Chesterton Tribune


Porter lift station bid awarded; Miller resignation questions put to council

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Grimmer Construction Inc. of Highland was given notice to proceed Tuesday with building the replacement Porter Avenue lift station, a requirement of the agreed order between the Town of Porter and state environmental officials to eliminate sewage overflows into the Little Calumet River.

Bids for the work were received in April. Grimmerís bid of $1,361,093 officially was awarded by the Town Council last night.

Paving the way for the award was a 4-0 council vote with member Greg Stinson absent to purchase a 0.3765-acre permanent easement from Jean Welsh for $15,000. The new lift station will be built at the northern end of Porter Avenue near the current station.

The construction project, expected to take nearly one year to complete, includes a second force main into the Chesterton sewage treatment plant. The work is part of Porterís ongoing $5 million in sewer upgrades required under the agreed order.

In other business, resident Terry Gault took her campaign to retain Porter Parks superintendent Jim Miller to the council, indicating she would circulate a petition on Millerís behalf if necessary.

Earlier this year Miller said he would resign effective Dec. 31 after 24 years as superintendent but later rescinded his resignation; the Porter Park Board said itís moving ahead with plans to restructure the department. At last weekís Park Board meeting several residents spoke in support of Miller.

Gault asked specifically how much jurisdiction the Town Council has over the Park Board to require it to vote on Millerís future.

Council member Elka Nelson said although the four-person board is an autonomous body, the council can make its preferences known and sheís asked for a commitment that there will be a resolution of Millerís status in October.

Gault inquired how Park Board appointments are made. Nelson said they are four-year staggered terms and although the council president makes the decision, itís with the input of other council members. The term of Jessie Campaniello expires Dec. 31.

Council member Jeannine Virtue said itís important for the public to know that the council is aware of the situation regarding Miller and hopes it can be resolved soon.

Also Tuesday, director of development Michael Barry said last week the portion of the Porter Brickyard Trail through the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore north of U.S. 20 was paved; signage and gates are yet to be installed. The trail section south of U.S. 20 at Howe Road is on hold pending acquisition of a final easement needed near the pedestrian bridge approach.

ďWeíre getting close but weíre not quite there yet,Ē Barry stated.

Nelson welcomed home Porter resident Trey Sinclair, who was slated to return this week after serving eight months in Afghanistan. Sinclair is with the 713th Engineers (Sapper) Unit. He was thanked for his service.


Posted 9/26/2012