First the good news: the Lake Michigan Coastal Program (LMCP) has $25,000 in
a 50/50 match grant with the Town of Chesterton’s name on it, to pay for
engineering the next phase of the Westchester Liberty Trail, along the north
side of 1100N from the Rosehill Estates subdivision to 11th Street.
Now the bad news: the $25,000 match is going to have to come from the Street
Department’s annual sidewalk replacement budget.
At its meeting Monday night, the Town Council voted 5-0 to take $25,000 from
the town’s $60,000 share of the riverboat casino tax, which had initially
been earmarked in its entirety for sidewalk replacement.
There is one other hitch, Town Engineer Mark O’Dell said. The $25,000 from
LCMP is all the town will be getting. Should the cost of engineering the new
sidewalk exceed $50,000, the town will be on the hook for it.
As members observed, however, the 1,500 feet between Rosehill Estates and
11th Street is really the “missing link” in the town’s trail and sidewalk
system. When completed, it will link Chesterton High School to the Prairie
And as O’Dell also noted, that 1,500-foot virtually shoulderless stretch
remains an ongoing hazard for runners, pedestrians, bicyclists, and CHS
students walking to and from school.
What has made the continuation of the Westchester Liberty Trail such a thorn
in the town’s side is the roughly 400 feet of this stretch which is
designated wetland, requiring special permitting from the Indiana Department
of Natural Resource and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The $50,000 now
made available should cover the cost not only of engineering the new
sidewalk but also of permit applications and environmental assessments,
Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg, for his part, objected not at all to
the deep cut into this season’s sidewalk replacement budget. “Over the last
couple of years, we’ve only been getting half of the casino funds anyway,”
With the $35,000 remaining, Schnadenberg will attempt to replace as many of
the following sidewalks as possible this year:
* The north side of East Morgan Ave. from Popolano’s parking lot to a point
175 feet east.
* The west side of Fifth Street from Broadway to West Indiana Ave.
* Areas on the south side of Broadway west of Fifth Street.
* The east side of Wilson Street from East Morgan Ave. to Bowser Ave.
* The south side of West Indiana Ave. from Second Street to Third Street.
* The east side of Second Street from Jefferson Ave. to Ivy Street.
* The south side of Park Ave. from Second Street to just past Taft Street.
* The south side of Westchester Ave. from Taft Street to Creita Street.
* The south side of Broadway from Jackson Blvd. to 18th Street.
Schnadenberg did say that, of the $35,000, $10,000 will be used to grind
down tripping hazards on sidewalks in Chestnut Hills, Oakwood Drive, and
along Broadway between Fourth and Fifth streets.
And $2,100 more of that amount will be used to mudjack some settled
sidewalks along 23rd Street from Texas Street to Union Ave.