Back to the Crown Point Network     Star     Subscribe to the STAR  

wpe3B.gif (17408 bytes) Crown Point STAR

C    R   O   W   N   wpe3B.gif (5370 bytes) Crown Point STAR Logo    P   O   I   N   T

wpe23.gif (2373 bytes) Crown Point STAR Logo
Lake County's weekly hometown news source since 1857

wpe3B.gif (17408 bytes) Crown Point STAR

Feature Stories for July 6, 2000

The STAR is distributed every Thursday.  
The Crown Point Network offers a sneak preview of weekly cover stories.

RTC gets its motor running
Committee's writ will last until the end of the year

By Andrew Steele 
Star Managing Editor

CROWN POINT - The county's new Regional Transportation Committee chose a chairman at its inaugural meeting last week, but left other 'housekeeping' measures for its next meeting. 
    Calumet College President Dennis Rittenmeyer was elected chairman by acclamation at the June 28 meeting. The committee members agreed to meet again on July 12 to consider how they will go about their business. 
    Exactly what that business is was the subject of three-quarters of last week's two-hour meeting. The committee listened to a presentation on a $350,000 study done by a Cambridge, Mass., firm that recommends expanding bus service in the county. 
    The study calls for investment of $1.8 million and an annual operating budget of $3.75 million, to be funded by user fares and local, state and federal governments. 
    County Council President Will Smith (D-Gary), who is not an RTC member, had asked the presentation be given so committee members would know that work had already been done on the subject of public transportation. 
    "You don't need to reinvent the wheel," Smith said. 
    The RTC has no real power; it can only recommend action on the subject of regional transportation. Creation of the RTC was a compromise between supporters of a more powerful Regional Transportation Authority, which would have the power to raise money for public transportation, and RTA opponents. 
     The RTC's writ lasts through the end of the year, when the County Council will reconsider the issue. 
    South Lake County is represented on the committee by Crown Point Mayor James Metros.

Utility connection may become mandatory
Southern edge of Winfield may be exempt from the requirement 

By Sean McNab 
Star Staff Writer

WINFIELD -  The town of Winfield is discussing a possible mandatory utility connection for residents within the town limits with the only exclusion being those that live in the southeast corner of it. 
    For with all of the utility access problems subdivisions within Winfield have recently experienced - specifically that of water, town officials may be proposing mandatory hook-up for most of its residents. 
    "By doing this, the town will be resolving some the problems it has recently been plagued with. First, we will be able to keep tabs on the questionable amounts of water flowing through our aquifers. Additionally, it will clear up any discrepancy as to the residential concerns with new development taking place in the town," stated Town Council Attorney George Patrick. 
    The territorial limits that the town has imposed on this possible connection stems from the fact that not all residents are getting water from the same source. 
    "Those at the southern end of town may not be eligible for Lake Michigan water (the source that the town wants) because of the lining with the Kankakee River," added Patrick. 
    Because of this, those residents would not have to incur any of the cost that would take place if this idea came to fruition. 

    Residents at the last Town Council Meeting were not very enthusiastic about this possible sanction feeling that most have already paid 'tap-in' fees for water on their property. 
    Town Council President Joyce Furto refuted the complaints by explaining that the residents cannot play 'both sides of the fence' on this issue. 
    "45 percent of our budget comes from new development within our town. Either way it seems that the residents are going to be disgruntled on the issue of utilities. They do not want any development within the town until the water issue is finally resolved, but until that time comes they do no not want their taxes raised because of this lack of development." 
    The possible proposal would be based on a grid system in which any residential property that is adjacent to the main water artery be required to pay for the utility connection setup. 
    Local developer Tom Simstad voiced a suggestion to impose a possible moratorium on the town utilities. 
    Patrick responded , "I just recently spoke with Water Management and the unofficial word on this issue was that well and septic within the town are not a municipality, and, therefore, the town does not govern it." 
    It was noted that even if the town mandates utility hook-up by most of its residents resulting in additional fees paid, the value of the residents' homes will increase resulting in a partial offsetting some of the incurred cost. 


Copyright Crown Point Network - All Rights Reserved