fee draws concern
By Sean McNab
Star Staff Writer
CEDAR LAKE - The Town Council released the town's new
sewer tap-in rates June 12.
On the advice of town accountant H.J. Umbaugh &
Associates, the new tap-in rate for residential and business
construction will be $1,655, a more than threefold increase of the
previous rate of $500.
Upset at the proposed increase, Jack Kovich,
developer of the Havenwood subdivision located within the town,
questioned the members of the council as to the legality of the
"I do not know why there is such a steep
increase from the previous rate," complained Kovich. "I'm
wondering if you will be creating an illegal impact fee."
Town Attorney David Austgen countered Kovich stating
that the increase is comparable to other entities in the state.
"This increase is analogous with the other rates
of cities and towns throughout the state of Indiana," commented
Kovich warned the members of the council that the
Builder's Association and representatives from the state keep a close
eye on tap-in fees within the state.
"The Builder's Association is always looking at
town and city regulated tap-in fees and if there is no baring for the
increase the price may have to be changed. The Builder's Association is
always continuously looking throughout the state to find a town or city
to contend with."
A public hearing on the proposed
increase is scheduled for the June 26 Town Council meeting at 7 p.m.
In other news, town resident John Alessia questioned
the Town Council as to why there is presently no proposed ordinance
requiring landlords to do regular repairs on rental units surrounding
"Twenty-five percent of the people in this town
rent homes but the landlords never seem to repair the homes when they
need to. Is there any type of ordinance in the books that mandates
having these places inspected and maintained up to code?"
Town Council President Robert Brannon explained to
Alessia that there has never been an ordinance to make sure rentals are
inspected for safety.
"No one has ever proposed such an ordinance but
we can have the Plan Commission look into it. I know that most of the
landlords in the town are not licensed by the state. I can say that I
have no patience with landlords that do not take care of their
OK's changing of Gard's
By Andrew Steele
Star Managing Editor
CROWN POINT - The Historic District Board of Review
last week approved plans for the exterior renovation of the old Gard's
Speed Clean at 299 East St.
Owner Don Gard will lease the building to a
communications company that will use it as a relay station.
Petitioner Art Ouellette told the board at its June 13 meeting that the
sensitivity of the communications equipment requires filling in the
windows on the south side of the building in order to maintain a
"We don't want any water, any sunlight in the
building we can't control," Ouellette said.
The board discussed using glass block instead of
cinder block, but Ouellette said he would still need to paint the inside
of the glass block to keep sunlight out.
Board members decided to approve filling the windows
with cinder block in exchange for the planting of flowers in a small
strip of dirt along the building.
The very front of the building won't be used for
communications equipment, so those windows will stay.
Besides the change to the south side windows, the
stairs on the back side of the building, and the door they lead to, will
be removed; the roof will be replaced; and the building will be painted.
Ouellette said no color scheme has been chosen for
the building, so the board set up a committee to approve colors when a
decision has been made by the petitioner.