Chesterton Tribune



Commissioners okay CO detector ordinance for new homes

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Two members of the public spoke in favor of a Porter County Plan Commission proposal to pass an ordinance requiring carbon monoxide detectors in new homes at the Board of Commissioners meeting Tuesday morning.

Plan Commission Assistant Director Kristi Marasco proposed that the construction of new homes be subject to an ordinance requiring carbon monoxide detection. All new buildings currently require smoke detectors, but not detectors for carbon monoxide. The proposed ordinance would not affect existing homes or apply to the construction of additions to existing homes.

Kathy Sipple of Valparaiso spoke in favor of the proposed ordinance. Sipple is a former Marketing Director for the Lindsey O’Brien Kesling Wishing Tree FoundationÑa non-profit dedicated to spreading awareness about carbon monoxide poisoning. She cited the preventable nature of deaths due to accidental carbon monoxide poisoning, but also the financial cost of nonfatal carbon monoxide injuries, a figure she says research finds in excess of $1 billion. A representative from the Valparaiso Fire Department also voiced support for the ordinance.

Commissioner Laura Blaney said that the ordinance appeared to be a no-brainer. “These are cheap detection devices protecting Porter County families.”

The ordinance was approved on first reading with second reading expected at the next Board of Commissioners meeting, Nov. 14.

Other Planning Business

* In other business, Old Town Suites LLC Westgate Ponds also requested approval from the Commissioners to rezone the northern part of its lot to moderate intensity commercial. The area in question is currently zoned general industrial.

* The Islamic Church Center, 1606N 50E in Pine Township, has petitioned the Plan Commission to re-zone its property from rural residential to institutional. Marasco said that the property should be zoned institutional, as is all church-held property in Porter County. The rezone would correct an error in a 2007 comprehensive rezone in which the Islamic Church Center was mismarked. The Commissioners approved both requests on first reading with second reading expected Nov. 14. No members of the public spoke for or against either request.

Development and Storm Water Management

County Engineer Mike Novotney appeared before the Commissioners to seek their approval to enter a contract with Wooplert Inc., which will provide improved aerial photography to be used for the County Geographical Information Systems (GIS) for $31,239.94. Having improved aerial photographs helps build a historical library of development and makes the GIS more educational, said Board President Jeff Good, R-Center. The contract was approved unanimously.

* The Commissioners also approved a contract for United Consulting to provide on-call services for the county regarding bridge inspections, inventory, and maintenance on an as-needed basis. The contract is for one year. Twenty bridges in Porter County require annual inspections. The Commissioners accepted a Phase IIA Bridge Inspection report, which will be passed to INDOT for approval.



Posted 11/1/2017




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