Chesterton Tribune



Town Council hears complaint of icy sidewalks downtown

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Folks who’ve walked past the old Antiques 101 building lately will have noticed that the sidewalk in front of it, both on Broadway and South Calumet Road, hasn’t been shoveled, apparently all winter.

It’s a treacherous path of ice and re-frozen snow which is really unavoidable by pedestrians whose destination takes them past the building, which hasn’t been tenanted in years.

Folks with business in the Downtown have been grumbling to shopkeepers about the sidewalk. One of them finally took his complaint to the Chesterton Town Council, at its meeting Monday night.

Joe Waggoner--who was tactful enough not actually to name the building he was talking about--voiced his concern about the “hazard” and warned the council that some unlucky person is liable to break a leg or a hip while trying to navigate the ice field which is the sidewalk.

There’s an ordinance requiring property owners to cut their grass and another one requiring dog walkers to clean up after their pets, Waggoner noted. Is there not an applicable one governing unshoveled sidewalks?

Members took the complaint under advisement.

After the meeting, though, Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg told the Chesterton Tribune that in fact there is no ordinance--to his knowledge--requiring either residents or business owners to shovel the sidewalks fronting their property.

Schnadenberg added that he and Town Engineer Mark O’Dell are aware of the problem at 101 Broadway and have discussed it. But before any precedent is set, he said, “we need to confer with the Town Attorney.”

Schnadenberg did say that the Street Department spread salt on the handicapped ramp at that intersection.

New Grapple Truck

In other business, members voted 5-0 to authorize Schnadenberg to obtain quotes for a second grapple truck, with the idea of taking delivery on it this summer and making the first payment on a lease-purchase contract in 2016.

Schnadenberg estimated the cost of a new one at around $150,000.

The grapple truck already in the Street Department’s fleet has proved a valuable piece and flexible piece of equipment, Schnadenberg said.

Re: Sick Days

Meanwhile, members voted 5-0 to permit municipal employees with unused sick days from 2014 to sell 50 percent of them back to the town--up to three full sick days--in the form either of wage compensation or a deposit into their health savings account.

The council had already approved this policy last year but recently discovered that it had not been put into effect nor codified in the personnel policy manual.

“I apologize to employees,” said Member Emerson DeLaney, R-5th. “You have this coming to you.”

Roads Accepted

At Schnadenberg’s recommendation, members also voted 5-0 to accept as public roadways the streets and cul-de-sacs in the Stone Meadows subdivision on 1100N, just west of C.R. 50W.

That subdivision has received primary plat approval and infrastructure has been installed. No houses have yet been built, however.

Schnadenberg said that the roads in the subdivision had been built to spec.


Posted 2/24/2015




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