Chesterton Tribune                                                                                   Adv.

Audience questions will be taken in writing at Porter brickyard meeting

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By PAULENE POPARAD

Questions from the audience will be submitted in writing at Tuesday’s special Porter Redevelopment Commission workshop called to address an environmental site assessment of the Brickyard property.

The meeting begins at 8 p.m. at the town hall. Note cards and pencils will be supplied to submit questions; written comments also may be submitted to the town hall prior to the workshop.

Because of the Redevelopment Commission’s special session, the Porter Park Board has moved up its Tuesday meeting to 6:30 p.m. at Hawthorne Park to accomodate those who want to attend the environmental workshop.

The latter meeting will include introduction of personnel and consultants hired by the commission, an overview of Brickyard environmental studies, questions from the commission, written questions from the audience, consultants’ responses to the questions, and closing comments.

The workshop was called after a primary-election political advertisement prompted residents attending this week’s commission meeting to ask questions about the findings in a 2009 report by Weaver Boos detailing historic contamination on a portion of the 32 acres that was used as a brickyard a century ago.

The commission authorized purchase of the parcel, located south of Beam Street on the west side of Sexton Avenue, on Oct. 27, 2009 for $350,000 with the stated goal of redeveloping it for residential, neighborhood commercial, senior living and municipal uses as an extension of Porter’s downtown district.

Questions have arisen whether enough sampling was done on the 32-acre site, whether the commission should have investigated further before buying it, and how much it will cost to mitigate the contamination in order to redevelop the Brickyard.

Commission officials and their attorney have said they were aware of the environmental status of the property, acknowledged that at the 2009 meeting, and recognize there will be an expense to deal with on-site contaminants.

The Park Board’s Tuesday agenda includes discussion of its new Bud’s Buddies friends’ group, the town’s proposed Hawthorne Park drainage project, an update on both the July 4 community festival and the new Hawthorne disc golf course, and a status report on use of park space by a food pantry for pets.

Memorial Day services will be set, and employees and class options for the children’s summer park program will be finalized. Park officials will give reports and the public may address the board as the meeting begins.

 

Posted 5/13/2011

 

 

 

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