Chesterton Tribune

Porter Town Council honors and thanks Spc. James Butz

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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 reacted.”

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 standards.

Town attorney Greg Sobkowski said typically such ordinances govern sounds generated within a town and he doubts Porter could enforce its laws outside its boundaries.


Posted 10/12/2011