Chesterton Tribune



Porter donates services, not cash, to fireworks

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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.”

“Has Pavilion 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.”

Stinson however 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 be double-dipping.”

“Our budget is tight. I think that says it,” said member William Lopez.

Chesterton Town 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.

Beach parking permits

Meanwhile, during 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.

Clerk-Treasurer 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.



Posted 4/13/2016




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