Chesterton Tribune



Porter Council donates to Family 4th Fest, considers plow truck purchase

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The Duneland Business Initiative Group will receive $2,000 from the Town of Porter in partnering for the Family 4th Festival in Hawthorne Park.

The Town Council at its meeting voted 4-0 to match what was given last year with County Economic Development Income Tax funds (CEDIT), on a motion made by member Bill Lopez. Absent from the meeting was Council member Erik Wagner.

Laura Layman, representing DBIG, presented a letter to the Council asking for support of the event without a specific dollar amount.

“I’m leaving it up to you guys. You know your budget. I don’t,” Layman said.

The festival, as in years past, will start July 4 with a pancake breakfast by the Chesterton Lion’s Club at 8 a.m. There will be a parade at 9 a.m. starting at Yost Elementary which will end at Hawthorne Park. There will be family fun games, live music, karaoke and a beer garden, concluding with a fireworks show at dusk.

The Town will also provide police and fire services as an in-kind donation.

“It a lot of work but it’s a lot of fun,” said Council President Greg Stinson.

Park news

The past month has been a particularly busy one for the Parks Department and it is likely to be even more so next month.

Parks Director Brian Bugajski thanked those who helped out during the Rebuilding Duneland Together Work Day on Saturday, April 29. Volunteers scraped off the old paint on the swing sets at Hawthorne Park before getting rained out halfway through the day. The department will finish what’s left of the scraping and will paint next, Bugajski said.

Bugajski thanked the 23 volunteers who helped with the playground install at Hawthorne Park on May 4 and 5.

“They were a dedicated group who worked in the rain and mud, mud up to your waist in some instances. We got everything in and opened it up. There were kids already using the equipment within 20 minutes of us dropping fences,” said Bugajski.

Stinson and Town Clerk-Treasurer Carol Pomeroy said they are thrilled to see families with young children playing each time they drive by the park now.

“There had to be ten or twelve cars, about four or five families with all their kids. It’s being used. Everybody is really happy,” Pomeroy said.

Businesses sponsoring the install were K Clean Systems who sponsored a lunch and Family Express who provided doughnuts. Employees from Custom Fitz LED came to provide a few hours of work, Bugajski said.

The department is now taking registrations for Kids Summer Park Programs, which are free to kids ages 6-11. The first session starts June 5. Information on how to sign-up is on the Park Department’s Facebook page or residents can call 219-983-1042, Bugajski said.

More upcoming events are the Summer Concert/Movie nights in partnership with the Westchester Public Library. The first night will be Friday, June 9, at Hawthorne Park with the Valparaiso Community Band playing at 7 p.m. followed by “The Angry Birds Movie” at dusk.

The next day, the department will host its sixth annual Summer Safety Fest from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Bugaski advised residents that there will be loud noises around Hawthorne Park during that time and there will be two helicopters landing.

A practice landing with one of the helicopters will be on Wednesday, May 31, he added.

Memorial Day Service

Hawthorne Park will host the annual Memorial Day Service at 1 p.m. next Monday, May 29. The towns of Porter, Chesterton and Burns Harbor will be represented, Bugajski said.

Bugaski said that the Porter Fire Department will be presenting the Color Guard this year instead of the American Legion.

Plow truck

In other department reports, Public Works Director Brenda Brueckheimer put in a request to receive bids on a new or newer truck that could also double as a snow plow.

The Town had considered the request last year but the Council canceled the proposals.

Director of Development Michael Barry said the truck request would cost approximately $180,000, up slightly from last year. The payment could be done in five-year installments at about $40,000 per year, Barry suggested.

The Town has money available in CEDIT funds, according to Pomeroy, but Stinson said he would like to consult with the Town’s financial advisor Umbaugh and Associates before the next meeting to see what other options are available prior to seeking bids.

“That’s a good chuck of CEDIT,” Stinson said.

Bugajski also requested the Council consider purchasing a new zero-turn mower to replace the one now that is fourteen years old.

Road paving

In other business, the Council passed on first reading an ordinance to allocate funds to match the state grant for road paving projects this year. A public hearing for the appropriation will be scheduled at the next Council meeting.

Barry said there will be a meeting prior to the June 13 Council meeting to open bids for paving.

Swimming pools

Meanwhile, Pomeroy said she asks residents to not fill their swimming pools until after June 16 when the Town’s summer sprinkling credit takes effect.

“If they fill their pool beforehand, it’s going to be pretty big depending on how many gallons of water they use. It would raise their sewer bill up,” she said.



Posted 5/24/2017




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