Chesterton Tribune

Porter joins call for north county compost site

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By PAULENE POPARAD

Porter director of engineering Matt Keiser has joined the growing chorus of local officials supporting the need for a north Porter County compost site.

Tuesday, he encouraged residents to attend the Porter County Recycling and Waste Reduction District’s May 19 meeting at 6:30 p.m. at the Porter County tourism visitor center in Porter to discuss a north-county site.

The RWRD formerly operated a compost site in Crocker on land owned by Chesterton but that was closed a few years ago leaving Duneland residents to travel to the district’s Valparaiso site on Indiana 130 about 12 miles away.

Keiser said it’s not just the convenience of homeowners that’s at stake. The Town of Porter Public Works incurs time and cost to transport the residents’ leaves it collects curbside to other disposal sites because a local one isn’t available.

“For us to have one in the north part (of the county) would be very beneficial,” said Keiser.

In addition to the May 19 meeting, residents can fill out an online survey now about a north-county compost site at the RWRD’s www.itmeanstheworld.org website.

During Tuesday’s Town Council meeting Keiser also chastized Indiana American Water Co. for not notifying Porter the utility plans to close several intersections to perform water upgrades. Keiser said it’s unacceptable for IAWC to close town streets unilaterally.

In other business during the meeting:

Public Works superintendent Brenda Brueckheimer won permission to commit several hundred thousand dollars this year to road improvements, but the work won’t be done until the end of the season because of ongoing or planned sewer and drainage projects. The road upgrades include a joint project with Chesterton to pave Woodlawn Avenue; a memorandum of understanding between the towns will be negotiated.

• Brueckheimer also said she is obtaining sidewalk repair quotes, and the town is removing selected downtown trees that need to go. “It’s very much a safety issue and sidewalk repair issue.”

• Keiser said the new Indiana 49 bridge over U.S. 20 is 70 percent complete and the new 49 bridge over U.S. 12 is 60 percent complete. Both are on track to have one lane open each way by Memorial Day. The reconstructed lanes will include room for the planned Dunes Kankakee hike/bike trail.

• The council unanimously approved spending $14,600 in CEDIT money to fund the balance needed for Brueckheimer to purchase digital, moveable message boards to be used by all town departments. The town had $591,738 in its CEDIT account.

• On member Michele Bollinger’s recommendation the council voted unanimously to hire a Chesterton High School student at $10 per hour for a minimum of six weeks through the Future of Chesterton Foundation. A FCF intern worked last summer with Keiser. Bollinger suggested this year’s student overhaul the town’s website making it more user-friendly and interactive.

• Fire chief Lewis Craig Sr. was allowed to appropriate a $1,349 insurance reimbursement check for miscellaneous supplies for his new vehicle. He also said the annual fire report shows more calls are occuring between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m.

• Police chief James Spanier was allowed not to exceed $1,500 to have a professional grant writer apply for a grant to fund three years of an officer’s salary, benefits, insurance and pension at an estimated $250,000 value. He also said on a recent collection day 60 pounds of expired or unwanted medications were turned in for disposal.

• The council voted 5-0 to set the pay for police temporary part-time at $15 per hour.

• VFW Poppy Days were approved for May 13 and 14 in Porter.

 

Posted 5/12/2011