Thirteen years ago,
in 2001, the Chesterton Town Council--fearful of falling irretrievably
behind in the maintenance of the town’s roadways--floated a $900,000 general
obligation bond specifically for paving and sidewalk projects.
When the dust had
settled, not only had at least 17 streets been re-paved--and thousands of
tons of asphalt poured--but the 11th Street sidewalk had been built, from
West Porter Ave. to 1100N.
That bond was
officially retired in 2011.
members try to shake off this most brutal of winters and eye the damage it
caused to infrastructure--they’re thinking that another bond issue might not
be a bad idea at all.
At their meeting
Monday night, members voted 4-0 to authorize Town Attorney Chuck Lukmann to
explore the feasibility either of a new bond issue or of a low-interest loan
from the county, with contracted financial consultant London Witte Group and
bond counsel Shanahan & Shanahan.
Darnell, D-4th, was not in attendance.
The proposed amount
of any such issue or loan: $1.25 million to $1.5 million. The goal: saving
money by repairing roads now, before they need to be reconstructed
“This past winter
the roads took a beating,” said Member Jeff Trout, R-2nd. “We haven’t had a
winter like that in umpteen years.”
“I think it’s a
great idea,” agreed Member Jim Ton, R-1st.
After the meeting
Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg told the Chesterton Tribune
that several roads badly in need of re-surfacing spring to mind: 23rd Street
from Washington Ave. to 1100N; 1050N from 200W to Ind. 149; 1050N between
Fifth Street and 11th Street; and 11th Street in front of Chesterton High
however, that the town would get the same bang for its buck as it did 13
years ago, Schnadenberg added. Asphalt was going for maybe $36 per ton back
then. Right now it’s going for $68 gallons per ton.
Meanwhile, one road
which can’t wait much longer for some sort of tending is 200E, which has
been beaten to bits not only by the winter but by the heavy construction
equipment accessing the Urschel Laboratories Inc. work site at Coffee Creek
A lot of folks have
been complaining about 200E, Schnadenberg told members on Monday. The only
problem: the asphalt plants aren’t open yet. Right now crews have been
making do with gravel.
When the asphalt
plants do open, Schnadenberg said, 200E will be patched. It will
not be rebuilt, though, until the bridge over Coffee Creek has been
completed, which will allow construction equipment to access the Urschel
work site from Ind. 49.
In other business,
Schnadenberg submitted to members a map of sidewalk tripping hazards which
will be ground down this season.
The idea is to
finish grinding the tripping hazards still left in Chestnut Hills, then move
to Westchester South. There are a few as well in the Oakwood subdivision.
expects spending on tripping hazards to increase this year to around
$15,000, from $12,000 in 2013.
South Fifth Street
residents may find it odd that there are now two sets of utility
poles in the right-of-way, following NIPSCO’s installation of a second set
last fall as part of a line upgrade project.
Turns out, NIPSCO
is waiting for Frontier to switch its telephone lines to the new poles. Once
that work is done, Schnadenberg said, NIPSCO will remove the old ones.
Ton on Arbor Day
Ton took a moment
at the end of the meeting to thank Schnadenberg for another great Arbor Day
celebration, this time at Coffee Creek Center, where some 200 trees were
planted to replace those lost to the emerald ash borer.
Ton also expressed
his gratitude to the Rebuilding Together Duneland volunteers. “It’s a great
demonstration of our core pride,” he said. “One of the things that makes
this community great is the pitch-in spirit.”