Chesterton Tribune



Burns Harbor christens new fire engine and Fire Department building addition

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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.

RDC Meeting

Shortly after the ribbon-cutting, the RDC held its monthly meeting in the Department’s new training room.

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 underway.

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.

SEH Engineering will be updating the comprehensive plan, mostly for small changes, according to Hull.

“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.

“We’ve purchased 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,” Biancardi said.

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.



Posted 4/11/2019






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