Progress on the lake -- Ogden Dunes style

2011-03-06T00:00:00Z Progress on the lake -- Ogden Dunes styleBy Bob Kasarda bob.kasarda@nwi.com, (219) 548-4345 nwitimes.com

OGDEN DUNES | Town Councilman Eric Haussman hosted an open house recently at the fire station/community building to solicit feedback from residents on renovating the 60-year-old facility.

"All of our town functions take place there," he said.

The effort is still in the planning stages, but is among the projects that community leaders point to as an example of progress in the small, lake front community.

"It's important to really have the support of your town," he said, referring to the 1,400 or 1,500 local residents.

Town officials have also been busy working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on a shoreline erosion mitigation plan, said Town Council member and Fire Chief Eric Kurtz.

The erosion problem, which has triggered litigation in the past, is the result of the natural replenishment of sand being denied to the town's beach by the Burns Waterway immediately to the east, he said.

A major road-paving effort is also under way in the community, he said. The tougher paving work involving the steep roads in town was undertaken last year.

The goal this year is to pave more miles of the flatter and easier-to-access roadways, Kurtz said.

Haussman said another of the community's strengths is the willingness of its residents to come forward and lend a hand, such as the volunteer beach cleanup effort following the storms a few years ago.

The town's beautification committee is active, as is the local environmental group. The town has one of the highest participation rates in the state when it comes to residential recycling, he said.

"We're a green community," Haussman said.

The community's elected leaders have also been fiscally responsible, which has left the town in pretty good financial shape in what has been challenging times, said Town Council member Brad Wood.

The Town Council held off on employee raises last year, yet ended up saving enough money to provide bonuses, he said.

"We were pleased with that," he said.

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