Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Porter Council stays with independent 911 dispatch

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By LILY REX

The Porter Town Council voted to maintain independent 911 dispatch operations at its meeting Tuesday night.

The 911 dispatch functions of the Chesterton and Porter police departments were merged in late 2014 to form the Duneland Regional Emergency Dispatch Operations Center. At that time, Porter and Chesterton opted to merge together rather than merging with Porter County E911.

Porter County Public Safety Director Mike Brickner and E911 Director Rob Lanchsweerdt again proposed a consolidation of 911 dispatch operations earlier this year.

Last night, the Porter Town Council, by unanimous vote, joined the Town of Chesterton and the Chesterton Police Commission in formally opposing a merger.

Public Comment

Porter residents Corinne Peffers and Jennifer Klug both asked about the status of the Wabash TIF resolution--a resolution to form an economic development area, in the form of a TIF district, in Porter Beach-- that was passed at the last plan commission meeting. The Council is slated to consider it at its next meeting. After that, it will go back to the Redevelopment Commission, where it originated, for a public hearing.

Tax increment financing, or TIF, is a levy on real property in an established district that yields an annual flow of cash the Town can use at its discretion. Revenue from TIF is the difference between property taxes collected based on the assessed value of property in the district from a given base year and the total amount of taxes collected from the district in the current year. TIF revenue is not required to be shared with other entities such as the schools, the county, or the library.

Peffers, for her part, said she opposes having a TIF district in town because it takes money away from the schools in the long-run.

Reports

Fire Chief Jay Craig reported that the Porter Fire Department has seen an uptick in calls for Porter residents who have Life Alert-style systems that they can use to call for help. A problem the department has been facing is that a keyholder for the residence is often too far away or not available when his staff needs to get inside to check on someone.

Craig said the department has acquired some realtor-style door locks that open with a code. Residents who use Life Alert or a similar system can have one of these locks put on their door so the fire department doesn’t have to break through the door in an emergency situation.

Craig noted that only the fire department would have access to the passcode and made a reminder to residents who may know someone who lives alone or has a Life Alert-style system. “If you have a family member in that situation, make sure there is a key somewhere readily available. A 15-minute ETA isn’t gonna cut it if someone’s having trouble breathing. We’re gonna take the door down.”

In other business, Public Works Supervisor Brenda Brueckheimer reported that she has secured a NIPSCO street light grant. Brueckheimer says that starting in mid-June, all 147 street lights in Porter will be replaced with new 400 watt LED lights at no cost to the Town. While the lights are being changed, residents should expect intermittent temporary lane closures.

 

Posted 5/23/2018

 
 
 
 

 

 

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