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Porter realizes big savings on sewer reline; police dog dies suddenly following surgery

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By PAULENE POPARAD

Director of development Michael Barry reported Tuesday the completed reline of downtown Porter sewers has come in $660,000 under budget.

Performance Pipelining had been awarded a $2.3 million contract. After the meeting Barry said the scope of the project turned out to be slightly over-estimated when it was discovered some sewers were in better condition than expected and others needed no upgrade at all.

The reline contract was part of two Porter bond issues totalling $5 million that are funding an agreed order with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management mandating improvements to prevent sewage overflows.

Some big-ticket projects remain like upgrading the Triangle lift station and construction of a new Porter Avenue lift station.

In other business, the meeting began with a moment of silence to remember former Town Council member Bill Cantrell who died Aug. 15 and whose memorial service took place Saturday. On behalf of the council, president Greg Stinson expressed the town’s appreciation for Cantrell’s service to the Porter community.

Police dog suddenly dies

Porter police chief James Spanier announced Nicky, the department’s canine officer, unexpectedly died of a turned stomach, common in German Shepherds. It’s not known whether the death was in any way related to Nicky’s recent surgery for a bulging disk. Spanier told the council Aug. 15 that doctors were very optimistic about Nicky’s recovery.

Officer Scott Cornelison was Nicky’s handler for the past three years and the dog lived at his home. “We wish Scott the best. He’s taking it kind of hard,” according to the chief.

Council member Elka Nelson sent her regards to Cornelison and said if and when he’s ready, she would support finding the funds to buy another police dog. After the meeting Spanier said that can cost $18,000 depending how long the police handler trains with his specific animal.

Earlier in the evening as president of the Porter Redevelopment Commission, Nelson asked its attorney to research whether the RDC legally can help pay for a new dog since police security benefits the RDC’s allocation area.

In other police business the Town Council voted 5-0 to accept the low $47,822 bid of Arnell Chevrolet in Burns Harbor to purchase a 2013 Chevy Tahoe hybrid 4WD. Harbor Chevrolet had bid $48,354 and Team Chevrolet $49,150.

The purchase is through a grant program begun three years ago that was supposed to fund two hybrid Ford Escapes but that model was discontinued; permission was granted to buy one more expensive American-made SUV hybrid vehicle instead.

Fire service record year

Assistant fire chief Jay Craig reported the 68 fire calls in July set a record bringing the total calls for 2012 to 368, also a record high.

July’s call-outs included 23 EMS runs, six vehicle accidents, one structure fire, and nine each mutual aid and dive-team calls. Additional calls were related to downed power lines.

Nelson said Craig spent much time at Porter Beach on effective, positive prevention by educating swimmers, especially children, about the dangers of rip currents in Lake Michigan.

It was announced there will be a beach clean-up day at Porter Beach Sept. 15.

Park Board member Rondi Wightman said the second annual Porter’s Perfect Pint specialty brew-tasting will be a joint fundraiser Oct. 6 for the Park and Fire departments. Donated items for the silent auction are welcome, and volunteers are needed to help. The event is co-sponsored by Leroy Flores and Liz Tilden.

Wightman also said the Park Department’s expectations were exceeded for today’s Duneland Seniors Health & Wellness Fair. Additional vendors had to be turned away the response was so good.

Also Tuesday the Town Council approved, pending final review by town attorney Gregg Sobkowski, signing an interlocal agreement with jurisdictions and agencies involved in future construction of the Dunes Kankakee Trail.

Sobkowski also announced a hearing is scheduled Sept. 27 on the town’s condemnation action against Jill Field related to construction of the Porter Brickyard Trail at Howe Road and U.S. 20. Completion of a pedestrian bridge over U.S. 20 there has stalled pending the outcome.

 

Posted 8/29/2012