The Burns Harbor
Fire Department showed off its new E-One fire engine and building addition
at a wetting ceremony and ribbon-cutting last night.
Members of the
public gathered to watch the new truck, which was built over the course of a
year at the E-One facility in Florida, doused with water and pushed into its
bay by members of the Department.
The new addition to
the BHFD building has a classroom space with seating for 50, extra offices
and bathrooms, and quarters for the Town’s ambulance crew. The addition was
funded by the Burns Harbor Redevelopment Commission (RDC).
Fire Chief Bill
Arney invited the public to tour the new addition after RDC President Eric
Hull and member Nick Loving cut the ribbon on the door.
RDC member Ray
Poparad also presented Arney with a plaque commemorating his 30 years of
service and leadership in the BHFD.
Shortly after the
ribbon-cutting, the RDC held its monthly meeting in the Department’s new
The RDC approved
Arney to spend up to $30,000 in 2019 to finish out the project. The Board
allocated $200,000 for Fire Department improvements last year, approximately
$13,000 of which unexpectedly went to a new cot for the Town’s ambulance.
Arney said all
that’s left to be done is sidewalk installation, some IT work, and
landscaping. Loving noted that Arney kept costs down and came within two
percent of the original estimate for the addition.
Arney thanked the
RDC for funding the addition and putting money toward the fire truck. “I
really appreciate everything and the caring that you guys do for this
community,” Arney said.
RDC President Eric
Hull said the Board is happy to provide the BHFD with the resources it needs
to protect the community.
“I think I speak
for all of us when I say we’re glad to do it,” Hull said. “You guys are the
real heroes out there.”
Another major RDC
project, the Request for Qualifications for a Town Center, is still
Last year, the RDC
announced it was working with Holladay Properties to discuss its vision for
a new Town Center development on the 28 acres adjoining Food Truck Square
that it recently purchased from the Duneland School Corporation.
The RDC hasn’t yet
committed to any spending or contracted with Holladay.
Hull reported that
he and RDC member Toni Biancardi met with representatives from Holladay to
keep them in the loop about potential changes to the Burns Harbor
comprehensive plan after Hull reported at last month’s meeting that talks
about development were on hold while the Plan Commission mulled changes to
the comprehensive plan.
will be updating the comprehensive plan, mostly for small changes, according
“The changes he’s
speaking of are technical and more administrative,” Biancardi said. She said
the comprehensive plan was last updated 10 years ago, and the Town has since
acquired land that needs to be catalogued.
property that’s not listed in the comprehensive plan. Things have changed in
the way the Town looks, and that needs to be reflected in the plan,”
Hull said the RDC
will pay for updates to the plan as part of its existing contract with SEH,
but the Plan Commission will be driving and monitoring the changes made.
The Board tabled a
discussion of amending its agreement with SEH to have them update the plan
at an hourly rate not to exceed $17,000 to give RDC Attorney Clay Patton
time to review the proposal.