Chesterton Tribune



Porter moves to require CO detectors for rentals

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The Porter Town Council on Tuesday set its next meeting for second reading on an ordinance requiring landlords to install carbon monoxide detectors in all types of rental properties.

Like the current smoke detector ordinance, the property owners would have to certify in writing to the Town’s fire department that carbon monoxide detectors are installed and are in proper working condition.

The ordinance for first reading spells out that the ordinance will affect owners of multi-family dwelling units and mobile homes, but hearing comments from resident Jennifer Klug and Fire Chief Lewis Craig, the Council intends to change the language to include owners of any rental property.

Craig said there are no mobile homes in town and felt single-family rentals should be in the ordinance, as did Klug who lauded the Council for its consideration of enforcing CO detector requirements.

“You can buy a carbon monoxide detector for about $25. It’s an inexpensive way to save lives,” said Klug, who added that she would also like to see the Town expand its smoke detector regulations to all rental properties as well.

Council President Greg Stinson said he thinks the suggestion of beefing up the smoke detector ordinance has merit and is something the Council can consider.

To clarify, Stinson said the Town cannot impose detector requirements on private homeowners. “Enforcing on private homes is virtually impossible and I don’t know where that would go in a legal battle,” he said.

Also set for second reading, another ordinance would allow the Town to purchase crime insurance providing coverage for money handled by town officials and employees. Stinson said this would crime insurance would function just the same as a blanket bond policy but is less expensive.

The Council voted 4-0 to approve the 2016 employee salary ordinance. Absent from the meeting was David Wodrich.

In business matters, the Council accepted bids for its 2016 trash collection and chose Republic Services as its service provider. Stinson said Republic Services was lowest out of two bids received with $14.40 per user.

“It’s a very nice contract for the town,” Stinson commented.

Rates submitted for 2017 and 2018 by Republic Services are $14.98 and $15.58, respectively.

Tabled until next meeting is the Town’s plan for using its installment of County Economic Development Income Tax. Stinson apologized for not having the updated numbers on time and said he would do so for the next Council meeting. He added that the plans must be approved by the end of the year.

In department reports, Police Chief Jamie Spanier thanked an anonymous donor who has generously given $5,000 toward the purchase of new bulletproof vests for police officers this next year. That will cover around half the cost for the vests. Funding has been secured for the other half with $4,660 from a federal grant and about $1,000 coming out of the police budget.

Parks Director Brian Bugajski reminded everyone that Sunday will be the inaugural “Turkey Recovery 4-Mile Race” starting at 9 a.m. at Hawthorne Park with a portion of registration fees going to the Parks’ playground fund. Sign up on Race Day is $25. Registration online is $20 before Race Day.

Bugajski also said the discussion meeting for Kids Cove playground on Wednesday, Nov. 18 was well attended and “got some good information and involvement going forward.” Neighbors in Porter Cove have raised concerns about the condition of the aging playground equipment.





Posted 11/25/2015




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