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,
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
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
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
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
The department plans to hire one more employee
as part of the decision to staff the city's second ambulance full-time.
pause in prayer
image for larger view
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
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
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
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.
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
"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