The Burns Harbor
Redevelopment Commission is pursuing a grant that could fund 80 percent of
the cost of the Haglund Trail--which would create a safe pedestrian
connection between Lakeland Park and the site of Food Truck Square.
At its meeting last
night, the Commission approved Jeff Oltmanns from Global Engineering to
start the application for the grant, which is an 80/20 match through federal
block grant funds managed by the Northwest Indiana Regional Planning
Committee (NIRPC). The grant is specifically aimed at municipalities looking
to expand their trails or draw together different areas.
The RDC previously
discussed making the Haglund Trail a priority in June 2018, but it was put
on the back burner to fund Town ambulance service and an addition to the
Fire Department. Planning on the trail was initiated in 2017, and Karnerblue
Consultant Tina Rongers reported she had estimated $600,000 for the project
in her long-term planning spreadsheet.
The Trail would run
along Haglund Road, and would serve to better connect Lakeland Park and its
surrounding neighborhoods to Westport Road, which runs along the side of the
Food Truck Square site and is just across Ind. 149 from the Town Hall. The
Commission members noted that it could be connected to the future Burns
Harbor arm of the Marquette Greenway Trail, and it could tie into any new
development at Food Truck Square and the attached Duneland School
Corporation parcel the Town is buying.
This past fall, the
RDC released a request for qualifications (RFQ) for master developers who
would be interested in building an updated town complex or town community
center that would maintain or enhance the character of Food Truck Square on
the four-acre Food Truck Square site and the adjoining 28 acres the Town is
buying from the Duneland School Corporation. The purchase will be complete
next month, and next month the RDC will hear from its committee on the RFQ
whether or not the developers who submitted satisfy the requirements.
appear to want more trails, and new development could increase pedestrian
and bike traffic in the future. The results of the RDC Town-wide survey that
garnered an 11 percent rate of response in October show respondents were in
support of trails connecting subdivisions and neighborhoods, with 65 percent
saying trails were either important or very important to them. Another 60
percent of respondents said they currently don’t feel safe from traffic
while riding bikes or walking along main roads in Town, many of which do not
construction side, it’s the same, but from a doing standpoint, there’s some
paperwork involved that adds to it,” Oltmanns said, noting some of the
planning work done for the Haglund Trail doesn’t measure up to the federal
standards dictating the dispersal of the grant funds. The site will need a
more extensive environmental evaluation, for one, in order for the
application to be complete.
RDC President Eric
Hull said Global estimated the work required for the application would
amount to 24 hours of professional services to the tune of $3,480.
If awarded, the
funds would be available between 2021 and 2024, Rongers said. “That 20
percent match would be out in your 2021 budget or further.”
“The way I look at
it, if we apply for it and don’t get it, we’re on the radar. If we apply and
get it, we have a new trail,” Hull said.
approved Oltmanns to start work on the application, with the stipulation
that Global’s work not exceed the estimate.