The Porter Town Council indicated Tuesday its considering a revision of its
sewer-rate ordinance for residential meter sizes. Action likely will occur
at the Oct. 22 meeting.
A problem arose this summer for residential customers who have 1-inch water
meters; sewer bills are based on water consumption. The current Porter
ordinance states standard residential meters are 3/4 or 5/8-inch only and
larger meters are billed at a higher rate.
When the discrepancy was caught, bills in excess of $1,000 were sent to some
residential customers for past-due amounts. Collection currently is on hold.
Athough the intent is to broaden the definition of residential meters, said
council president Elka Nelson, state auditors won’t let the town waive the
overdue portion of the bills. She urged affected residents to contact
clerk-treasurer Carol Pomeroy to negotiate a resolution on a case-by-case
basis with council approval.
Letters will be sent to the residents and some commercial customers also
affected describing the town’s plans.
In other business, the council approved by resolution a health-insurance
incentive plan that anticipates saving the town money.
If a town employee leaves the town’s health-insurance plan on or before Dec.
31 and elects coverage under another plan where the employee is the primary
insured, the town will pay the employee an annual incentive of $5,500
payable in 26 equal payday installments.
If the spouse of an employee leaves the town insurance plan, the town will
pay the employee an annual incentive of $3,000. In both cases proof of
insurance under another plan must be provided, and the employee/spouse may
resume town coverage but the incentive payments cease.
With the largest number of town employees, police chief James Spanier was
asked to help coordinate the policy change.
The council also addressed the need to make technical corrections to a
previously adopted revision of Town Council voting districts. No boundary
changes were made Tuesday.
At Building/Development director Mike Barry’s recommendation the council
waived $8,412 in permit fees for a planned $1.89 million upgrade of the
Chesterton wastewater treatment plant, which is located in Porter. “It’s
just the right thing to do,” said Barry.
The council adopted its proposed 2014 budget with $2,255,940 sought for the
general fund and additional amounts in other funds. The Indiana Department
of Local Government Finance has final approval and will set the town’s tax
Resident Bill Sexton recommended and the council adopted a resolution
declaring October as Disabilities Awareness Month with among its goals full
inclusion in society for the disabled. Sexton said employers can qualify for
tax breaks when hiring, and at one time 80 percent of his company’s
200-person staff had a disability or were disadvantaged and they were the
most dedicated workers of all.
Kudos all around went to the Porter Park and Fire departments and to Leroy
Flores and Liz Tilden for last weekend’s Porter’s Perfect Pint
specialty-beer tasting at Hawthorne Park. The event raised funds for both
town departments. Also thanked were the volunteers, auction donors and all
who supported the festival.
Park director Brian Bugajski said surveys are available at the town hall,
Hageman Library, on the town’s website and at Facebook.com/PorterParks
seeking input on an updated five-year park master plan now in development.
Public comment also will be sought Oct. 15 at 7:30 p.m. at the Hawthorne
community building by the Park Board.
The park’s annual Halloween Boo Bash children’s costume party will be at the
community building Oct. 27 from 1 to 3 p.m.