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East Chicago City Government:. East Chicago is classified as a second-class city under Indiana law, which classifies all cities by population. It is governed by a City Council of nine members, and a full-time Mayor - all elected for four-year terms. Other elected officials include a City Clerk, Township Assessor, and Township Trustee. The number of full-time employees is 900. The city's boundary encompasses 12 square miles.
Police Protection: One police station with 116 police officers.
Fire Protection: Four fire stations with 98 firefighters.
Other City Offices are: Board of Public Works and Safety, City Attorney, City Controller, City Engineer, Human Rights Commission, Inspection Department, Municipal Coach Department, Park Board, Planning Commission, Police Commission, Sanitary District Commission, Street Department, and Water Works Department.
Airports: Gary Municipal Airport (east and immediately adjacent to East Chicago) A reliever airport to ease congestion at Midway and O'Hare Airports in Chicago. Gary Municipal offers regularly scheduled, as well as on demand, cargo service and corporate aircraft service up to DC 9's. The terminal area comprises 19,000 square feet, and handles more than 95,000 flights a year. Repair and hangar facilities are available.
Midway Airport (32 miles) and O'Hare Airport (52 miles) provide regularly scheduled major airline service, as does Michiana Airport in South Bend, 45 miles to the east.
There are some outstanding incentives for business to expand existing facilities, or locate new operations in East Chicago.
The first is tax abatement. This incentive provides for abatement of all new taxes assessed on machinery and equipment as well as real estate improvements made by the owner for a period up to ten years. It is imperative that a statement of benefits be approved by the City of East Chicago via an abatement proposal prepared with the assistance of Business Development Department staff, prior to any purchase or construction.
A second important incentive is the newly established Revolving Loan Fund (RLF). This lending program can provide to eligible project applicants up to $75,000 per project. The funds come from a pool of funds provided by local banks and a grant from the Economic Development Administration of the U.S. Government. This Revolving Loan Program can work in conjunction with a private bank loan providing applicants meet guidelines and conditions of the RLF program.
A third incentive exists through the Northwest Indiana Business Development Corporation (NIBDC). This agency is serviced by Business Development Department staff who assist business owners to receive SBA 504 and 7A loans. These programs also work in conjunction with a private bank which participates in the loan package for applicant meeting guidelines set forth by the Small Business Administration .
Hotels, Motels, and Food Service: Lake County offers more than 3,000 hotel a motel rooms, meeting spaces in excess of 100,000 square feet, more than 500 restaurants, and over 600 retail stores and three major shopping malls.
Churches: There are 67 churches in the City of East Chicago. Denominations are: Catholic, Baptist, Jewish Synagogue, Seventh-Day Adventist, Methodist, Episcopal, Jehovah's Witnesses, Pentecostal, Lutheran, Romanian and Serbian Orthodox, and Zionist.
Library: The East Chicago Public Library is composed of a main and branch library, as well as reading rooms at three neighborhood community centers and St. Catherine Hospital. The Library's collection features about 180,000 books, 4,250 videotapes, 3,200 musical recordings, 2,000 recorded books, 400 works of art, as well as more than 250 magazines and newspapers. Computers, typewriters, and meeting rooms (accommodating up to 100 people) are available for public use. Additional features include the East Chicago Historical Room, the Passmore Career Services Center, the Templeton Gallery, and a CD-ROM computer network. The Library sponsors educational and cultural programs for children and adults throughout the year.
Culture: Entertainment is available from the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra, which makes its home in the Radisson Star Plaza in Merrillville. Star Plaza also hosts big name performers on a regular basis. The Center for Visual and Performing Arts in Munster houses the Northern Indiana Arts Association, where it exhibits collections, introduces new artists, and holds lectures. The Theater at the Center offers professional productions in an intimate venue. Its summerstock recreates Broadway hits, and it produces a Performing Arts Series and Theater for Younger Audiences.
East Chicago Schools: Elementary (K-6) - 7 Junior High (7-8) - 2 High School (9-12) - 1 Parochial - 3
General Data: Total Enrollment - 6,442 Student/Teacher Ratio - 13.4 students per teacher
Colleges and Universities: East Chicago is served by three major higher institutions of learning and a two-year technical college including, Calumet College of St. Joseph, Hammond, Purdue University Calumet, Indiana University Northwest and Indiana Vocational Technical College-Northwest.
A state park and a national park are located within 20 miles east of East Chicago.
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore A 14,000 acre park that contains many different environments: clean, sandy beaches, huge sand dunes covered with trees and shrubs, bogs and marshes, and various animals and plants. A Visitor's Center includes a hard-surfaced nature trail. The National Lakeshore also has beaches, marked nature trails, picnic areas, the famous Bailly Homestead and Chelberg Farm, cross-country skiing, riding trails, and camping.
Indiana Dunes State Park Consists of 2,182 acres of historical and unique Hoosier landscape. The park occupies three miles of Lake Michigan lakefront with white sand dunes and beaches. About 1,800 acres are covered with densely forested hills with rare flowers and ferns. It has the famous shifting sand dunes, one of which has created the 192-foot Mount Tom. There are 17 miles of marked hiking trails, swimming, cross-country skiing, picnic facilities, campgrounds, nature center, and naturalist service.
Boating: There is one marina with 294 wet slips and 250 for dry storage. It also is home of the East Chicago Yacht Club. There also is the Indiana Harbor Boat Club.
City Park System: Includes more than 200 acres for respite and recreation. There are 18 parks that offer activities ranging from picnicking, golfing, and tennis, to exercise. A city-owned marina also provides an opportunity for considerable water activities, at which fishing and festivals take place. The parks range in size from as little as one acre to more than 36 acres.
Golf Courses: There is one golf course in East Chicago - McArthur Park, and seven in close proximity to East Chicago: Briar Ridge Country Club, Broadmoor Country Club, Calumet Golf Club, Idlewild Country Club, Innsbrook Country Club, Wicker Park Country Club, and Woodmar Country Club.
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