The latest list of
the 20 safest cities and towns in Indiana by the home security company
SafeWise ranks Porter at number eight.
Porter Town Council
Greg Stinson on Tuesday said the town jumped from the 17th safest town last
year and commended Police Chief Jamie Spanier and his force for their
dedication. Spanier said the honor should be shared with the residents.
“Thank you very
much for that but I would like to thank our citizens because they are the
ones that help us do our job and we have no complaints in the Duneland area.
Our citizens are great,” Spanier told the Council members.
The list, released
by SafeWise on Monday, rates towns and cities based on 2015 FBI Crime Report
statistics and population. Porter had .61 violent crimes and 10.23 property
crimes per 1,000 in population, according of SafeWise.
“You hear so many
problems going on around the community and the police around the country.
Here, at least, our residents and police work together,” said Stinson.
Claiming the 13th
spot on the list was Chesterton while Valparaiso was named the 17th safest
community, also up from last year.
Topping the list
for the second year in a row was Ligonier in Noble County.
4th of July
Safety was a
recurring topic throughout reports during the Council meeting with many 4th
of July holiday celebrations happening over the past two weeks. Spanier said
the Lakefront Fireworks show was easier to patrol this year without having
Fire Chief Jay Craig said between June 29 and July 4, the PFD responded to
19 calls, as well as “other small things.”
“With two parades
and three fireworks shows, we had a very busy holiday weekend,” Craig said.
police and fire for keeping everyone safe and the Parks Department and the
Duneland Business Initiative Group for running a successful festival at
“I was amazed by
9:30 that the park was still clean. Everyone did a real nice job,” Stinson
“It was the best
weekend. It was fantastic,” agreed Council member Ross LeBleu.
Good news continued
with Public Works Director Brenda Brueckheimer announcing that the Town
received its final termination on its National Pollutant Discharge
Elimination System permit.
“We are no longer
under the reorder,” Brueckheimer said, adding that the final inspections in
June went well at Triangle Trail and Porter Avenue. “We have the final
termination and closeout which is good and we’re moving forward.”
the Town is under law to follow standards in maintenance of the stormwater
system and is a user of the Chesterton wastewater treatment plant.
Also in her report,
Brueckheimer said she has been getting phone calls from residents passing on
compliments for how the Town handled the MS4 Kids Fishing Derby at Indian
Springs Park and the Summer Safety Fest last month.
The Public Works
Department will also be acquiring on Friday the Freightliner Plow Truck that
the Council agreed to purchase at last month’s meeting for $150,000 in rainy
Council voted 4-0 to approvePublic Works employee Sarah Olson’s request to
roll her vacation time over to next year. Stinson said that due to
“extraordinary circumstances” and taking duties over for Brueckheimer, she
is not able to use her vacation days before her anniversary date in August.
Town Attorney Greg Sobkowski said the law allows for Town Councils to make
such a move depending on circumstances.
Change order for
In other business,
the Council approved a change order for the $1.3 million bid it awarded to
Town and Country Construction.
Director of Development Michael Barry, the change order drops the costs by
$560,279 to exactly $760,000. Barry worked to get a change order so paving
work could be done this year with the $802,000 allocated in the Local Road
and Bridge grant.
The change order
removes from the 2017 paving list West Oak Hill Rd., East Hjelm Rd. and
roads in Dune Meadows and Wagner Hills.
Barry said Town and
Country will start paving in about two weeks.
Barry said that a
new appraisal has come in for the former Porter Avenue lift station property
that abuts the Little Calumet River and this time the price is what he was
appraisal was done three months ago which valued the one-acre parcel at
$22,000. Barry said the lot is not buildable and he felt that figure was too
high. He then asked an appraisal be done based on the sale of an adjacent
property. It appraised the value at $4,500. “That makes a lot more sense,”
Barry told the Council. He said he would talk to Sobkowski about a sale to a
neighbor who is interested in purchasing it.
Tap on fee
The Council also
approved a request by Barry to allow a resident on Bielawski Dr. to spread
out payments of a tap on fee into the Town’s sewer system, of $3,000, over
Barry said the
homeowner’s septic has failed and they need to tie into the sewer. To run
the line to the sewer would be $12,000, before the $3,000 fee, he said.
“It’s a unique
situation and a financial hardship for her. This will help with her burden,”
Barry told the Council.
Absent Tuesday was
Town Council member Brian Finley.