BURNS HARBOR | In 1967, the town of Burns Harbor was established. In the more than four decades since its founding, this small town has grown a lot, with new residents and neighborhoods, and this year, new members of the Town Council and municipal departments.
Burns Harbor Clerk-Treasurer Jane Jordan has served the town for many years, bringing her experience and vision. Jordan recently earned a certification for public finance administrator from the Association of Public Treasurers of the United States and Canada, one of only nine in Indiana. So Jordan has both the expertise and longevity to serve her town. She says bringing the new council members up to speed has been initiative No. 1.
“We have three new council members this year and we have been working hard to bridge the learning curve, Jordan says. But their work is well under way, and Jordan says they are now in full swing.
“We had a tax abatement extension request from Mittal Steel, and the Town Council decided not to extend it at that time. They are working right now with a potential developer on a piece of property, a significant amount, on the east side of Highway 20, and so there has been some work with that and discussion about possible development," Jordan said.
"And we had to redistrict by federal law. Our census grew from 766 residents in 2000 to 1,156 residents in 2010, so we had to redistrict for our elections. That was a 2012 project that we had to spend some time on and the council moved forward with that. We have also put together the ADA compliance transition plan which was required by state,” she said.
The growth in population has come from an increase in residential developments, meaning the town has had to respond.
“Our subdivisions have been developing and growing, so we have created a few new streets, and as they grow we have had to extend these streets as well, so we have new apartment buildings in the Villages of Burns Harbor neighborhood and more coming in,” said Jordan.
Burns Harbor parks are the pride of the community.
“Our park director, Kim Burton, is very good about providing excellent activities for our families. We have our annual Burns Harbor picnic at the end of the season and there is entertainment, food, drinks, and people bring side dishes and desserts and it’s a great chance for people to get to know each other. There is a back-to-school party in the fall so kids have one last evening out together with a DJ. There’s a Christmas day camp and weeklong summer camps and we also have baseball teams that practice in Lakeland Park,” said Jordan.
Burns Harbor has an eye on future needs and goals as well. Jordan explained, “The Stormwater Board is starting to focus on MS4 compliance. Now that we've hit a specific population level we have to comply with their standards. And there are talks to hopefully do some expansion projects that are part of the comprehensive plan.”