Pharos-Tribune

January 18, 2013

Little Turtle plans for improvements

Potential expansion would allow for more parking, more space for events

by Mitchell Kirk
Pharos-Tribune

— The plan for what to do with the former Salvation Army building property on Fourth Street remains at a standstill.

While the previous administration had appeared to have made a commitment with Little Turtle Waterway to build public restrooms on the property, a commitment Little Turtle Waterway responded to by promising to provide $50,000 of its own, the current administration has been showing signs of taking the project in a different direction.

Should the city decide not to go with the public restrooms, Little Turtle Waterway Chair Mercedes Brugh said the group has contingency plans regarding what to do with that $50,000, which include expanding the gateway to the park.

“We’re waiting to see how that shakes out with the Salvation Army property,” Brugh said. “If the [redevelopment] board decides to honor the commitment of the previous [redevelopment] board, we’ll use it for that. Otherwise we would like to improve the gateway.”

Brugh explained that this improvement consists of moving the fence that runs parallel to the railroad closer to the railroad itself, creating additional room that could be used for a drop-off spot and more booths for events that occur at the waterway.

Little Turtle Waterway Vice Chair Craig Rennemann said the extra space created would be filled in with gravel and would ultimately create 11 new parking places.

Brugh said everything has been worked out with the railroad company regarding moving the fence closer to the tracks, but now she wants to check into what kind of permits may be necessary along with any other concerns the city may have.

At Wednesday’s board of works meeting, the board requested time to visit the location in question to become more familiar with the proposition. Members of the board said they plan to address the matter at the next meeting Wednesday.

Mitchell Kirk is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5130 or mitchell.kirk@pharostribune.com.