Chesterton Tribune



TIF board okays angled parking conversion on West Indiana Ave

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The Chesterton Redevelopment Commission voted unanimously at its meeting Monday night to authorize Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg and Town Engineer Mark O’Dell to proceed with plans to install angled parking spaces along two blocks of West Indiana Ave.

Angled parking spaces will replace parallel ones on the north side of West Indiana Ave. between South Calumet Road and Second Street; and between Third Street and Fourth Street.

The work--which Schnadenberg hopes to complete this year--will include the milling and re-paving of West Indiana Ave. all the way from South Calumet Road to Fifth Street.

Expected cost of the project: $68,000 in tax increment financing moneys, although the re-pave between Fourth and Fifth streets will be defrayed with proceeds of the $1.8-million general obligation bond issued last year for roadwork and infrastructure improvements.

West Indiana Ave., which is currently a two-lane one-way (westbound) road, will be reduced to one lane only, the southern one, with the northern lane converted into angled parking between South Calumet Road and Second Street; and between Third Street and Fourth Street. The parallel parking currently in place in front of the Thomas Branch of the Westchester Public Library, between Second Street and Third Street, will remain in place, for the convenience of library patrons.

As part of the project, the curb at the northwest corner of the intersection--by the Baugher Center--will be extended south, to direct motorists who are turning right onto West Indiana Ave. from southbound South Calumet Road into the new single westbound lane, as well as to prevent motorists from inadvertently driving into the new angled parking spaces.

Although this project is altogether separate from the widening of the sidewalk on the south side of Broadway between Second and Third Street--as part of which the current angled parking there will be replaced with parallel, for a loss of approximately six spaces--there will be a net gain of roughly 13 additional parking spaces in the Downtown with the conversion of parallel to angled parking on West Indiana Ave.

Schnadenberg noted that, back in the day, when St. Patrick Church was sited in what is now the Thomas Branch’s overflow parking lot, there previously was angled parking along West Indiana Ave.

Non-voting Commission Member John Marshall remarked that “it would be nice” to have the angled conversion of West Indiana Ave. done this year, “so that it will be ready to go when the European Market opens next May.”

Community Crossings

Later in the evening, at the Town Council’s meeting, Schnadenberg reported that the town is currently applying for a 50/50 Community Crossings state infrastructure grant to re-pave two roadways: 1100N from 100E to South Fifth Street; and Broadway from Eighth Street to 19th Street.

He noted, however, that the state is now awarding Community Crossings grants in two phases--in the summer and in the winter--and that he plans to submit another grant application for other work early in 2020.

Members voted 3-0 to sign an undertaking stating that the town agrees to provide its share of the 50/50 match.

Bucket Truck

In other business, Schnadenberg made members aware, as they approach 2020 budget discussions, that he is interested in replacing the Street Department’s bucket truck. The current model, acquired some years ago used, is 16 years old and has broken down four times this year, with repairs costing $8,000. On the other hand, he said, the Street Department annually saves two to three times that amount by being able to remove hazard trees in-house, without having to contract with a tree removal service.

Schnadenberg added that he’s interested in purchasing another used bucket truck.

MOA with County Highway

At Schnadenberg’s recommendation, members vote unanimously to approve a memorandum of understanding with the Porter County Highway Department, under which the Highway Department will use its equipment to chip-and-seal the town’s stretches of 950N and Saemann Road with materials purchased by the Street Department.

The town’s share of the two chip-and-seal projects: $38,000, which Schnadenberg said is what it would cost the Street Department to have re-paved only one of those roads.

“We are part of the county and we need to work with them,” said Member Jim Ton, R-1st. “I think this shows great initiative.”

Garbage Credits

Finally, Schnadenberg reported that he recently completed a six-month review of home occupancy in the town, with a view to getting a contractually entitled credit from Republic Services--doing business as Able Disposal--for those vacant homes where no garbage is currently being collected.

“We’ve got 4,800 homes in Chesterton,” Schnadenberg told the Chesterton Tribune after the meeting. “But not all those homes are receiving garbage collection because not all of them are occupied.”

As part of the regular six-month review, unoccupied homes will be partially offset by newly built or newly occupied ones. Schnadenberg said that the regular credit amounts to a “substantial savings” on a biannual basis.


Posted 7/23/2019




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