Chesterton Tribune



Duneland Forest streets in Porter will be repaved this year

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At the risk of sounding like “a broken record,” Laurie Franke-Polz appeared before the Porter Town Council at its meeting Tuesday night to put to members the same question she’s asked on previous occasions: When will the streets in Duneland Forest--one of the town’s old subdivisions--be re-paved?

As it happens, Building Commissioner Michael Barry was happy to report, they’ll be re-surfaced this year.

Except, he added, for Ash, Birch, and Cedar streets. These three have not yet been listed on INDOT’s approved road inventory. Once they are, they’ll get a new asphalt job as well.

Franke-Polz also wanted to know when the town is going to do something about the stormwater situation at the corner of Knoelke Drive and Waverly Road, where uncleared ditches filled with runoff from U.S. Highway 20 are overflowing and flooding the area.

Barry replied that the town’s engineer is looking at the stormwater problem at that intersection.

Finally, Franke-Polz wondered when action will be taken on the fire-damaged house on Knoelke Drive.

Barry said that he expects the homeowner to pull a permit for restoration very soon. “It’s been a long, painful process,” he acknowledged. “I get three calls about that every week.”

Fire Engine Change Order

In other business, and on Fire Chief Jay Craig’s recommendation, members voted unanimously to approve Change Order A for the Fire Department’s new fire engine, being manufactured by Alexis Fire Equipment.

That change order increases the total contract price of the engine by $11,416. The new contract price: $549,445, which still falls just short of the $550,000 budgeted for the vehicle, Craig told the council.

The change order reflects the installation of better lighting technology and mountings for extrication equipment, among other things, Craig said.

The engine is being financed through a $500,000 bond, with the balance of $50,000 coming from the FD’s budget. Craig said that he anticipates only one other expense down the road, after the FD has taken delivery of the engine, at which time radios will need to be installed in it. That expense will be paid with FD funds on hand and the installation done locally.

Quotes on Public Works Trucks

Meanwhile, the council authorized Brenda Brueckheimer, Public Works Supervisor to go out for quotes on two new Ford F-250 crew trucks, to replace two 2011 models in her fleet.

Brueckheimer noted that repairs on the 2011 trucks are beginning to get frequent and salty.

Sewer Bill

Earlier in the evening, Member Bill Lopez assured resident William Donnelly that the town will work with him in settling a sewer bill artificially inflated earlier this year by frozen and broken water pipes in his home while he was wintering in Florida.

Donnelly said that on returning to Porter, he received an $1,800 sewer bill and on Friday received a shut-off notice. Clerk-Treasurer Carol Pomeroy immediately told Donnelly that the shut-off notice had been issued in error and will not take effect.

And though the bill has subsequently been reduced to $479, Donnelly suggested that the town was still benefiting from his broken pipes. “I don’t think I should have to pay a windfall to Porter over my misfortune,” he said. “I don’t want this thing hanging over my head any more.”

Member Bill Lopez promised Donnelly that the town will work with him. “This is the first we’ve heard of it and we’ll try to resolve it,” he said.

Appreciation Dinner

Member Ross LeBleu took a moment at the end of the meeting to thank the Porter FD for inviting him to its appreciation dinner.

Lopez did as well. “I thank the Fire Department for everything they do for us,” he said.


Posted 4/25/2019




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