New Burns Harbor leadership advances economic development Work continues toward creating ‘tomorrow’s’ Burns Harbor

Article by: Danielle Ziulkowski, Duneland Chamber of Commerce

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The Town of Burns Harbor continued progress towards economic and community growth, favorably reinstating its development team to facilitate progress and identity of the town.


The Redevelopment Commission (RDC), composed of all new leadership who took office earlier this year, voted unanimously to continue work with LiveWorkLearnPlay (LWLP) at a regularly scheduled monthly meeting Wednesday evening.


A real-estate development and advisory firm, LWLP was named the town’s Master Development and Revitalization Advisor last February. Over the past year, LWLP worked in conjunction with the RDC and Town Council to create a market assessment and implementation strategy. In addition, the RDC voted unanimously to continue with its economic development staff earlier this month.


RDC President Marcus Rogala — who’s been involved with the betterment of town for more than eight years as a resident, volunteer, town representative and elected official — noted progress within town will no longer remain dormant. Instead, he said, LWLP has helped create a reasonable plan to immediately fuel development forward.


“After very careful consideration, I believe this plan will not only work towards the goals of continuously enhancing the quality of life for existing and future residents, employers and employees of Burns Harbor,” Rogala said, “but will also help us attract visitors, new business and investment.”


He continued, “With the focus on economic development, this leadership promises not to lose sight of sustainability. As we grow, we must assure our investors, our businesses and our residents that we will be able to maintain our future development. Myself and this Commission are confident that together with our development team we will create tomorrow’s Burns Harbor.”


The RDC’s decision was met with many residents and local business leaders in the audience positively expressing their gratitude and support.


Work begins immediately on business planning towards implementation. Specifically, the town wishes to create a welcoming “sense of place” or downtown area that is pedestrian-friendly with walking, biking and other recreation easily accessible.


Councilwoman and RDC member, Toni Biancardi, echoed Rogala’s sentiment to better the larger community as a whole. “RDC choices will not only benefit the town, but also the county and region. And with that support, we believe it’s our obligation to create a sense of place for the region to also visit and support,” she said.


The decision comes with full support of a wide range of town leadership as the RDC is made of a majority of Council members and appointed community members. Town Council President and lifelong resident, Ray Poparad, said, “I’m in favor of the decision to continue with LiveWorkLearnPlay. We want to see progress started right away and want to get things done for residents and visitors. Together, we’ll get there.”