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Feature Stories for Thursday, September 20, 2001

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

Indiana Avenue will be widened

By Andrew Steele
Star Managing Editor

CROWN POINT - Bucko Construction, which is currently doing the Summit Street road project, has been hired to widen and repave Indiana Avenue between North and Monitor streets.
     The company bid $494,267 for the contract. Other bids came from Rieth-Riley, $668,971.12, and Walsh and Kelly, $574,476.20.
     The Board of Public Works awarded the contract at its Sept. 12 meeting.
     The project calls for the current two-lane road to be removed and replaced by a three-lane road, complete with concrete curbs and gutters. Accompanying storm sewer work will include replacing existing inlets and installing new ones, and modifying existing sewer connections.
     Also, sidewalks will be removed and replaced.
Bucko will be given notice to proceed with the project when the city makes sure proper financing is in place. According to project specifications, the company will have 45 days to complete the project, though there is no penalty for failing to meet that deadline.
     City Attorney John Kopack raised the issue of adding a penalty clause to all city contracts to help ensure on-time completion.
     Kopack will draw up a policy that would impose financial penalties. The Board of Public Works would have the option to extend a deadline in case of unforeseen circumstances.
     City Engineer Jeff Ban said "a lot of unknown conditions" are what have kept the Summit Street project from being completed on time.
He cited underground Ameritech cables as one cause of delay on Summit Street.
     In other business, the board authorized the Fire-Rescue Department to hire two new firefighter/EMTs. The new hires, from the ranks of the departments volunteers, are Scott Abraham and Bryan Bodamer.
     The department plans to hire one more employee as part of the decision to staff the city's second ambulance full-time.

END

Residents pause in prayer
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By Andrew Steele
Star Managing Editor

CROWN POINT - More than 200 residents gathered for prayer on the old Lake County Courthouse lawn exactly 24 hours after the second airplane struck the World Trade Center in New York City.
     At 9:03 a.m., Mayor James Metros said to the gathering, "I want you all to think this thought with me: 'Twenty-four hours ago, my country was attacked'."
     He said the attack made the United States a "new country."
     After inviting several local clergymen to lead the gathering in prayer, Metros said that "each one of us has responsibility to ask 'how can I help, how can I make this a better America?'."
He said attacks on American soil should not be tolerated, and "this is a time for us to be strong," but also that "this cannot be a time of vengeance."
     Prayers were led by Pastor Steve Buchelt of Northwest Community Church, Associate Pastor David Kipp of Trinity Lutheran Church, Pastor Lothar Thoelke of Trinity Lutheran, David Maddack of the First Christian Church, and Neil Norheim of Town and Country Church.
     Buchelt asked the gathering to "pray for a spirit to emerge from this tragedy that will surprise others."
     Norheim prayed to God 'that we are only angry about the things you are angry about.'
     The Trinity Lutheran School choir contributed to the event by singing "Nearer My God to Thee."
     Also participating in the service were a VFW color guard, Crown Point firefighters and police officers, a Marine from the local recruiting office, and a Lake County police officer, who played Taps at the conclusion of the ceremony.
     Crown Point's observances continued Friday evening with a vigil marking the National Day of Prayer and Remembrance, and on Sunday evening with a candlelight march from the Lake County Fairgrounds to the downtown square attended by hundreds.

END

Lake water financing discussed

By Sean McNab
Star Staff Writer

WINFIELD - Questions were raised Monday at the Waterworks Board meeting as to what would happen to what would happen to money the town may collect from new subdivisions during the 20-year repayment of the loan that will bring Lake Michigan water to the Trees subdivision.
     "If other people or subdivisions want to tap into our water line and we receive recapture costs, can we use those funds to expedite the payoff process on our 20-year loan?" asked Waterworks Board Member Susan Shelley.
     Charles Daulton, a representative from town accountant H.J. Umbaugh & Associates, explained that it would be up to the banks that purchase the bonds that will finance the project.
     "Most banks that deal with 20-year loans have a clause that they cannot be recalled for the first 10 years. After that the city or town becomes responsible for them, and from that point on the town can do whatever it likes.
     "The purpose of not recalling them for a specific period of time," he explained, "is that the bank wants to collect interest on the bonds."
     Daulton also said that there may be legal restrictions as to how the loan could be repaid because the particular bonds in question are based on property taxes from the subdivisions that will receive Lake Michigan water.
     "There may be recapture costs received in the future but the bonds are being paid off by property taxes from residential homes," Daulton said. "I do not think that payments from private developers of other subdivisions can be used recall a bond."
     The bonds are expected to be purchased in late December of this year with the interest rate not to exceed 8 percent. The first bond payment is set for July 10, 2002, with only an interest payment of an estimated $11,000 at that time.
     The first principle and interest payment of approximately $19,000 is set to be paid on January 10, 2003.
     In another matter, Town Attorney George Partrick told those in attendance that no remonstrances were submitted to the Lake County Auditor's office as of September 17 with regards to bringing Lake Michigan water to the Trees subdivision.
     Also, Waterworks Board President Rick Anderson reduced the 2002 annual budget by more than half from the number reported at the the Sept. 4 meeting. The budget was reduced from $12,700 to $5600.

END

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Crown Point, IN 46307
(219) 663-4212

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