Visit the Town of Porter website and the home page depicts a beach scene
with an empty Adirondak chair facing the Lake Michigan horizon.
Visit the Porter town hall and the familiar orange and blue logo of a
setting sun behind a lakeshore dune is prominently displayed.
Which one is the real Porter town logo?
Residents will get their chance to choose. The Town Council agreed Thursday
a survey question will be developed, and when and how the vote will take
place will be announced in an upcoming Porter sewer billing.
Council president Greg Stinson said despite the previous administration’s
2010 adoption of the Adirondak chair with its Front Porch to the Dunes
theme, the former sunset logo is most often used.
Public Works superintendent Brenda Brueckheimer said it would be costly to
replace vehicle decals, signage, letterheads, uniform logos and paperwork
that bear that design.
Council member Elka Nelson said during last year’s election campaign, “The
one question I got asked was, ‘Why do we have to have that chair? What’s
wrong with our logo?’” It was envisioned by promoters that the Adirondak
chairs would be decorated and displayed around town, but Nelson said that
never caught on.
Commented councilwoman Jeannine Virtue, “I did not hear one person say, ‘I
love that logo.’ Where is the new logo; is it anywhere?” Lake Michigan is
the No. 1 visitor attraction in Indiana, she noted, and there’s no reason
not to feature that.
Observed Joan Burke from the audience, “I’m not going to travel to see a
chair. If I see the beach or the sunset, I may be apt to travel.”
Resident Rondi Wightman stated, “The community was never given the
opportunity for input when (the chair logo) was adopted.”
Stinson said as a social scientist and statistician by profession it’s been
his experience that those opposed to something are more likely to make that
known so the town needs a better sampling of public sentiment.
Councilman Bill Cantrell, welcomed back after an extended illness, said he
worked with Porter’s Branding Leadership Team that developed the Adirondak
chair and suggested both logos might be used for different marketing
Town attorney Gregg Sobkowski said Porter is not bound to either logo and
could choose one or use both.
Some thought it might be helpful to estimate the cost for the town to
transition to a new logo, but Stinson felt that might influence how some
residents voted. If the Adirondak chair wins, the transition could be
gradual and the town plan for those costs going forward, he added.
Lorelei Weimer, executive director of Porter County’s Indiana Dunes Tourism,
was present Thursday after having given a recap of the value of tourism to
After the meeting she said a logo generally represents only a small
percentage of an overall marketing campaign. “What sells it is truly the
brand itself. It’s their community. As long as they understand the
importance of the brand.”
Porter’s brand adopted with the chair logo is being a family-friendly
community, and the town’s subsequent efforts have emphasized that marketing
and programming focus.
The council voted 5-0 to allow George’s Gyros Spot to operate a food
concession through 2012 using up to two spaces in the town’s Porter Beach
permit parking lot; town Police and Public Works will choose which spaces.
The lot is open from dawn to dusk.
Stinson said George’s originally filed for a Porter peddler’s permit but it
was determined the town ordinance did not provide for a stationary food
vendor. While the ordinance is being updated, the restaurant has provided
satisfactory food and insurance certificates and agreed to reasonable
restrictions, explained Stinson.
No permit fee was charged, but George’s will reimburse the town for any
signage or related expenses incurred for its operation at the beach.
In another ordinance matter, the Town Council approved new regulations
requiring the builder or owner of any structure containing engineered-wood
floor or roof support systems, including I-beam joists, trusses or rafters,
to purchase a $10 brass tag to be affixed on the structure’s exterior
electric or gas meter.
The tag, purchased from the town, will let emergency responders know
engineered wood --- which burns faster than conventional lumber --- was used
during construction. The builder/owner must disclose the use of engineered
wood, and the tag must be installed prior to occupancy.
The council voted unanimously to forward a request to the Porter Plan
Commission that its members address zoning issues at the intersection of
Waverly Road and U.S. 20 where a Utah water park operator wants to re-open
Splash Down Dunes.
Stinson said years ago parcels in that area were zoned planned unit
development but the paperwork wasn’t filed as required. Typically the
parcels would revert to their previous zoning, but some were assigned a
category that no longer exists.
In the absence of specific zoning, Seven Peaks Waterpark Porter LC is
seeking a use variance to operate a water park/amusement center where Splash
Down Dunes has sat shuttered since 2009.
herself and did not vote on the motion because she is the principal broker
for Hansen Realty on the water park sale.