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Posted on: March 10, 2017

Leaders identify long-term economic, community development goals

The Town of Burns Harbor Redevelopment Commission (RDC) continues progress towards economic and community growth, recently identifying several priority projects with strategizing and work towards completion beginning immediately.

The RDC, which is currently comprised of Town leaders who took office in January 2016, has focused on sustainability and quality of life over the past several years.

RDC President Marcus Rogala said, “Ultimately our mission is to develop a sense of place and pride for residents, visitors and businesses. We want to enhance our Town identity and gain recognition as a development partner and project collaborator within the region.”

Burns Harbor priority projects include:

  • Completion of Marquette Greenway Trail, connecting the Town to the region’s recreational trail network
  • Development of a four-acre site off of S.R. 149 into a Town center and destination
  • Further program activation of Food Truck Square/community marketplace
  • Creation of new community center
  • Wayfinding signage to highlight Town’s location and attractions
  • Pedestrian-friendly improvements along S.R. 149
  • Business incentive program to attract and retain companies and jobs
  • Façade standards for new and existing businesses

Most notably, Burns Harbor received a $2 million highly competitive Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) grant funded by the Northwest Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC). The grant will fund the completion of a portion of Marquette Greenway Trail within Town. Phase 1 includes a one-mile stretch from North Babcock Road to S.R. 149 along scenic Calumet River and National Park land. Design and engineering work have begun already, with construction tentatively scheduled in 2020.

Additionally, Town leaders are also exploring funding options for Phase II, a longer stretch of trail from S.R. 149 to an AmeriPlex trailhead in Portage. Total project costs for both phases are estimated at $6.7 million.

RDC member Eric Hull said, “Together, the Redevelopment Commission and Town Council now have a unified strategy towards improving Burns Harbor for residents. We also hope these improvements put our growing small town on the map as a place to visit and host businesses.”

The Town Council recently welcomed a new member last month. Kevin Tracy was appointed by the Porter County Republican Party last month to replace former Councilmember Andy Bozak, who was recently elected to the Porter County Council.

To learn more about Burns Harbor development, the public is always welcome to attend RDC meetings held the second Wednesday each month at Town Hall, located at 1240 N. Boo Rd., at 6 p.m. Town Council meetings are also held immediately afterwards.

Marquette Greenway Trail in Burns Harbor info...
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