Chesterton Tribune



Porter council to consider Park Board fate; sewer rate changes

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Will the Porter Town Council vote Tuesday to disband the town’s Park Board?

Council members meet at 7 p.m. at the town hall and a park ordinance introduced Oct. 8 is on the agenda and eligible for adoption.

The council meeting is preceded by the Porter Redevelopment Commission at 6 p.m. with Dunes Kankakee trail changeorders 7 & 8 and discussion regarding the Triangle lift station contract on that agenda.

At 5 p.m. the Porter Stormwater Management Board will conduct its monthly business, hear reports and consider an engineering payment.

If the Town Council musters at least three votes to eliminate the Park Board, future park operations would be supervised by the park director, who would have a council member as liaison, and the Park Department would be under the jurisdiction of the Town Council like other town departments.

In previous comments council members were divided whether eliminating the Park Board is necessary.

Reasons given by proponents are streamlining town operations, sharing employees and equipment, saving money by eliminating the compensation paid to Park Board members and their secretary, and eliminating a level of bureaucracy that can unnecessarily micromanage the park director.

Those who support keeping the Park Board point to its members’ knowledge of day-to-day park happenings, ability to defend the parks against plans that would not be in their best interests, and knowing what residents want in the way of programming and events.

If the Park Board is disbanded, some Town Council members indicated a willingness to appoint a citizen park advisory board to set goals and make recommendations for the Park Department. Current Park Board members were invited to be on the advisory board.

Also on the Town Council agenda is a proposed ordinance amending sewer rates after recent town back-billing generated balance-due notices of approximately $1,300 for some residential customers; certain commercial customers also were notified of unpaid balances.

Westchester Public Library was charged $3,972 for Hageman Library in Porter dating back to May 29, 2009 and the Library Board has discussed a possible legal challenge to the bill.

Other business before the Town Council is a discussion regarding liability insurance with an Anton Insurance representative, and action on an ordinance making technical corrections but no boundary changes to previously amended town voting districts. Department heads will report and the public may comment as the meeting begins with audience participation.



Posted 10/21/2013