The Chesterton Town
Council has voted formally--and unanimously--to enter a three-year contract
with Porter County Animal Control.
Members did so at
their meeting Monday night, without balking, without squeaking, without
really any comment at all, two weeks after seeking a meeting with Animal
Control officials and a Porter County Commissioner in the hope of having
explained to them why Chesterton residents aren’t actually being
double-billed for Animal Control services, first in their property taxes and
second in the $27,347 annual contractual fee.
The only change to
the contract as presented by Animal Control: it includes a termination
clause, under which either party may choose not to renew the contract if
notice is given at least 60 days prior to the renewal date.
As Member Jim Ton,
R-1st, noted, previous attempts by the Chesterton Police Department to
provide animal control services in town have not succeeded particularly
well. “We need this (contract), so our police officers don’t have to chase
four-legged offenders, only two-legged ones,” he said.
Indian Oak Mall
In other business,
members voted unanimously to reject a proposed amendment to the Indian Oak
Mall planned unit development ordinance which would have permitted the
erection of a 25-foot pylon sign--seven feet higher than the Zoning
Ordinance permits--along Ind. 49.
Requesting the PUD
amendment was Lake County Trust Company, the owner of a parcel at the Indian
Oak Mall whose tenants feel their businesses are currently under-advertised.
Speaking on behalf of the parcel owner was attorney Greg Bouer, who told the
council that “economic forces are dictating that we do our best for our
The proposed PUD
amendment came to the council, however, with an unanimous unfavorable
recommendation from the Advisory Plan Commission, and though Bouer said that
his client would be willing to make changes to the “type of
sign”--including, perhaps, reducing its size or electrifying it--he offered
no specific suggestions at Monday’s meeting.
“We would need to
see a solution that worked,” said Member Nate Cobbs, R-4th, who sits on the
Plan Commission and who already voted once against the proposed amendment.
“Location. Size. Any number of things. But this is the right decision for
this, as it’s written now.”
“A simple sign does
not make or break a business,” Member Emerson DeLaney, R-5th, said for his
speaking, Town Engineer Mark O’Dell remarked, because the proposed sign
would be located on Ind. 49 south of the intersection of Indian Boundary
Road, “by the time you’d see it, you’d already be past Indian Oak Mall.”
Attorney Julie Paulson did say that Lake County Trust Company may, if it
chooses, re-file the petition at a future date “in a slightly different