New faces, ideas for Ogden Dunes

2012-03-04T00:00:00Z New faces, ideas for Ogden DunesBy Bob Kasarda, (219) 548-4345

OGDEN DUNES | Newly elected Town Councilman Charlie Costanza said he is seeing new life breathed into the small, lakefront town he has called home for his entire life.

The 60-year-old fire station/community building, which is at the heart of the community as the official meeting and gathering place, has undergone a $150,000 renovation, he said.

The work included a new roof and air conditioning.

Costanza said he also is proud of the town's increased presence online, which includes its own website and Facebook page.

The town also has a new clerk-treasurer this year, as well as four new faces on the Town Council.

"I would like to see some new people brought in," Costanza said of his interest in getting more young people involved in local government.

The community of 1,400 to 1,500 has an active population involved in a number of local efforts including a Historical Society, Women's Club, Primetimers, Garden Club and Lions Club, as well as Home Association and Town Beautification committees.

Bill Gregory, who is the only member of the council to return this year to serve another term, said the town undertook an extensive road repaving project last summer.

"We're driving on some nice, smooth roads again for a change," he said.

There is also good news along the Lake Michigan shoreline, where a large amount of beach has returned after several years of absence, Gregory said. This was aided by Northern Indiana Public Service Co. dumping dredged sand close to the beach, he said.

A plentiful beach will help with plans to kick off a town-sponsored sailing program this summer, Costanza said.

The goal is to launch the program with six Sunfish boats, he said. That could be followed by a weekly racing event.

"We used to have this kind of thing in the past," Costanza said.

A new water quality monitoring program in town is helping to assure swimming in Lake Michigan is safe, Gregory said. The town is now able to determine water quality during the same day as testing, he said.

Town Councilman Paul Panther said the Fire and Police departments have developed a good, solid working relationship with their peers in neighboring communities.

He would like to build on those positive relationships.

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