be turned in to the Commissioners by noon Monday, Jan. 27. They can be
mailed to Board of Commissioners, Porter County Administration Center, 155
Indiana Avenue, Suite 205, Valparaiso IN 46383; faxed to (219) 465-3362;
emailed to email@example.com or hand-delivered.
reappointed Jason Gilliana to the Alcoholic Beverage Commission, Marvin
Brickner and Debbie Kerr-Cook to the Board of Zoning Appeals, Richard Riley
and Kurt Gillins to the Dunes Tourism Board, and Richard Burns to the Plan
Commission. The Board also appointed Gilliana and Steven Solarski to the
Redevelopment Commission, Tami Bianco and Nancy Kolasa to the Property Tax
Assessment Board of Appeals (PTABOA), and Scott Severson and Bob Gilliana to
the Stormwater Advisory Board.
also appointed themselves to various boards and commissions. Laura Blaney
(D-South) was appointed to the Plan Commission, Child Protection Team, and
Center for Workforce Innovation. Jeff Good (R-Center) was appointed to the
Stormwater Advisory Board. Jim Biggs (R-North) was appointed to the
Northwest Indiana Regional Planning Committee (NIRPC), Community Corrections
Advisory Board, Juvenile Justice Advisory Board, Emergency Management Board,
and 911 Board.
reorganized, reelecting Good as President, Blaney as Vice-president, and
Biggs as Secretary. Scott McClure was reappointed County Attorney.
In other Park
Department business, the Commissioners approved two ordinances on first
reading to create funds for the receipt of federal grant money to fund the
acquisition of 35 acres adjacent to Brincka-Cross Gardens in Pine Township.
Walter Lenckos secured a $150,000 Lake Michigan Coastal Program grant and a
$179,000 Conservation Fund grant. No taxpayer money is being used in the
acquisition, and Lenckos hopes to close on the sale in March. There will be
a second reading for the ordinances Jan. 28.
also approved a three-year lease extension agreement between the National
Park Service and the Dunes Tourism Board. Executive Director of Dunes
Tourism Lorelei Weimer reported an increase in visitation from the renaming
of the Indiana Dunes National Park warranted asking NPS to contribute more
in its agreement to share space and costs at the Visitor Center on Ind. 49.
Under the new lease, NPS will pay $85, 158.24 in 2020, $91,172.24 in 2021,
and $97,186.24 in 2022.
average visitation was approximately 95,000 in recent years prior, and since
National Park designation, visitation jumped to 170,000 in 2019. Visitors
hailed from 64 countries and 49 states, Weimer said.
Weimer and Tourism
Attorney David Hollenbeck said federal government red tape precluded them
from negotiating a longer-term lease this time around, but they will start
negotiating the next lease, hopefully with a term as long as 10 years, as
early as September 2020 to get a head start.