Feb 2013

Access East Chicago February Edition - Feat. Redevelopment

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Homeownership Newsletterweb

Home Ownership Efforts Continue

The City of East Chicago is continuing its efforts to make the dream of homeownership a reality for many. 

During the year of 2012, the City of East Chicago through its Department of Redevelopment provided over $250,000 in down payment assistance to several individuals purchasing homes in East Chicago.  This would not have been possible without the support and vision of Mayor Anthony Copeland, the E. C. Common Council and the Redevelopment Commission.  

However, in 2013, we are looking to create and support even more homeowners.  The City of East Chicago is offering $10,000 in down payment assistance toward the purchase of any existing home in the City.  For the purchase of homes that are newly constructed, the City is offering $25,000 in down payment assistance.   City of East Chicago employees are actually eligible for a $5,000 added incentive for either a new home purchase or the purchase of an existing home.  One of the qualifications for this program is that persons receiving this assistance must attend an eight hour Homebuyers Workshop.  The East Chicago Dept. of Redevelopment is hosting these workshops on a monthly basis.  The next workshop will be held on Saturday, March 9, 2013 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  If you would like to register or want more information on this program, please contact Nicholas D. Smith by phone at (219) 391-8513 ext. 267 or via email at nsmith@eastchicago.com.

East Chicago Lakefront Revitalization Initiative Public Meeting

East Chicago Lakefront Revitalization Initiative Public Meeting
Tuesday, March 5, 2013, 6:30 pm at East Chicago Marina 3301 Aldis Ave.,
East Chicago, Indiana


The City of East Chicago and SEH of Indiana will host a public meeting to gather public opinion on the proposed Lakefront Revitalization Initiative. This revitalization effort in East Chicago was initiated with the help of a grant from the Regional Development Authority. The seven million dollar grant was used in part to leverage private sector investment for the North Harbor projects. Mayor Copeland stated, “Many things have changed in East Chicago and with a rebuilding of Cline Avenue, we need to be sure that our previous investments can be maintained and repaired to accommodate economic development and job opportunities for our residents and the region.” The Mayor stated, “We are just getting started.”

Maria Becerra, the City’s Redevelopment Director indicated, “The second phase will include lakefront marina engineering and construction, industrial and port infrastructure redevelopment and redesign of the “ground route” to promote private sector investment. We have a great team in place to make these projects happen and many more.”

Mayor Copeland indicated that the redevelopment process will be open and inclusive and will leverage additionally significant community projects. The Mayor stated, “Our larger employers continue to invest and grow in our community and we need to capitalize on that now. That is why we have carefully moved forward in our efforts.”

Mayor Copeland is encouraging the public to participate by attend the public meeting held on Tuesday evening, March 5
th at 6:30 pm at the East Chicago Marina. The SEH team will be available to address questions with an open viewing of exhibits preceding the Public Meeting at 6:15 pm.

All interested parties are invited to come learn about and weigh in on the proposed project. This public meeting will give an overview of the proposed project consisting of the Sub-Area Plan and Phase 1 Construction, presentation of process, schedule, preliminary guiding principles, opportunities and constraints, and conceptual alternatives for the Lakefront/Phase 1 Construction area. Following the presentation there will be time allotted for questions and comments from the general public. Comment cards and a computer-based survey will also be available.

For information, questions or special requests regarding this meeting please contact:
Maria C. Becerra, Executive Director or
Kathy Brown, Economic Development Consultant
City of East Chicago
Department of Redevelopment
400 E. Chicago Avenue
East Chicago, Indiana  46312

219-391-8513   ext# 251

East Chicago provides free Section 3 Seminar to local contractors to bring fairness to all.

Times Article
City of East Chicago
By Steve Segura, Multimedia Division


What’s Happening In East Chicago!

East Chicago provides free Section 3 Seminar to local contractors to bring fairness to all.

On February 11, 2013, Mayor Anthony Copeland and the East Chicago’s Department of Redevelopment provided Section 3 Training to all local contractors. Section 3 of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968 is HUD’s legislative directive for providing preference to low- and very low-income residents of the local community (regardless of race or gender), and the businesses that substantially employ these persons, for new employment, training, and contracting opportunities resulting from HUD-funded projects.

Each year the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development invests billions of federal dollars into distressed communities for projects designed to build and rehabilitate housing, improve roads, develop community centers, and otherwise assist families achieve the American Dream. 

The Section 3 regulation recognizes that HUD funding typically results in projects/activities that generate new employment, training and contracting opportunities. These economic opportunities not only provide “bricks and mortar”, but can also positively impact the lives of local residents who live in the neighborhoods being redeveloped. 

Further, as a condition of receiving HUD Community Planning and Development assistance, recipients certify that they will comply with the requirements of Section 3 annually.  Accordingly, the Department of Redevelopment has the legal responsibility to monitor recipients for compliance and can impose penalties upon those that fail to meet their obligations.

At the seminar Mayor Copeland and Redevelopment’s Executive Director, Maria Becerra addressed over 48 people interested in the seminar.  Mayor Copeland stated, “I too came here today to learn the process for myself. We are poised to work on projects from $50 to $100 million dollar in the near future and no matter what the process is, our main goal is to be fair to all, and that everybody knows the rules. We want to set a quality standard for East Chicago at a quality price.”

The seminar ended with a question and answer session with Maria Becerra and staff.

In addition to the workshop the City of East Chicago is continuing its efforts to make the dream of homeownership a reality for many.  During the year of 2012, the City of East Chicago through its Department of Redevelopment provided over $250,000 in down payment assistance to several individuals purchasing homes in East Chicago.  This would not have been possible without the support and vision of Mayor Anthony Copeland, the E. C. Common Council and the Redevelopment Commission.  

However, in 2013, we are looking to create and support even more homeowners.  The City of East Chicago is offering $10,000 in down payment assistance toward the purchase of any existing home in the City.  For the purchase of homes that are newly constructed, the City is offering $25,000 in down payment assistance.   City of East Chicago employees are actually eligible for a $5,000 added incentive for either a new home purchase or the purchase of an existing home.  One of the qualifications for this program is that persons receiving this assistance must attend an eight hour Homebuyers Workshop.  The East Chicago Dept. of Redevelopment is hosting these workshops on a monthly basis.  The next workshop will be held on Saturday, March 9, 2013 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  If you would like to register or want more information on this program, please contact Nicholas D. Smith by phone at (219) 391-8513 ext. 267 or via email at nsmith@eastchicago.com.

WASHINGTON SQUARE RIBBON CUTTING

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Steve Segura
City of East Chicago
Multimedia Division
Phone: 219-391-8206
Fax: 219-391-8224
ssegura@eastchicago.com

PRESS RELEASE

WASHINGTON SQUARE RIBBON CUTTING
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at Washington Square, 1739 Senator Drive, East Chicago at 12 noon.

The Mayor's vision to have new construction quality single family homes in the City of East Chicago is now a dream come true. The vacant lots were donated to the city by The Foundations of East Chicago and the funding for the construction of the homes came from a special grant called the NSP Neighborhood Stabilization a HUD grant, through the IHCDA- Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority. The sale price for the homes range from $145,000 to $160,000. With the City's Down payment Assistance Program new buyers are eligible for $25,000 towards the purchase price of the New Construction homes.

These homes with brick exterior boast of quality construction inside and out with a new home warranty. Energy efficient furnace, low-e thermo pane windows, 5 star & RESNET rating, R15 wall insulation/ R38 ceiling insulation, Seer 13 central AC, HERS rating 65%, hardwood floors, granite kitchen counter tops with stainless steel appliances.


Maria C. Becerra                                                   
Executive Director

City of East Chicago
Department of Redevelopment
400 E. Chicago Avenue
East Chicago, Indiana  46312

219-391-8513   ext# 251
219-391-7005 Fax

Job Posting, Director of Utility Operations


JOB POSTING # 2013 – 4
(Internal & External Posting)

Director of Utility Operations

City of East Chicago
Sanitary District

POSTING DATE: February 20, 2013
DEADLINE TO APPLY: March 12, 2013
EXEMPT/NON-EXEMPT: Exempt
POSITION STATUS: Regular Full Time
Department: Sanitary District
Reports to: Mayor

Pay Range: In accordance with the current City of East Chicago salary ordinance


GENERAL SUMMARY

Under general administrative direction of the Mayor and Sanitary District Commission, the Utilities Director acts as the executive director for the water and wastewater utility operations and distribution for the City.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The following duties are typical for this classification. Incumbents may not perform all the listed duties and/or may be required to perform additional or different duties from those set forth below to address the department needs.

  • Assumes full management responsibility for all Utilities Department functions, programs, and operations including the operation of the City’s water treatment and distribution; wastewater and stormwater collection; sanitary solids; recycling; and related operations, functions, and program areas; oversees the operation of the water filtration and wastewater treatment plants.
  • Assists the Mayor of East Chicago in the development and implementation of Departmental policies, goals, objectives, procedures, and priorities for each assigned service area.
  • Plans, directs, and coordinates, through subordinate level staff, the Utilities Department’s work plan; assigns projects and programmatic areas of responsibility; reviews and evaluates work methods and procedures; meets with key staff to identify and resolve problems.
  • Oversees the department Director of Wastewater, Water, Sanitary Solids and Storm Water; foreman, supervisors, managers, union, non-union, and administrative staff employees.
  • Selects, trains, motivates, and evaluates assigned personnel; provides or coordinates staff training; works with employees to correct deficiencies; implements discipline and termination procedures.
  • Analyze problems, identify alternative solutions, project consequences of proposed actions and implement solutions.
  • Plans and implements maintenance and improvement projects and ensures projects are completed in a timely manner to include construction, installation, repair and maintenance of water and wastewater systems.
  • Inspects all work in progress; serves as a liaison with various contractors and engineers.
  • Assures the effective use of all personnel, equipment, and facilities.
  • Develops and administers department budget.
  • Reviews and approves all Department purchases and contractual services.
  • Performs water rate analysis and prepares water and wastewater rates, fees and charges; approves expenditures and implements budgetary adjustments as appropriate and necessary to meet the department’s goals
  • Prepares and submits reports as required by Federal, State, and local laws and regulations.
  • Attends monthly meeting with the Mayor of East Chicago to report on utilities operations.
  • Attends Water and Sanitary District board meetings; attends as needed at the Common Council and Plan Commission meetings.
  • Assist in citizen complaints.
KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES
The following generally describes the knowledge and abilities required to enter the job and/or be attained within a short period of time in order to successfully perform the duties of the Director of Utility Operations.

Knowledge of:

  • Principles and practices of municipal utilities operation and maintenance including the operation of a water treatment laboratory;
  • Principles, practices and equipment required in the operation and maintenance of wastewater and water treatment plants;
  • Federal, State, and local laws and regulations applicable to City municipal utilities in Indiana second class cities ;
  • Modern principles and practices and supervision;
  • Principles and practices of customer service;
  • Principles and practices of budget preparation and administration including the City’s budget process;
  • Planning capital improvement projects;
  • Contract negotiations;
  • Utilities systems and the geographic layout of the City;
  • Occupational hazards and standard safety precautions;
  • Office procedures, methods, and equipment including computers and applicable software applications;

Ability to:

    • Manage and direct a comprehensive utilities department including water, wastewater, and storm water.
    • Develop and administer departmental goals, objective and procedures.
    • Supervise the work of others;
    • Delegate authority and responsibility;
    • Read and work from blueprints, plans and technical drawings;
    • Communicate effectively both orally and in writing;
    • Negotiate and administer various agreements and contracts with divergent interest.
    • Identify and respond to sensitive community and organizational issues, concerns and needs.
    • Form an maintain effective working relationships with others;
    • Physical condition commensurate with the demands of the position.
    • Ensure adherence to established safety rules, regulations, and guidelines.
    • Oversee and participate in the provision of a high level of customer service to internal and external customers.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS AND WORKING ENVIRONMENT
The conditions herein are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.

Environment – Work is performed primarily in a standard office setting. Work is performed indoors and outdoors. Work environment is both formal and informal, team oriented, having variable tasks, pace, and pressure. Overtime and attending meetings outside of regular work hours may be required. This salaried position is exempt from overtime pay.

Physical – Primary functions require sufficient physical ability and mobility to work in an office setting; to stand or sit for prolonged periods of time; to occasionally stoop, bend, kneel, reach, stand, walk, and twist; to lift, grasp, carry, push, and/or pull light to moderate amounts of weight; the position requires physical exertion of lifting objects weighing up to 20 – 35 lbs occasionally, 20 pounds of force frequently, 10 pounds of force constantly.

Vocal – Vocal communication is required for expressing or exchanging ideas by means of spoken words, conveying detailed or important instructions to others accurately, loudly, or quickly.

Vision: See in the normal visual range with or without correction; vision sufficient to read computer screens and printed documents and to operate equipment.

Hearing: Hear in the normal audio range with or without correction.

EDUCATION, TRAINING, AND EXPERIENCE REQUIREMENTS:

Required:
A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university college or university with major work in civil engineering, chemical engineering or water and sewer utility maintenance operations, or related field.

A Master’s degree is highly desirable.

Five years of management experience with progressive levels of responsibility in a position with significant operational and financial responsibility over a medium to large municipal or other government utilities operation, or equivalent business / corporate experience.

Five years of increasingly responsible experience in water or wastewater utility administration including Water Treatment and Distribution, Wastewater Treatment and Collection, with three years in a supervisory capacity;

A Water Treatment, Distribution and/or Wastewater Treatment certification is desirable. A successful applicant must attain appropriate Water Treatment, Distribution and Wastewater Treatment certifications within 120 days of employment and must maintain such certifications as a condition of employment.

Must possess a valid Driver’s License, and maintain a status of insurability (Indiana CDL preferred).

Preferred:
Any equivalent combination of education, training and experience, which would provide the required knowledge and skills, may be considered.
Course work or background in public administration or business is also desirable.


How to Apply

Email, fax or submit cover letter and resume to the Department of Human Resources.

Mrs. Sandra Favela
Interim Director of Human Resources
City of East Chicago
4525 Indianapolis Blvd.
East Chicago, Indiana 46312
Fax: (219) 397-5755
sfavela@eastchicago.com

Note: If you email your cover letter and resume to
sfavela@eastchicago.com please type on the subject line your name and Applying for Director of Utility Operations.
For example: Sandra Favela – Applying for Director of Utility Operations.


There is currently one (1) opening for this position.



Please note: The duties listed above are intended as general descriptions of the work performed by persons assigned to this position. This is not a complete list of all duties, responsibilities, and skills for this position. This position description does not constitute an employment contract and is subject to change as required.

The City of East Chicago does not discriminate in its employment decisions on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, age, genetic information, disability, national origin, ancestry, veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.

A Message from Chief Mark Becker - Crime is Down!

A Message from Chief Mark Becker

Attached are the 2012 FBI Uniform Crime Report numbers for East Chicago. We totaled only 3 murders in 2012, we have searched records dating back to 1975 and we cannot find a lower murder number. Lake County Coroner records do not record murders prior to 1975, they are lumped in with other "deaths" and so we cannot look prior to 1975.

This report represents a significant reduction, for now, in the number of crimes that we have experienced last year. The murder total is the lowest in over 35 years and our efforts continue to keep it that way. I wish to thank the Lake County HIDTA, all of our friends at the Lake County Prosecutors Office, the United States Attorneys Office and all those in federal,and local law enforcement that have assisted us this past year. We look forward to further joint efforts to reduce crime, not only in East Chicago, but in the Region

Reduction in Crime for East Chicago

Mark J. Becker, Chief of Police, made the following release:


I am pleased to report the totals of both violent crime and property crime occurrences that were reported to the East Chicago Police Department in 2012 and subsequently submitted to the FBI for inclusion in their Uniform Crime Report (UCR) 

A break down and total for each of the 8 crimes that consist of the FBI’s UCR report are as follows:

Violent Crimes (222) A reduction of 13% from 2011 total (255)
  • Murder -3
  • Rape- 9
  • Robbery – 90
  • Aggravated Assault – 120

Property Crimes (1,851) A reduction of 5% from 2011 total (1,941)
  • Burglary – 594
  • Larceny – 1,064
  • Vehicle Theft – 190
  • Arson - 3

Total Crimes (2,073) A reduction of 6% from 2011 total (2,196)

A review of our records, as well as those on file with Coroner Merrilee Frey’s office, was conducted dating back to 1975.  The Coroner’s staff assisted in a review of their records, which determined that the 3 murders reported in 2012 are the lowest experienced in at least the past 37 years. Records regarding murder totals for East Chicago prior to 1975 were not available. The total crime reported to the city (2,073) is the lowest number in over 12 years.   

Chief Becker commended all members of the police department for the reduction in crime this past year and also noted that increased interaction with the public is also to be credited in reducing as well as solving the crimes that took place