Chesterton Tribune



Porter County Commissioners make board appointments

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The Porter County Board of Commissioners named its 2019 citizen appointments to boards and commissions at its meeting Tuesday.

The Board appointed Jason Gilliana to the Alcohol Beverage Commission; Martin Moeller, Dr. Derek Gasper, and Suzanne Phelps to the Board of Health; Cathy Brown, Patrick McEuen, Matt Soliday, and Kurt Gillins to the Tourism Board; Mike Novotney to the Kankakee River Basin; Michael Mirochna and Brian Damitz to the Plan Commission; Nancy Kolasa and Tami Bianco to the Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals (PTABOA); Stephen Sularski and Jason Gilliana to the Redevelop-ment Commission; Fred Martin to the Storm Water Advisory Committee; Pat Dragash to the West Porter Township Fire District; and Bob Gregg, Mary Ann Zona-Gregg, Melissa Culbertson, Danielle Walker, Denise Sunkel, Rose Clemans, and Mark Jaeger to the Wildlife Management Advisory Board.

Commissioner Jim Biggs, R-North, said appointees will receive mailed instructions detailing their positions within the next couple weeks.

In addition to making appointments, the Board reorganized, electing the same officers as last year. Jeff Good, R-Center, is president, Laura Blaney, D-South, is vice-president, and Biggs is secretary.

Employee Wellness Clinics

HR Director Rhonda Young reported that employees are using the free wellness clinics the County made available through Franciscan Alliance, and she’s hearing good things.

“I’m getting great feedback. We had 16 employees who had already used it last week,” Young said. “I have not heard one negative thing about it. They’re loving it. They said you just can’t beat the service.”

Biggs asked if there are plans to add another clinic location--currently County employees can go to one of two locations: Portage or Valparaiso. Young said the County has to work on spreading the word and getting employees to use the clinics often enough before there could be expansion.

According to Good, the goal is to achieve at least 60 percent participation from employees in order to drive down the cost of health insurance claims.

Other Approvals

In related business, the Commissioners renewed their contract with General Insurance Services (GIS), the consultant that negotiated the County’s new insurance policies. The contract is set to expire April 10, 2021--the same day all of the insurance policies are up for renewal.

Also renewed was a contract with American Structurepoint for general services and one with Kate Sanders for grant writing. The contracts were no different in price from last year.

The Board also approved a memorandum of understanding between the Emergency Management Agency and Heavilin Elementary School stating that Heavilin students can be evacuated to the nearby EMA building in the event of a major emergency.

The Board approved a professional services agreement with Shive-Hattery for recommendations, bidding, and installation of furniture, fittings, and equipment and approved several payment applications related to capital improvements projects. The first payment application was the final payment to Gariup Construction for renovation on the Administration Center plaza: $7,575. The other payments were: Gariup Construction, $213,830.75 for Courthouse renovation; Ziolkowski Construction, $71,936 change order for removing unsuitable soil backfilled on site of North County Annex; Ziolkowski Construction, $427,120 for work done to remove unsuitable soil.



Posted 1/17/2019




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