The Porter Town Council opened Tuesday’s meeting with a moment of silence
for its hometown hero, U.S. Army Spc. James Butz, who was buried earlier in
the day with full military honors after sacrificing his life in an attempt
to save others in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
“We thank him and his family very much,” said Councilman Dave Babcock, who
led the salute.
Porter Public Works superintendent Brenda Brueckheimer offered her deepest
gratitude to the Chesterton and Porter police and fire departments and to
everyone who pulled together to give a great tribute to Butz, 21, a 2009
Chesterton High School graduate.
Porter’s digital mobile signs last night still were flashing messages to
commemorate Butz’s heroism as they did Saturday when his body was returned
to Porter County in a procession through Valparaiso, Porter and Chesterton.
Homemade signs, flags and a grateful public lined the procession route to
show their respect.
Porter police chief James Spanier also thanked everyone involved in Butz’s
tributes. “I think we should be proud of him and the community, how they
Town Council president Trevin Fowler said he was associated with Butz a few
years ago when both were involved with the Porter Fire Department. “He was a
very dynamic, enthusiastic individual who stepped up and was committed to
the success of this country.”
Council member Michele Bollinger also thanked Porter town departments and
employees for a job well done.
In other business, the council voted 5-0 to adopt a $4.3 million budget for
2012 with an estimated $2.8 million to be raised through local property
taxes. Porter’s net assessed valuation is set at $159,672,269. The budget
has yet to be approved by state officials.
Brueckheimer announced leaf pick-up begins Oct. 17 and she urged residents
not to place limbs or trash in leaf piles.
Porter Park Department superintendent Jim Miller reminded residents of
Saturday’s Porter’s Perfect Pint brewfest from 1 to 5 p.m. at Hawthorne
Park; Oct. 23 children can attend the annual Halloween Boo Bash at
Hawthorne’s community building.
During public comment Laura Madigan of Chesterton said she’s a protester
who’s been expressing her displeasure over allegations of past physical and
emotional abuse at Fairhaven Independent Baptist Church and School on East
Oak Hill Road. The property lies in unincorporated Porter County adjacent to
Porter town limits.
Madigan said the Fairhaven bells can be deafening and at times have rung for
40 minutes continuously; she inquired if the sound violated any Porter noise
Town attorney Greg Sobkowski said typically such ordinances govern sounds
generated within a town and he doubts Porter could enforce its laws outside