Lining up their
police, fire department and EMT services is enough of a donation for this
year’s lakefront fireworks display at the State Park, the Porter Town
Council decided Tuesday.
The Council, with
four new members this year, made no motion to repeat last year’s monetary
donation of $2,000 towards the cost of fireworks.
Duneland Chamber of
Commerce President Maura Durham said the event each year attracts nearly
20,000 people to the communities. The show has been regularly supported by
Porter as well as the Town Councils of Chesterton and Burns Harbor since
2009 with additional funding from the Porter County Commissioners.
“We’d like to see
this continue. This is a big community event beneficial to all three of our
towns,” Durham said.
“Our concern is
money is really tight and we have our own fireworks event that we do,”
Council President Greg Stinson told Durham. He said it would be hard to tell
residents that the Town can’t pay for new drainage culverts and road
improvements but it can pay to “blow up fireworks at the beach.”
Partners donated any money?” asked Council member Erik Wagner.
Durham said she has
not asked. The Chamber traditionally asks the town councils first and once
it knows how much support it will receive from them, it will turn to other
organizations for donations, she said.
The fireworks show
will be Thursday, June 30 this year with July 5 as a rain date. They will be
fired by technicians from the lakeshore at Indiana Dunes State Park.
“We’re not changing
any of the logistics from last year. Things ran smoothly,” Durham said.
She added that
people have told her if the fireworks show went away, “they would miss it.”
said he’s heard mixed reaction from residents. “We must talk to different
people because a lot of people tell me they avoid it like the plague. But I
do know people who love it. I’m sure though there are people in this room
that will tell you they do not support it,” he said.
The Council did
vote 5-0 to make police/fire and emergency services available to work the
event, an in-kind donation worth $2,500, feeling it was essential to provide
for public safety in the town limits.
Stinson asked his
colleagues again if any of them would make a motion to contribute something,
no matter how small, towards the fireworks. None did.
“It’s a lot of
money,” said member Tim Conroy. “We do have our own (fireworks event). We’d
“Our budget is
tight. I think that says it,” said member William Lopez.
Council agreed to pony up funds again this year for the event. Durham said
she will make a request to the Burns Harbor Town Council tonight.
On a similar note,
the Council voted unanimously to allow the Duneland Business Initiative
Group to hold its annual Fourth of July parade marching through the downtown
area and into Hawthorne Park. Lineup will start at 8 a.m. and the parade
will kick off at 9 a.m.
Also, the Council
agreed 5-0 to allow the State Park Little League to hold its parade on
Saturday, April 30, from 10 to 11 a.m. with lineup starting at L.A. Bell.
petitions and comments from the public, town resident Candice Korbel said
she was surprised when she found out talking to a Chicago resident that they
already had a parking permit for Porter Beach.
Korbel said she
then tried to purchase a permit on her own and was disappointed to hear the
Town was sold out of them. She asked if something could be done so that town
residents could have an earlier chance at buying a permit before they go on
sale to non-residents.
“I think it would
only be fair for the residents to get passes before Chicago does,” she said.
Carol Pomeroy said the permits were sold out by the fourth day they went on
sale. The first day was Monday, March 14 and it had been advertised on
residents’ bills, town hall and in the newspaper.
Stinson said both
residents and non-residents have the opportunity to purchase permits, but
the cost for residents is much cheaper. He told Korbel there is nothing the
Town can do for this year but it is something the council will make a note
to discuss next year.
Also on Tuesday,
Stinson said the Town will get back $400 in CEDIT funds it earmarked as a
local share for trail signage. As it turns out, he said, the land for the
signage is in the Porter town limits, but it is owned by Chesterton.
Stinson also told
the audience that 2015 Town TIF report by the Redevelopment Commission is
available to view online on the state’s Gateway system.