CHESTERTON | The Chesterton Town Council unanimously approved a $1.5 million bond issue from Porter County at 2 percent interest for road construction after a harsh and destructive winter.
The move received some support from residents, including Paul Tharp. He said the street department cannot shoulder the cost of street maintenance alone.
Others weren't as happy about the action. Resident Wheeler Stanley said he had a $400 increase in his property taxes last year and asked why the town “couldn’t live within the budget.”
Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg said the town receives less funding from the state and they have had to take about $200,000 from other funds to help pay the roads.
“We’re not unique to this situation. Portage and Griffith have taken out bonds,” Schnadenberg said.
He said there are 70 miles of road in the town with a life expectancy of 10 to 12 years, so maintenance should be on a 12-year cycle.
Council Vice President Jeff Trout said alternative financing methods for road repairs, such as new fees, must be implemented by the Porter County Commission rather than municipalities. Nonetheless, the work is necessary.
“The winter has damaged the roadways more than a typical winter," he said. "If some of the weakened areas continue to deteriorate, we’re going to have a serious situation."
Schnadenberg pointed out the last bond issue for streets was in 1995.