Chesterton Tribune



Porter approves 2017 budgets and purchases playground equipment

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The Porter Town Council voted 3-0 to adopt its 2017 budgets during its regular meeting Tuesday.

Voting to approve were members William Lopez and Erik Wagner, along with Council President Greg Stinson. Absent was member Ross LeBleu.

“The budgets are approved. We can keep the doors open on January 2. We will be closed however on January 1 (for New Year’s Day),” Stinson said.

The Town’s budget was advertised at $4.3 million with $2.3 million in the General Fund. It will be submitted to the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance which will issue a budget order and tax rate closer to February.

Park donations

In other business, the Council approved an additional appropriation of $46,000 to the Parks Donations fund which required a public hearing. No one from the audience spoke during the hearing.

Playground equipment

Parks Director Brian Bugajski also told the Council he received quotes for playground equipment at Hawthorne Park and recommended the lowest bid submitted by Sinclair Recreation at $45,557. The Council approved the recommendation 3-0.

Bugajski told the Chesterton Tribune the equipment will be purchased with a GameTime playground equipment grant rather than the donations. The park will be getting six new slides, a rock climbing wall and platforms, one for older kids and one for younger. The equipment at the park now ranges from 19 to 28 years old, Bugajski said.

Hawthorne Park will be the site for Sunday’s Boo Bash from 12-2 p.m. featuring games, crafts, a costume contest and the haunted kitchen. The costume contest will be at 1 p.m. in the divisions of ages 0-3, ages 4-6, ages 7-9, ages 10-13 and a group costume.

On Nov. 20, Bugajski said there will be a dedication ceremony for the two new benches made from the bottle caps collected this past year by Brownie Girl Scout Troop 30352. Two plaques have arrived this week that will be part of the dedication, he said.

Liability insurance

Meanwhile, the Council voted 3-0 to choose U.S. Specialty Insurance as the Town’s new provider of liability and auto insurance, as recommended by Jim Anton of Anton Insurance.

U.S. Specialty’s quote for its premium was $80,641 which was about $17,000 less than what the Town would pay to renew its policy with its current provider Argonaut.

The reduction in premium costs can be credited to the lower number of claims this past year by employees, Anton said. “We saw a 16 percent decrease on the premiums because the (employees) are staying safe.”

Stinson also asked if cyber liability was included in the package. “Everything going on with hacking these days, it’s something worth looking into,” he said.

Anton said that the Council could purchase the cyber liability insurance at a premium of $2,246 for $1 million of coverage or $3,050 for $2 million in coverage.

Lopez made the motion for $3,050, saying that $700 extra for twice the coverage is probably worth it. The Council agreed 3-0 on the motion.

Stinson commented this is the first time the Town will have insurance for cyber liability.

Later in the meeting, Stinson announced the Christmas party for Town employees will be held at The Spa on Dec. 9 from 6 to 9 p.m. The employees have earned it for “working harder and safer,” Stinson said.


Police Chief Jamie Spanier said that hours for Trick-or-Treat this year will be 5:30 to 7:30 on Halloween -- Monday, Oct. 31. He asked that drivers keep a close watch out for children.

“There will be kids darting out into the street. We ask that everyone be real careful,” Spanier said.

Leaf pick up

Public Works Director Brenda Brueckheimer said her department will start leaf pickup service and residents wanting to know their pickup day can call 926-4212.

Sugar maples

Brueckheimer also shared that through NIPSCO’s tree grant program, the Town will receive 15 sugar maple trees. The trees will be planted along Franklin St. and Waverly Rd.

The grant was achieved with the help of Bugajski and Director of Development/Building Commissioner Michael Barry, Brueckheimer said.

Mowing request

During petitions and comments from the floor, Joan Burke asked if the Town owned a lawn mower that works. Her request is to have gravel picked up at Porter Beach and then have the grass cut.

“The weeds are bending over and hitting the cars,” Burke said.

Brueckheimer said the Town does have an operable John Deer Bush Hog mower. Stinson told Burke the Town will look into her request.

November meetings

Due to conflicts with Election Day on Nov. 8 and the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, the Council will not meet on either of those dates and instead will meet on Tuesday, Nov. 15, at 7 p.m.

Stinson said other meetings will be moved to Nov. 15 as well. The Stormwater Board will meet at 5 p.m., the Police Commission will meet at 6 p.m., and the Redevelopment Commission will meet at 6:30 p.m. before the Council.

The Plan Commission and BZA will meet at their regular times on Wednesday, Nov. 16.




Posted 10/26/2016




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