At Tuesday’s Porter
County Commissioner meeting Tuesday, the board voted 3-0 on first reading to
beef up fines for heavy trucks traveling through unincorporated areas.
Sheriff David Lain
said the ordinance on restrictions and fines is in need of an update after a
few recent problems where heavy trucks have damaged the roadways and to be
in line with state regulations.
According to the
amendment, vehicles on the roadway must not have any tandem axle group
weighing over 34,000 lbs. and no individual axle that weighs more than
20,000 pounds. Vehicle must also not have a maximum wheel weight, unladen or
with a load, of 800 lbs. per inch of tire width, unless a special permit is
obtained from the County Highway Department.
Axle weight limits
would not apply to vehicles carrying farm commodities from place of
production to place of delivery.
violation would face fines of $100 if they go over the limit and with an
additional increment of $100 for every five hundred pounds overweight. The
fine per axle is not to exceed $500.
A second ordinance
would allow the fines to be collected into a special fund disbursed to the
Sheriff’s Police and the County Highway Department. The Sheriff’s Department
will be able to use portable scales to weigh the vehicles.
President John Evans said the revamped fines will bring some needed revenue
to the departments. Lain added, “it’s also the right thing to do.”
Since the ordinance
deals with fines, a second reading will be given at the Commissioners’ next
MOU for trolley
had voted in favor of gifting $4,300 from their CEDIT project funds last
month to be one of the four partners in footing an impact study outlining
the costs and options for a historical trolley line.
As the plan
envisions Vintage South Shore cars would carry guests from the Indiana Dunes
Visitor Center to Dunes State Park, to Chesterton, to Porter and back to the
Steps have been
made to split the costs between the Town of Chesterton, the Town of Porter
and the County Tourism Board but in case the plan falls through, the
Commissioners approved a Memorandum of Understanding that they would get
their money back.
“If they don’t
participate, we don’t either,” Evans said.
An ordinance passed
on first reading which would create a fund for the $9,900 in grant money the
Porter County Parks Department has received from the Porter County Community
Superintendent Walter Lenckos said the grant will be used to initiate a
pilot program to instill pro-social behavior and leadership skills for
middle school students around the county in a program that would use the
same model as the Parks to Schools program. Students will be able to visit
the parks and learn in the natural environment how to be a positive force in
the community. The program will start in the fall and run during the school
year, Lenckos said. Sessions will be held indoors during the winter months,
A second reading
for the ordinance will take place at the next Commissioner meeting on June
also renewed the contract with Valparaiso attorney Chris Buckley to provide
legal consultation for the Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals. The
firm, paid as an independent contractor, will receive $120 per hour and will
continue to be paid out of the County Auditor’s non-reverting fund.