Porter town officials said Tuesday they’re intensifying their efforts to
remove about 70 cats from a man’s home near First Street and Main Street
north of Hjelm Road. At one time more than 100 cats were living at the
residence, said Porter building commissioner Art Elwood.
“We’ve involved every agency but still have a problem,” said Elwood after
the Town Council meeting. He and town attorney Patrick Lyp reported the
Porter County Health Department and Porter County Animal Control will be
contacted again with court action a very real possibility; a town citation
already has been written.
Elwood said Adult Protective Services earlier determined the owner of the
cats is competent. Town code limits the number of approved animals allowed
in a residential zone to six.
Last summer, Elwood explained, Porter town firefighters entered the
feces-ridden home with breathing apparatus to sort out the situation. At
that time feral cats and dead cats were found, he alleged, and cats were
eating kittens. Elwood said since then about 40 cats were placed with others
while the Porter County Animal Shelter has been removing cats to be
spayed/neutered but returns them to their lawful owner.
Elwood estimated as of Tuesday about 60 to 80 cats were at the home. Short
of cooperation from the resident, a court order would have to be obtained by
the town to force removal of the animals and a clean-up of the property.
When asked why it’s taken so long to resolve the situation, Elwood said the
town has been working through the required avenues with the appropriate
On another matter, Lyp said he and Elwood are requiring a more efficient way
for Carl Dahlin to park cars on his commercially zoned property at Porter
Beach. Town resident Robert Kuna told the council that recently the
backed-up parking resulted in a traffic jam at Porter Beach that created a
nuisance. Lyp said waiting cars can’t stack on a public road. “What happened
on that weekend can’t happen in the future.” Kuna said it’s well past time
the situation was addressed.
Golf cart regs
The Town Council adopted under suspension of the rules an ordinance
regulating the use of golf carts on public streets. Council president
Michele Bollinger said the process will be trial-and-error with the
ordinance amended in the future if needed as circumstances warrant.
Modeled after Chesterton’s ordinance, Porter’s allows for the operation of
golf carts on streets within its jurisdiction except on Indiana 49, U.S. 20
and U.S. 12 or at any grade crossing of either highway. Operators must be a
licensed driver and carry written proof of insurance for the cart, which
must obey all traffic regulations applicable to motor vehicles, display a
slow-moving-vehicle emblem and be limited to daylight operation unless
equipped with headlamps.
No overnight parking of golf carts on public streets is allowed, and the use
of golf carts by town employees/public safety personnel is exempt from
ordinance regulations. The number of occupants in a golf cart is limited to
the vehicle’s factory-rated capacity and all occupants must be seated during
Bollinger said, “We hope common sense prevails with residents and they won’t
be out there in an ice storm with their golf carts.” Vote was 3-0 with
members Jon Granat and Michael Genger absent.
sought July 28
Bollinger announced a special open house July 28 at 7 p.m. at the town hall
for the public to learn about the planned Gateway to the Indiana Dunes
projects about to begin. Porter received a $1.8 million grant for Phase 1
work with a request for $17.2 million more pending.
“We want people to come and ask questions about the studies, how money’s
being spent and about the proposed plans,” said Bollinger. An introductory
overview will take place with consultants later hosting individual break-out
Described will be the highway aesthetic enhancements, subarea designs for
where retail and related tourism development would go, and three tentative
routes for Porter’s four-mile leg of the new Dunes Kankakee hike/bike trail,
which also will pass through Chesterton. Porter Redevelopment Commission
president Bruce Snyder said each trail route has pluses and minuses to
In other business Tuesday:
• It was announced Franklin Street will be closed for right-of-way work
Thursday and Friday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
• The council voted 3-0 allowing George’s Gyros to locate a food-sales stand
at Porter Beach this season from dawn to dusk in the far parking spot in the
town lot that usually drifts over with sand so the vendor will have to clear
it; a permit previously was granted but no location identified. Over the
winter town officials will consider expanding the vendor area for next
summer and what ordinances would need to be amended to accommodate beach
• The Porter Beach Overlay Committee will convene July 21 at 5:30 p.m. at
the town hall to discuss additions to the ordinance it recommended and the
Town Council adopted last year. An amendment regarding landscaping and
invasive species is being considered.
• An assembly permit was granted for the Chesterton Art Fair Aug. 7 and 8 in
• Bollinger thanked Porter’s Police, Fire Department and Public Works for
helping make the second annual community-wide Independence Day fireworks
display at the Indiana Dunes State Park a success.