A request to join a
pool of counties to help fund a study of a proposed high speed rail line
from Chicago to Columbus, Ohio, that would run through Porter County, will
be presented to the Porter County Council during its regular meeting on
The Council will
meet at 5:30 p.m. in the Commissionersí Chambers of the County
Administration Center, 155 Indiana Ave., in Valparaiso.
The request was
first presented to the County Board of Commissioners in April by the
Northeast Indiana Passenger Rail Association which said if the County could
pay its fair share, it would be $20,000, added to the $50,000 that the City
of Valparaiso has committed to. The rail line is expected to pass through
Valparaiso, which will have a train stop.
A $1 million
investment from the counties would be part of $2 million needed for an
environmental impact study before engineering can begin.
took the request under advisement saying they would need time to find
funding in their already tight budgets.
According the NIPRA,
the construction of the roughly 300 mile route would create 26,000 new jobs
across the three states -- Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. It would be a four
hour ride starting in Chicago and ending in Ohio, with stops planned for
Plymouth, Warsaw, Fort Wayne, Lima, and the Gary/Chicago Airport. The cars
would travel at about 130 miles per hour, NIRPA said.
Tuesday will follow a list of requests from department heads during the
regular business portion of the meeting.
Despite being under
a hiring freeze by the Council to try to get control of the General Fund
budget, Porter Superior Court Judge Roger Bradford will ask that the Council
approve creation of a full-time legal assistant to help with the increase in
workload and to fill in for staff members who are retiring. The additional
appropriation requested is for $11,979 in salaries. The new employee would
start on Aug. 18, according to the agenda.
Also, the County
Auditorís Office will make a plea for $146,054 from the Auditorís
non-reverting fund to pay invoices incurred by the Assessorís Office, which
also uses the fund.
Other items include
a $10,000 additional appropriation request in the Public Defender
supplemental fund needed to cover legal services.
Bridge Fund, which is levied from outside of the general fund, is requesting
an additional $75,000 to meet the full-time hourly payroll.
The Dunes Kankakee
Grant Fund asks that the Council approve $35,000 be paid for construction
inspection of the Dunes-Kankakee Trail.
Perpetuation fund, also not a general fund item, seeks an $8,700
appropriation for the installation of an additional work station with a desk
Department will ask the Council to approve $58,700 be spent from a
reimbursable grant it received from the Lake Michigan Coastal Fund for the
restoration and rehabilitation of the pond and prairie at Sunset Hill Farm
The Board of
Commissioners will request that $2,146 be reduced in its office supply
budget and that the money be transferred to Soil and Waterís other supply
budget to pay for educational program supplies.
The County Council
will do an annual compliance review of Family Express Corporation in its
statement of benefits for a tax abatement.
In another matter,
the Council will hear from the Countyís ITS Director Sharon Lippens about a
new state law enacted and how it will affect the print shop located in the
County Administration Building.