Chesterton Tribune



Porter may drop mail-in option for beach permits

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One thing certain about parking permits at Porter Beach is that they sell quickly.

Last year, all 600 sold in three days with a line that rivaled those seen on Black Friday.

“These permits are so popular that people will start lining up (the first day) at seven o’clock in the morning and it’s like this for three days straight,” said Clerk-Treasurer Carol Pomeroy at Tuesday’s Town Council meeting.

Pomeroy said that she wants to make changes, specifically dropping the option of having residents mail in their registration, driver’s license copy and fee a week before they go on sale to the general public to get a permit.

“We can’t do that so I’m pulling that we will accept mail entries. I don’t feel it’s fair to the people who come stand in line and plus for three days we’re so busy we didn’t have time to open the mail. It’s just horrendous here,” Pomeroy said. “We were trying to serve everybody to make everybody happy, but we just can’t do it.”

Town attorney Greg Sobkowski said the ordinance for beach permits does not include language about the mail registrations so no change would be needed for this year’s ordinance which was given a first reading Tuesday. The mail-in option was a practice the Clerk-Treasurer’s office had done in the past, he said.

In the new ordinance, the prices for the permits are proposed to increase by $5 in each category. Permits for town residents would be $30 instead of $25. Employees would pay $20 instead of $15. Senior citizens would be charged $10 this year for a maximum of two permits. The price would be $60 for Indiana residents and $100 for out of state residents.

Purchasing permits would require a driver’s license and vehicle registration showing a current legal address for town residents. The address must appear on both the license and registration.

Pomeroy said under Ordinance 2016-03, if replacement permits are still available, a person who purchases a different car after obtaining a permit may transfer the permit to the new vehicle by providing the Clerk-Treasurer’s Office with a copy of the new vehicle registration and at least half of the current permit. The permit holder would need to bring a bill of sale and application for title to the office and there is a $5 fee for a replacement sticker.

The permits are scheduled to go on sale this year on Monday, March 13

The Council last April heard from resident Candice Korbel asking if permits could be limited to Porter residents first before being made available to outside residents. She was told by the Council that they would consider the request.

From the audience Tuesday, resident Karen Pisowicz asked if the Council would have further discussion, voicing her opinion that town residents “should get first choice.”

Council Vice-President Bill Lopez, chairing the meeting in President Greg Stinson’s absence, said there will be more discussion by the Council on second reading at the Council’s first meeting in February, but he understands Pomeroy’s reasons for the changes. He said he’s had to stand in line with everyone else for a permit.

In other business:

-- Tabled from last meeting, the Council voted to accept a contract with development consultant MCR Partners LTD. The firm will assist the Town’s Redevelopment Commission in putting out a Request for Proposals for new development on the Porter Brickyard Trail.

-- A resolution was approved by the Council 4-0 for an agreement with the National Joint Powers Alliance for joint purchasing outside the Town’s small purchase policy. Director of Development Michael Barry said the NJPA is made up of many government entities and will solicit and receive bids for the purchases of supplies, equipment or materials at no cost to the Town. “All we have to do is give the specs and they take care of the rest. It doesn’t cost anything for us to join so it’s a win for us,” Barry said.

-- The 2017 contract between the Town Council and the Porter Volunteer Fire Department for services was approved 4-0.

-- The Council approved allowing the “Race for Alexandria” benefit run for this Sunday, Jan. 29 at 9 p.m. in Hawthorne Park, requested by Police Chief Jamie Spanier. The organizers have worked well with the Town and the race is expected to have about 50 runners. “It won’t be a drain on our resources,” he told the Council.



Posted 1/26/2017









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