debate heats up
By Sean McNab
Star Staff Writer
WINFIELD - Numerous residents attended the Water
Works Board meeting Monday night causing it to end abruptly after only
Mike Stevens, a resident of Trees subdivision,
questioned the board, saying, "Does this board have the legal
authority to come to a decision and then force its residents to abide by
Stevens is one of a number of residents within the
Trees subdivision upset by the fact that he may be forced to pay
approximately $10,000 over the next 20 years in increased property taxes
if Indiana American Water Company, Inc. brings Lake Michigan water to
Town Attorney George Patrick responded that cities
and towns do have authority to create services for its residents.
"This town has the authority and discretion to
procure services if needed. Under Indiana Code 8-1.5-3 the town can
create a board in a particular area that will benefit its community.
Most of the time the money for this need comes out of homeowners'
Allegations were then made that the survey sent out
to residents of Trees and Hidden Creek subdivisions were misleading.
"The survey never asked if we wanted the water
to come into the town," stated Stevens. "All it asked was
would you tap into the water line when the water was brought."
Board members explained that they spoke to numerous
residents at previous Town Council meetings and gathered information
about the water problems within the town.
Mike Tishma, another resident of Trees, commented,
"Who ever decided there was a water problem in the first place?
Legally by the county all someone needs 150 gallons of water per person
per day. With proper storage of water that comes to one to two gallons
of water per hour."
Up to this point no standard has been set by the
board as to what is a sufficient water supply and what is not.
Board member John Pangere asked those in attendance
what they thought would happen if five years down the road all the
private wells in the town run dry.
Stevens responded, "It seems that you are pretty
confident that all of our wells are going to run dry sometime in the
near future. If that is the case why don't you raise the tap-in price to
an astronomical amount in the future, say $50,000, and make your money
that way instead of forcing people to pay for something that they do not
Those against tapping into Lake Michigan water have
vowed to create an unbiased survey of their own and hire an attorney to
fight the project. Also, a consultant was suggested to be
hired to provide scientific proof that there is a water problem within
takes to the street
By Sean McNab
Star Staff Writer
CROWN POINT - Spring is here and with warmer
temperatures more vehicles will be on the road, specifically
Because of the high risk of injury to motorcyclists,
Lake County has again supported the American Bikers Aimed Towards
Education - ABATE - training program.
Begun in 1987 ABATE's goal is to provide instruction
in the proper way to ride a motorcycle.
"There are many goals that we try to teach our
riders during the course," said Jeff Gullickson, site coordinator
and educator for the class at the Lake County Government Center.
"We teach them how to be a proficient rider. One of the most
important parts of the course is to educate students of ways to surmount
and avoid obstacles while driving."
ABATE offers two courses, one for novices and for
motorcyclists with some experience but hoping to fine-tune their
The beginner course covers 22 hours over a three-day
weekend. It costs $25 for ABATE members and $50 for non-members.
"Included in the membership is a stipulation
that if the course is passed, all tests to obtain a motorcycle license
at the license bureau are waived," said Gullickson. "All the
rider needs is to have a permit for at least 30 days."
As for the experienced rider course, Gullickson said
he focuses on the mental side of riding.
"It's a lot easier to deal with someone who has
just got a motorcycle because they haven't been around long enough to
pick up any bad habits. There are some people that come back to this
course after 20 years of riding and they do not want to
listen. After realizing that some of the newer
riders are driving better than they are because they are actually
listening, they eventually start to mellow out and then are able to
learn," said Gullickson.
Speaking from experience from the standpoint of
riding for almost three decades, Gullickson understands the value of an
"I was one of those guys who thought that I new
it all and didn't want to listen to anyone saying that I was driving
wrong. I took this course and couldn't believe all the bad habits I had.
I really shouldn't be alive with all the close calls I have had."
According to ABATE, there has been a 65 percent
decrease in motorcycle fatalities since the Department of Education
became involved in the program in 1986. In addition, over 30,000 people
have graduated from the course since.
Interest continues this year.
"Right now we are booked solid through the middle of July,"
said Gullickson. "We teach 24 students per class and will graduate
800 at our site alone. Approximately 4,000 people will pass the course
annually within the state of Indiana."
The first course took place last weekend. Classes for
beginners are running every weekend through May 6; the first experienced
class is May 5. The year's final course is scheduled for Oct. 13-15.
"We have people from all different age groups
taking the course. The youngest anyone has been to take our course was
15 years while the oldest was 82 years. Women now make up approximately
one-third of the class," stated Gullickson.
For more information, call 800-497-9979 or visit the
website at www.abateofindiana.
property buy considered
By Sean McNab
Star Staff Writer
CEDAR LAKE - The town is investigating acquisition of
two abandoned buildings off of Lake Shore Drive in the hopes of creating
additional parking and picnic areas surrounding the lake.
"We want to remove the building formerly known
as John's Pharmacy and an adjacent storage building," explained
Town Manager Tim Brown. "By doing this we hope to improve the
appearance of one of the main entrances of town located at the
intersection of Cline Avenue."
The estimated price of removing the structures is
close to $20,000. The entire project will cost much more.
"With all of the demolition and clean-up costs
included in this project the total cost to the town will be
approximately $200,000," said Brown.
The town will need at least two appraisals of the
"In order to make any type of land acquisition
in the town, two appraisals need to be made. In order for that to happen
a public necessity must be authorized by the town Park Board,"
commented Town Attorney David Austgen.
The town has hired appraisers Jeff Bale and Tom
Bucknowski and expects to have the results by the end of this week.
Cedar Lake Enhancement Association President Bob
Gross addled his voice to support of the project.
"We are always trying to improve the community
of Cedar Lake. This definitely improves it on the east side of the lake
and really opens up an area of leisure for residents within the
town," stated Gross.
In other council news, Town Council President Bob
Brannon suffered a heart attack Friday.
He is currently at St. Anthony Medical Center. It is
uncertain when he will be able to resume his official duties.