New Chicago building on its proud past

2013-06-09T00:00:00Z New Chicago building on its proud pastBy Rebecca Williams nwitimes.com
June 09, 2013 12:00 am  • 

New Chicago was established in about 1908, between Hobart and Lake Station. Most of the land development came right after the Korean War.

The outlook for growth brightened when U.S. Steel Corp. began platting and building Gary.

New Chicago's present town hall formerly was a one-room school built in the 1800s.

New Chicago boasts friendly neighbors, welcoming houses of worship and plenty of park recreation projects. All of this makes New Chicago a great place to work, play and live.

We have about 2,038 citizens in about one square mile.

Our Town Council includes four females and one male, and we have a female clerk-treasurer. They strive to make sure the town is operating in a manner that is best for the citizens.

Town officials are working to clean up alleys, yards, non-operating vehicles and other complaints called in by citizens. They are working very hard to implement with the Americans with Disabilities Act and to comply with federal and state requirements.

Our volunteer fire department is always ready to help the town in any way possible. Fire Chief Joe Eakins makes sure the members are trained and certified so they can provide protection to the citizens. Many hours are put into training the firefighters. The fire department collects for the Hoosier Burn Center and was awarded the top collection department in Lake County.

Our Veterans Memorial, on the corner of Huber and Michigan, is maintained by American Legion members and other citizens. We honor our veterans on Memorial Day, with many residents attending the service. We are very proud of the veterans in our town who have or are serving our great country.

Police Chief Tim Lucas has made many improvements to the department. He has added reserve officers and is planning for a neighborhood watch program. Citizens can call (219) 962-1550 to help with this program. The department is on board with the county's consolidated 911 dispatch operations. This is working great for the department.

Park Department President Rebecca "Sis" Williams and Park Board members conduct an Easter egg hunt, townwide cleanup, haunted hayride and other projects. The Park Department maintains three parks. All parks have been updated with new playground equipment.

The Park Department is working on a building fund to erect a pole barn to store equipment and have community activities such as crafts and other programs for the town's children and other citizens. Donations to the building fund for the pole barn may be sent to the New Chicago Park Department at 122 Huber Blvd., Hobart, IN 46342.

Our Water and Maintenance Departments manager, Alicia Barber, is in the process of replacing water lines that have been in the ground since the early 1950s. The town elected officials believe this is positive for our town and will improve the quality of life in our community. Reconstruction of the town traffic light is also ready for construction late this year or early next year.

We take pride in our small town and work very hard to keep things moving in a positive direction. As Mark Twain said, "Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest." We strive daily to to the right thing.

What our town struggles with is the repair and maintenance of the roads and sidewalks in town. Because of the 1 percent tax cap and the frozen maximum levy, the budget has continued to be cut yearly.

Rebecca Williams is New Chicago's deputy clerk. The opinions are the writer's.

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