grants for 'livable centers'

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By KEVIN NEVERS

Turns out, the Town of Chesterton has the largest “livable center” in all of Porter County. And right now, the Northwest Indiana Regional Planning Commission has $400,000 in funding to award for the enhancement and protection of livable centers.

Who knew, right?

At the Chesterton Redevelopment Commission’s meeting Monday night, Member Jim Ton wanted to know whether his colleagues might be interested in pursuing that funding, to maintain the town’s own “livable center,” a term used by planners and consultants to mean an area in which residents can accomplish most of their daily tasks with-out driving. In livable centers parks, the public library, schools, businesses, and emergency-response agencies are all clustered, meaning that folks can bike or walk to most places they have to go.

NIRPC funding could be used for things like sidewalks and trails, Ton said. “I think it’s a refreshing thing.”

In addition to Chesterton’s main “livable center”--according to a NIRPC map, the largest such area in Porter County--it also features two “neighborhood centers.” Said Ton, “That speaks well of the Town of Chesterton, that we’ve been maintaining the Downtown.”

Ton added, of “livable centers,” “It’s a new direction that planners are trying to go.”

Or as Member Sharon Darnell put it, “Everything old is new again.”

“Anything we could to improve the Downtown, I’m in favor of,” Member Jeff Trout for his own part said.

IBR Traffic Signal

In other business, Town Engineer Mark O’Dell announced that the contract for the upgrade of the traffic signal at the intersection at Indian Boundary Road and North Calumet Road will be let in spring by the Indiana Department of Transportation.

At the moment NIRPC is paying for 70 percent of the project, or $223,578, with the additional $108,387 coming from tax increment financing moneys. But O’Dell is hopeful that what was supposed to be an 80/20 grant, as announced when awarded, will more nearly approach that apportionment.

Members voted 5-0 to enter into a contract with NIRPC for the project.

The project will include a new signal with battery backup, decorative pole, and new striping at the intersection. The signal’s current timing will not be changed. The town is still waiting for the CSX railroad to approve the project.

“It’s moving forward,” O’Dell said.

Claims

Members voted 5-0 to approve the following claims: $40,191.95 from LGS Plumbing Inc. of Crown Point; $6,290 and $6,526.25 from DLZ; $1,044.72 from 1st American Management Company; $708.28 from Midwestern Electric Inc.; $750 from Harris Welsh & Lukmann; $300 from U.S. Bank; and $75 from Ellis Electric.

 

Posted 10/30/2013