“Our leg of the race is ending and it’s time to pass on the baton to a new
council,” said Michele Bollinger, choking back tears.
With their four-year term concluding Jan. 1, she and the three other
outgoing Town Council members were applauded by the audience Tuesday. Member
Trevin Fowler was absent but said his good-byes two weeks ago.
The new Town Council will convene its first meeting Jan. 3 at 7 p.m. to
elect officers and make appointments. A regular business meeting will take
place Jan. 10. Incoming council members and clerk-treasurer Carol Pomeroy,
who is about to begin a third term, are being sworn in individually, some
already having done so.
Bollinger said being responsible for the future of Porter is a daunting
task, but she believes her board will have left an indelible mark.
“Hindsight is always 20/20 but I always tried to act in the best interest of
She urged incoming council members Bill Cantrell, Elka Nelson, Rob Pomeroy,
Greg Stinson and Jeanine Virtue to serve the Town of Porter well. Chesterton
Town Council member Emerson DeLaney was present Tuesday and introduced
himself to the new members after the meeting.
Retiring Porter councilman Jon Granat thanked the department heads and town
residents. “It’s been an eye-opening four years for me.” He said great
demands will be made of their time, and he wished the new council good luck.
Dave Babcock, who like Granat did not seek re-election, also wished the
incoming council well. Babcock is Public Works Department liaison and he
thanked its superintendent, Brenda Brueckheimer, for her dedication
prompting applause from those in attendance.
Director of engineering Matt Keiser read a statement praising the outgoing
administration for its vision, leadership and commitment to getting things
done like finally breaking ground on the long-delayed Brickyard hike/bike
Keiser listed ten accomplishments including receiving numerous grants such
as $19 million for the Gateway to the Indiana Dunes economic-development
project and $380,000 in federal stimulus funding; financing $5.1 million in
sanitary-sewer upgrades; and adoption of a long-discussed Porter Beach
He also said the current council’s leadership strongly increased Porter’s
reputation as well as extended cooperation to neighboring towns and to the
National Park Service.
Bollinger said the new members of the Porter Redevelopment Commission, who
are appointed by the Town Council, will have to decide whether to apply by
the Jan. 23 deadline for a new Lake Michigan Coastal Program grant and
redirect some of the existing $19 million grant, both for a proposed picnic
pavilion and public improvements at Porter Beach.
The new Redevelopment Commission also will be tasked with deciding what to
do about the $350,000 Brickyard parcel on Beam Street the current commission
purchased in 2009.
Known contamination exists on the southern portion of the site and Weaver
Boos Consultants LLC is working for the commission under directives from the
Indiana Department of Environmental Management to learn the full extent.
Bollinger said Weaver Boos is writing a response letter to IDEM after the
agency called for more testing, installation of monitoring wells, a risk
assessment prior to development and a status update by late January.
In other business Tuesday:
• Keiser said installation of a pedestrian bridge for the Brickyard Trail
over four-lane U.S. 20 at Howe Road has been delayed again but hopes are it
can be erected soon. Intermittent travel delays on U.S. 20 will occur but
the highway will remain open.
• A bid opening for a planned reline of downtown sanitary sewers has been
rescheduled to next month, said Keiser.
• Police chief James Spanier said new general orders were adopted for the
department by the Police Commission, which recently had a demonstration of
Porter’s new vehicle identification system equipped on police cars.
• The council made more than 50 total year-end transfers within the town
hall, police, fire, park and street department budgets to cover line-item
shortfalls or enable additional purchases.
• Also adopted was an amendment to the Dec. 13 salary ordinance changing its
effective date from Jan. 1, 2012 to Dec. 18, 2011 to cover days in that
• Park superintendent Jim Miller said all the department needs is freezing
weather to open a new ice-skating rink at Hawthorne Park.
• Jill Wadding of Porter Cove was named winner of the $75 first prize in
Porter’s annual Christmas outdoor decorating contest. Joseph Mantich of the
same subdivision won the $50 second-place award and Jean Daniels of Burwell
Drive $25 for third place.