Chesterton Tribune



Burns Harbor FD awarded Firehouse Subs grant

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The Burns Harbor Fire Department was awarded a grant of just under $40,000 from Firehouse Subs, Fire Chief Bill Arney reported at a recent Town Council meeting.

Arney said the grant is for the purchase of a robotic CPR machine that maintains chest compressions at a certain depth and rate. According to Arney, it is one of the largest grants Firehouse Subs has awarded so far.

In other Fire Department business, the Council also approved its list of encumbrances for 2019, many of which were Fire Department-related. The Town dedicated approximately $195,000 from its 2018 budget to pay for some projects and purchases that started or were approved in 2018 and won’t conclude until 2019.

Clerk-treasurer Jan Jordan said, “Typically we don’t encumber that much.” The reason for the spike is that approximately $144,000 of the encumbrances were for work on the addition to the Fire Department, according to Jordan. Arney reported the new building is in the process of getting drywall, a furnace, and furnishings. After that comes paving and landscaping, which will have to wait for better weather.

Some other encumbered expenses include a new mower for the street department and improvements at Lakeland Park, such as top sealing the walking paths and basketball court, which are being paid for out of the 2018 budget though they won’t be completed until the weather breaks this spring.

Arney also thanked everyone who donated presents to the Shop with a Firefighter program. “Santa delivered them right before Christmas and made some families happy,” Arney said. “It turned out great.”

Other Approvals

The Council approved a change to ordinance 288-2018, requiring mandatory site plan review for new developments. “Currently our process calls for an advisory meeting,” said Council member, and Plan Commission member, Toni Biancardi. “Now we’re asking, especially in terms of commercial, that they have a mandatory meeting for us to review plans.”

The Council approved some upgrades at the Town hall, including vent work in the building’s attic and some IT work to network the computers in the Clerk-treasurers office. The Council approved the vent work not to exceed $4,000 and the IT work not to exceed $3,000.

Police Chief Mike Heckman was approved to give Police Clerk Shayna Dujmovich a raise and promote Tim Lucas from Corporal to Sergeant. Heckman said he made the raises out of his budget. The Council will amend the 2019 salary ordinance for those changes at its next meeting.

The Council also decided the Street Department will plow roads in phase 2 of Corlin’s Landing, since the Town owns the right of way and the roads.

The Sanitation Department, Street Department, Stormwater Board, and Plan Commission will split the cost of Geographic Information System (GIS) software that will help them model the Town’s sanitary system and potentially inventory all of the Town’s infrastructure.

Porter County already has a GIS, and Burns Harbor’s software would be part of that license, Biancardi said. “We’re technically looking to buy our portion of the user license and use the software for tracking our sanitation system.”

The Council decided the departments and boards that use the software most will split the cost of $4,800 and pay $1,200 each. Since the sanitation department will use the software most, they are on the hook for the $750 each year in maintenance.






Posted 1/18/2019




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