Chesterton Tribune



County Redevelopment turning attention to South Haven area

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Porter County Board of Commissioners President Jeff Good, R-Center, provided an update on the Redevelopment Commission at the Commissioners’ meeting Tuesday morning.

The Redevelopment Commission has new members who’ve been brought up to speed on current issues, Good said, and the commission is now hoping to establish a presence in South Haven in part by decommissioning the old sheriff station on C.R. 700N to construct a substation for the Highway and Development and Storm Water Management Departments. The commission is also examining ambulance dispatch locations and considering ways to improve deployment.

Good said there’s a lot of work to do in South Haven, as it’s the largest unincorporated urban area in the state. “It’s a very dense area,” referring specifically to snow management and drainage issues.

Redevelopment Commission projects in South Haven, Portage Township ,and the Twin Creeks area will be funded by a $20 million bond approved in August.

Redevelopment Commission meetings will be televised and recorded for the public going forward, the Commissioners noted.

Wellhead Protection

Scott Niekamp, hydrogeologist and engineering consultant for Valparaiso Utilities, presented a proposal to install a wellhead protection system in Valparaiso’s wellfield. In 2016 the city invested in a new wellfield southeast of the city, north of U.S. Highway 30, and five monitoring wells have been proposed to enable water quality testing and monitoring on the property that will provide early warning in case of contamination.

The proposed wells will be level with the ground with locking caps and will be no larger than 2’ by 2’. Locations for the wells have been staked and are clear of utilities. The Commissioners voted unanimously to approve their installation.

Sheriff’s Department

Sheriff Dave Reynolds came before the Commission to discuss two expenses. The 65 members of the Porter County Sheriff’s Department will soon undergo state-mandated Taser training, with each member firing two cartridges. Reynolds proposed that the county enter a three-year agreement with Axon Enterprises to temper the cost of supplies for the training.

Reynolds also requested permission to use auction funds to replace two vehicles that were totaled this year. One was totaled in an at-fault accident where an officer rear-ended a vehicle that stopped unexpectedly. The other was damaged by a falling tree. Reynolds said that at-fault accidents involving officers are rare, and an accident review board examines every accident a member of the department is involved in while on duty.

The Commissioners approved Reynolds’ requests unanimously.

Other Business

* Health Department Office Manager Nancy Mathena’s request to sponsor an Angel Tree from the Salvation Army was approved. 2017 marks the fifth year the Porter County Health Department has sponsored an Angel Tree.

* Porter County Animal Shelter Director Toni Bianchi received approval to accept quotes for concrete work on the shelter’s two dog runs and the cost of new surgical equipment. She anticipates the equipment will be purchased and concrete work finished on or before the first of the year.

* Use of the courthouse grounds for Holly Days, 5 to 8 p.m. Friday Dec. 1, was approved.



Posted 11/1/2017




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