Eric A Blackmon SR.
Ross Township Trustee

Greetings Citizens,

As your newly elected Ross Township Trustee, my only goal and purpose is to serve the community, by providing exceptional resources to all residents to the best of my ability.

My four-year term started in January 2023. The first order of business was to bring unity among our three communities, Merrillville, Hobart South & Crown Point North. These Communities are the beacon of Ross Township. A new log was designed, with the understanding that these three communities will be recognized as Ross Township.

Ross Township was established in 1848. It was named for William Ross, a pioneer settler. During the past few years, we have made a multitude of changes and improvements to both the physical structure and in the way we interact with the community. In 2015, our office moved from 24 West 73rd Avenue to 26 West 73rd Avenue. The old building was donated to the Merrillville Fire Protection Territory for fire department business. This was a short distance move with a huge impact! Our present location was renovated to make it more client friendly. The lobby area has resources and referrals ranging from transportation to activities for children. A private assessment/interview room was created to make sure client's information is protected and to assure their Ross Township Trustee privacy. A computer is available for clients to use, allowing them to print documents needed for their appointment.

Our office staff attends continuous and extensive training to stay up to date on current policies and procedures. We truly LISTEN to our clients and make every effort possible to assist them within our expertise.

When COVID-19 was ravaging the community, not only did we remain open, but we also took steps to ensure the safety of our residents who entered our building and food pantry. Clients were given two vouchers at a time to reduce the number of trips into our office. At the pantry itself, clients remained in their cars while park staff placed food items in the trunk of their car. On March 31st, 2023, communities in Ross Township, Merrillville & Hobart IN, were severely affected by an EF-1 Tornado. Our office staff and volunteers extended our resources to assist the community. We provided temporary shelter, meals, water, and provided gift cards to those residents in need. It’s our civic duty to service everyone in our community.

The Trustee's Office is very fortunate and humbled to have a working relationship with our Community Partners. Throughout the years, we have broadened our partnerships with local churches, community schools, and individuals who help support special programs for Township residents. These programs include, but are not limited to, Angel Tree, Food Pantry, school assistance program, and holiday programs. These partners donate their time and resources so that NO taxpayer dollars are used for those programs. We are also extremely excited about our monthly luncheon for senior residents. The luncheon is held every third Wednesday of each month.

We are excited to announce the Social Center and outside shelters are now open for rentals. We encourage residents to enjoy all activities at Hidden Lake Park. Come take advantage and utilize Hidden Lake's Park Disc Golf course, walking trail around the lake, fishing, exercise station/sledding hill, sports fields, picnic areas around the park and children's playground.

A new pedestrian bridge has been designed and will be installed over the lake in early summer. This bridge will not only be beautiful but will be a safety improvement for our residents who walk around the lake. As always, we welcome your feedback and suggestions. Please feel free to contact us at communityinfo@rosstownshipin.org.

Sincerely,
Eric A. Blackmon, Sr.

Eric A. Blackmon, Sr.

ERIC A. BLACKMON SR., age 49 a native of Gary, IN, graduated from Horace Mann High School and received a full Scholarship from Northern Indiana Public Service Company in 1992, to attend college.  I moved to Merrillville, IN in 1997 and purchased my first home here in 2000.

Working my way through college, as a Manager of Dunkin Donuts, I started my journey there, at age 13, working as a porter. When I left my career with Dunkin Donuts, I was District Manager, operating 8 stores under my direction.

It taught me business skills to now be an Owner/Operator of BLAQ TRANSPORT LLC, a minority own Trucking Company. Blaq Transport LLC is located in Merrillville Indiana. Blaq Transport LLC was established in June 2020 to provide safe and secure transportation of goods, freight, and products within the targeted market of the Midwest. Operationally, our company has created a sustainable business relationship with leading enterprises and significant firms in the industry by delivering smarter supply chain solutions and strategic insights that drive the success of our shippers and carriers around the globe.

I’m also a dedicated Steelworker of Local USW 6787. Member since 2011. I was hired in July 2011. Current position at Cleveland Cliffs, Burns Harbor is Service Technician. Responsible for 80’ Hot Mill Supply, Inventory, Receiving & Team Leader of Utility Division. Prior to my Career as a Steelworker, my Work experiences consisted of 15 years as a Social Service Administrator.

It is my goal and I look forward to serving the citizens of Ross Township.

Administration

Antiqua Austin - Chief Of Staff

Sherry Ding - Sr. Bookkeeper

Willimena Smith - Township Investigator Supervisor

Dora Mantis - Township Assistance Investigator

LaShun Taylor - Township Assistance Investigator

Park Admin

Gary Carter - Parks and Property Administrator

Gayle Anderson - Hidden Lake Park Event Coordinator

Park Staff

Don Bish - Supervisor

Chris Sullivan - Caretaker and Supervisor

Alex Quijano - Maintenance

Zach Goralczyk - Maintenance

Board

Steven Minchuk (Chairman)

Ronald Dudley (Secretary)

Curtis Pearson (Board Member)

BOARD MEETINGS

January & February – September & October

2023 SCHEDULE

Board Meeting June 20, 2023

AGENDA (.pdf) - posted 6-16-2023

Ross Township trustees from 1951 - 2022

Cecil R Tonagel

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Serving Ross Township from 1959-1966