Director Brian Bugajski reported at last night’s Porter Town Council meeting
that improvements at Hawthorne Park are underway.
Bugajski said new
HVAC systems were installed in the Community Center at Hawthorne Park, and
basketball court improvements are not far behind. New poles, backboards, and
baskets have already arrived, and the Parks Department will be installing
those in-house after the new courts are paved. Bugajski previously said
installing in-house was a cost savings of $5,000 to $6,000.
The improvements at
Hawthorne were funded from a portion of the Town’s $830,000 General
Obligation (GO) bond at a cost of $17,000 for the HVAC, and around $53,000
for rehabbing the basketball courts.
engineering on the Lake Pratt Accessible Ramp project is almost complete.
Bugajski said he will likely present the plan for creating a safe,
wheelchair accessible pathway from the parking lot down the hill to Lake
Pratt at Indian Springs Park at a June Council meeting. The engineering was
funded in part by a Lake Michigan Coastal grant.
In other parks
business, Bugajski encouraged parents to call the Parks Department at
983-1042 to register their children for summer programs. This summer, there
will be four sessions for kids ages six to 11. He also noted that Safety
Fest at Hawthorne Park is coming up, Friday, June 7 from 5:30 to 8 p.m.
After Public Works
Supervisor Brenda Brueckheimer was approved last month to get quotes for two
new Ford F-250 trucks to replace two 2011 models in her fleet, she got
responses from Castle Ford and Lakeshore Ford. However, she asked that the
Council reject the two bids and allow her to resolicit the quotes due to a
clerical error in the paperwork sent. The Council approved.
gave an update on the recent heavy rainfall. She reported that residents may
not see relief from drainage issues until Duneland gets some dry
weather--though she knows many are already overwhelmed with flooding in
their yards. “Our catch basins are holding water. Our storm drains are
holding water,” Brueckheimer said. “We’ve gotten well over 14 inches of rain
in the last three months.”
“Please be patient.
We’re trying our best to go out there and address problem areas as they come
up,” Brueckheimer added.
Fire Chief Jay
Craig apologized to the Council, and to the public, because the Fire
Department’s flag poles weren’t repaired in time for Memorial Day this past
Craig said his goal
was to fix them in time for the holiday, but mother nature had other plans.
“We’re just waiting for some drier weather to get them up. I apologize we
didn’t get that done, but we were striving to get it done as soon as
Craig took a moment
to recognize Porter’s firefighters for putting in long hours to help search
for a kayaker who was reported missing on Lake Michigan May 21. “I just want
to make a big shout out to them, they always step up when we need them, and
that is greatly appreciated.”
On the business
side, Craig reported the Fire Department has a 2004 Chevrolet Impala that
broke down last year and isn’t worth repairing due to major rust issues.
Craig asked the Council to approve using the Impala for an extrication demo
at Safety Fest. The Council approved and voted to have the title for the
Impala transferred to the towing company that will take it after the demo.
approved Craig to donate 10 sections of fire hose that didn’t pass a recent
inspection to the Washington Park Zoo in Michigan City. Craig said the zoo
uses old fire hoses to make toys for the animals. Also approved was the
Porter FD’s yearly subscription to its fire reporting software, which is
$1,420 to be paid by Westchester Township.
resolved two sewer disputes where residents got stuck with hefty water bills
following vandalism and broken pipes. The Council approved adjusting the
residents’ bills to reflect their average monthly water use.
dispute is still underway, as the Council voted to table a dispute from the
new owner of the Spring House Inn. Clerk-treasurer Carol Pomeroy reported
the new owner discovered the pool had been leaking for over a year, and the
Inn’s water usage plummeted after recent repairs.
The Council voted
to table the dispute and not adjust the bill until another usage reading has
been done. The Council will revisit the dispute in July, in the meantime
waiving all penalties and continuing service to the Inn.
approved an in-kind donation of Fire and Police Department man hours at this
year’s Lakefront fireworks. President of the Duneland Chamber of Commerce
Maura Durham reported the fireworks are scheduled for July 1 with a rain
date of July 2.
Vice-president Bill Lopez reported long-time Plan Commission member Ken Timm
has stepped down. Timm’s vacated seat is a presidential appointment. Council
President Greg Stinson was absent last night, but Lopez reported Stinson’s
pick to replace Timm is David Phillips.
The Council also
approved on first reading an ordinance for two additional appropriations:
one from the Fire Department’s budget to cover the $50,000 of Fire
Department funds dedicated to the Town’s new fire engine, and one from the
Parks Department to cover the Town’s $5,000 match for the Lake Michigan
Coastal Grant. A second reading, and public hearing, is set for the next
residents to wait until June 16 to fill swimming pools.