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years as superintendent but later rescinded his resignation; the Porter Park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
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
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.