CEDAR LAKE | With funding for road improvements scarce, town officials are formulating a plan in which town employees — rather than private contractors — would work on some road projects.
The Cedar Lake Town Council directed Town Manager Ian Nicolini to continue working with the Public Works Department on a plan for road projects that will use town manpower and town equipment. Cedar Lake owns paving equipment and can rent equipment when needed, town officials said.
The plan will work "as long as we make it clear this is (repair work)” rather than full reconstruction, Councilman Greg Parker said at a recent meeting.
For example, curbs and gutters will not be replaced or installed.
A full discussion of the town’s road improvement program came after a group of High Grove residents appeared before the council to complain about the poor condition of their subdivision’s roads.
After some complained of feeling like second-class citizens because of the relatively pristine condition of the roads in newer subdivisions, Parker said developers of such subdivisions pay to put in the roads themselves.
Of the 66 miles of road in Cedar Lake, 22 miles need attention, officials said.
A complete reconstruction of those roads would cost between $22 million and $25 million — money the town does not have, officials said.
However, there are opportunities to make limited improvements, they said. The town’s casino gaming fund has nearly $500,000 in it, and money for stormwater line replacement is available via stormwater fees, Town Attorney David Austgen said.
Nicolini said town officials are working on a plan to do work in-house, but “we want to make sure it’s something that is part of the larger plan” for the road system.