The Porter Town
Council directed Clerk-treasurer Carol Pomeroy to look into purchasing an
extra 100 beach permits last night after prodding from a group that uses
Porter Beach--and residents will be limited to buying only two permits per
household this year.
Pomeroy said she
has already ordered the regular 600 parking permits for Porter Beach, and
she will have to ask the company the Town uses for printing if another 100
permits can be added to its order. Nothing is set in stone until she hears
The directive for
Pomeroy to look into extra permits came after Chris Winkler, of Chesterton,
and Nate Swetalla, of Valparaiso, spoke during the public comment period of
last night’s meeting.
Swetalla said he
and Winkler are part of a group that has been playing volleyball for decades
at Porter Beach, and they had trouble getting parking permits last year when
the Town changed its rules to ensure that only Porter residents could buy
permits the first two days they were on sale.
Winkler said he was
one of the first people in line and did not get a permit when what was left
over, only 60 permits, went on sale to people outside of Porter last March.
Winkler said one issue he noticed is that some people ahead of him had
brought licenses and vehicle registrations for other people and were buying
as many as seven or eight permits at a time.
Swetalla didn’t suggest the Town stop giving Porter residents first dibs,
but instead implored the Council to sell more permits. Both men said the
parking lot is often underutilized during off-peak times. Council President
Greg Stinson and Vice-president Bill Lopez both said they have observed the
selling more permits shouldn’t overcrowd the lot, since the Town already
sells far more permits than there are parking spaces. “A permit doesn’t
guarantee you a space. People know that its first come first serve,” he
Council member Erik
Wagner said he thinks getting another 100 permits is a great idea. The
Council was in consensus in having Pomeroy ask about additional permits.
As for people
buying permits for multiple households, Stinson said the Council is
addressing that with a new provision governing the sale of beach permits.
“It did slow things
down, and we recognize that,” Stinson said.
Later on, the
Council conducted a first reading of an ordinance to amend Town Code
regarding the sale of beach permits. The rates for permits haven’t changed,
and Porter residents will still have first dibs the first two days the
permits are sold, but those who buy cannot buy more than two permits per
address and cannot buy for more than two households. The total number that
any one person may walk away from the line with at one time is four permits.
Stinson noted the
wording of the ordinance does allow for people who have bought four permits
to buy more, but they may only do so after going to the end of the line and
The Council will
conduct a second reading to pass the ordinance at its next meeting.
The prices for
permits remain the same as last year: $10 for seniors, $20 for Town
employees, $30 for Porter residents, $60 for Indiana residents outside of
Porter, and $100 for those out of state. Stinson made a reminder that
elected Town officials, such as the Council members, do not get Town
Permits go on sale
for residents Monday, March 11 and Tuesday, March 12. Those outside of
Porter can buy what is left on March 13. Town employees can buy during a
presale on the preceding Friday.
residents to check their licenses and registrations to make sure their legal
addresses are correct. Stinson said sometimes licenses for Porter residents
will say Chesterton in error, due to the Towns sharing the same zip code.
Stinson said any Porter residents with such a mistake on their licenses
cannot be sold permits on Monday or Tuesday.