Chesterton Tribune



Porter Cove residents ask town to upgrade park

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The Porter Town Council heard a request Tuesday for something to be done to improve Kids Cove Park.

During comments from the floor at last night’s Council meeting, Porter Cove resident Gus Brown said he and some of his neighbors in the subdivision want to work with the Town to raise money for new playground equipment. He said he doesn’t think the Council members however have a plan to move forward with the park, leaving it “a muddy mess” while more has been done for Hawthorne Park.

Porter Cove has about 220 homes and somewhere between 20 and 25 percent of the Town’s population and the park serves a significant portion of the town, Brown said.

“I’m extremely disappointed that we are left with what we have,” Brown said. “We’re wondering why it’s going in one direction. I am here to challenge you to change that.”

Council President Greg Stinson said the notion that the Town doesn’t care for Porter Cove and doesn’t have a plan for the park is not true. The issue, he said, is “money is tight all over.” The reason Hawthorne Park is getting new equipment is that it too had structures that were failing and the Town had received enough money in donations that it could provide a match for the grant to get new equipment put in, he said.

Now that the grant is finished, whatever money is put into the park donation fund can be used for other things like Kids Cove Park, Stinson said. Thousands of dollars are made in parks donations each year, he said, from events like the Porter Perfect Pint, race series events and donations by local businesses. The Town is always looking for creative ways to get additional funds, he told Brown.

Brown said Porter Cove residents are willing to work together with the Town to raise the funds, but would like the Council’s guidance on making sure the funds are raised in the right manner.

Parks Director Brian Bugajski said a new plan for Kids Cove started in 2015 with a discussion meeting with the residents. The first step is to remove unsafe structures, which is currently underway. The next part will be to rehab the drainage system and that will need to be done before any new equipment can be installed, he said.

Brown said he has been in contact with Bugajski about making progress but he would like to see the Council, as leaders of the Town, articulate and endorse a plan.

The Porter Cove Homeowner’s Association is willing to help with the drainage needs and seeking grants, Brown said, but asked for the Council’s direction.

“There is a lot of pent up energy and desire. We have a lot of young families to put in energy, but we don’t know how we’re going to get off the ground. We need your guidance,” he said to the Council.

Stinson recommended Brown have a meeting with Bugajski, the Park Department’s Council liaison Erik Wagner and Council member Bill Lopez, whose ward includes Porter Cove.

More residents from Porter Cove sat in on the meeting and spoke to Council members afterward about how they can help raise funds.

Lopez thanked the residents for coming to Council and said he encourages citizens to get involved.


Posted 3/1/2017




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