Itís appeared on their agenda several times over the last few months, but on
Tuesday the Porter County Board of Commissioners is expected to vote on an
ordinance approving new boundaries for the four individual County Council
As of deadline this morning, County Attorney Betty Knight told the
Chesterton Tribune the Commissioners are still making last minute
adjustments to the ordinance, but they expect to be ready when they meet at
1 p.m. in Room 205 in the County Administration Building at 155 Indiana
Knight said the ordinance will be given a public hearing and will contain a
list of which voting precincts are to be included in each district. The
Commissioners previously opened a public hearing in November on the concept
of redistricting where County Council member Jeremy Rivas, D-2nd, and County
Surveyor Kevin Breitzke expressed concerns about the Commissioners rushing
to make changes this late in the year when election filing for upcoming
Council races is soon to begin.
Indiana state law gives Commissioners the charge to form the new council
districts and the modifications must be made and approved in a non-election
or an odd-numbered year. The purpose is to restructure the districts as
evenly as possible based on population data from the latest census.
Knight said the Commissioners can waive having a second reading on the
ordinance since it does not involve fees or they can hold a special meeting
to approve the ordinance by the end of this year.
The last time the County made changes to the districts was in 2001.
Also, Tammy OíNeill of Porter County PACT along with Porter County judges
Mary Harper and Julia Jent will return to talk with the Commissioners about
a jail review program in which PACT employees will assess which inmates in
the County Jail could be placed on electronic home monitoring while they
await their court dates.
The Porter County Council supported the proposal for PACT to hire employees
to work in the program for a one-time expense of $147,690 at its meeting
last month and kicked the proposal back to the Commissioners for their final
approval. It is estimated that the County could save $290,000 a year by
reducing the number of offenders in prison.
The Commissioners will also hear a recommendation for a contract regarding
centralized purchase of office supplies for County departments, which will
be handled by the Commissionersí office.
In other agenda items, Therese Davis of the Recycling and Waste Reduction
District will tell the results of this yearís rain barrel painting contest.
Requests by department heads include a recommendation on supplies and
services bids for 2014 by the Highway Department, a building corporation
payment to the General Fund by Juvenile Detention Director Alison Cox, an
electronic recording agreement from County Recorder Jon Miller, service
agreements from County Assessor Jon Snyder, and a wetland delineation
proposal by Plan Commission Executive Director Bob Thompson.