Opposition is being voiced over long-approved plans to route the Orchard
Pedestrian Way hike/bike trail in Porter through Hawthorne Park.
And some Porter Beach residents arenít happy either with a recent town
directive to enforce existing parking laws there.
Both topics will be addressed separately tonight at the Porter town hall by
the Redevelopment Commission at 6 p.m. and the Town Council at 7 p.m.
Last week Park Board member Jeff Bailey voiced his disappointment over the
Hawthorne alignment after grade stakes recently were placed marking ithe
hike/bike route; he was asked to present his concerns to the RDC.
Bailey was not a Park Board member when the pedway was discussed and
approved in 2012 by the board in office at that time; only one of the
previous four Park Board members still serves. The pedway itself has been
discussed at public RDC meetings for several years.
The grade stakes also have prompted some residents in the area to question
the route of the 8 foot-wide asphalt trail that starts west of the new State
Park Little League parking lot to Waverly Road, turning north up Waverly,
then west on Franklin Street where it will turn north again into Hawthorne
and follow the main road curving east along Ackerman Drive and back to
Waverly Road going north. The trail ends at Orchard Apartments.
Park Department representatives were scheduled to meet privately this week
with pedway engineer Haas & Associates and contractor Rieth-Riley
Construction prior to groundbreaking this summer. The project is being
administered by the Indiana Dept. of Transportation because itís primarily
funded with a federal congestion-mitigation grant awarded over a decade ago.
In addition to tonightís Orchard Pedway update, the RDC also will deal with
a resolution described only by number, a Porter Avenue lift station
change-order, and two change-orders related to the planned Dunes-Kankakee
hike/bike trail on Porterís north side.
At 7 p.m. the Town Council will convene to discuss matters regarding health
insurance, an ordinance authorizing payment for pre-approved construction
projects, and the Dearborn Street parking lot at Porter Beach.
Two weeks ago the council heard complaints over police plans to start
enforcing laws that ban parking on town streets at the beach. The Dearborn
Street Parking Association was formed several years ago to assess dues for
upkeep of a lot where members park on both private property and the town
There is no existing agreement between the association and the town; the
townís position is it receives no revenue from the association lot even
though a private group is leasing out town property. Beach resident Michael
OíConnor said the parking ban is punishment and coercion to create public
parking at the beach.
Council president Elka Nelson has asked for documentation about the
association, and she outlined a tentative proposal to parking association
officers that would be brought before the full council for final
At 5 p.m. today the Porter Stormwater Management Board will convene its
monthly meeting to discuss Wagner Hills and Dune Meadows drainage issues,
two payment requests, and to hear staff reports.
The public may comment on other matters at the conclusion of the Stormwater
Board, and at the beginning of the respective RDC and Town Council meetings.