Chesterton Tribune                                                                                   Adv.

Parking and sidewalk improvements approved for Porter Town Hall

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By PAULENE POPARAD

The Porter town hall, built in 2003 to replace the demolished 1913 building on the same site, is getting new sidewalks and an overflow parking lot.

The Town Council on Tuesday approved the $20,100 quote of Ryan Construction of Merrillville to remove and reconstruct the sidewalks; the proposal is well under the engineer’s estimate.

Apex Construction submitted a quote to do the job for $29,900 and Gariup Construction for $37,200.

While the sidewalk itself is perfectly good, said town director of engineering Matt Keiser, the drop-off on the street side is not compliant with federal disability regulations. Also, red pavers installed years ago to fill the slope along the west sidewalk are now cracked and in pieces.

Council vote on the Ryan quote was 4-0 with member Todd Martin absent.

Earlier in the evening the Porter Redevelopment Commission voted 5-0 to accept the $37,596 proposal of Apex Excavation of Valparaiso to build a 14-vehicle overflow parking lot across the alley south of the town hall. Other proposals submitted were $48,000 from R.V. Sutton and $55,200 from Hobart Paving.

The work includes an additional 280 feet of sidewalk along Lincoln Street to the east and new landscaping.

In other council business, town attorney Patrick Lyp said building commissioner Art Elwood sent a formal letter of complaint two weeks ago to the homeowner in the Main Street area that is housing approximately 70 cats; town code limits pets to six. Neighbors have complained of the smell.

Lyp said if the violation isn’t stopped, a formal citation will be sent followed by court action to stop the ordinance violation if necessary.

At the request of superintendent Brenda Brueckheimer, by unanimous vote the council approved a revised Public Works spending plan for 2010-2012 using the department’s share of town income from the Porter County economic development income tax or CEDIT.

While the total three-year $180,000 Public Works CEDIT budget remains the same, a major change is planned purchase of a $57,900 Total Patcher machine that will be safer for employees and repair roads, potholes and shoulders that hold up longer than conventional blacktop applications, according to Brueckheimer.

Buying a large $90,000 dump truck and $30,000 for sidewalk replacement were dropped from her plan while three new 2011 fleet trucks were added as was a $13,600 mower and related lawn equipment. Councilman Dave Babcock, Public Works liaison, spoke in support of the changes.

In other business Tuesday:

•Police chief James Spanier urged residents to lock their vehicles following a rash of thefts from unlocked automobiles.

•Chesterton resident Everett Pokorney inquired about sidewalk replacement in the vicinity of 208 Franklin St. Brueckheimer said she has several replacement projects scheduled and eventually the work will get done.

•Carl Dahlin addressed the council at length saying he’s hired a surveyor and is looking into alleged discrepancies that some property for his Johnson Inn at Porter Beach may encroach on a public right-of-way. He also urged the council not to vacate any roads or alleys at the beach at the request of the National Park Service.

•The public was reminded that Aug. 24 the council will conduct a public hearing at 7 p.m. on a proposed 27 percent increase in sanitary-sewer user fees. Rates last were raised 30 percent in 2008.

•Keiser reported volunteers began this week to remove log jams and impediments along the Little Calumet River through the center of town; a kayak/canoe boat launch will be built at both Waverly and Mineral Springs roads with grants and donated labor/materials.

 

 

Posted 8/11/2010

 

 

 

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