The Porter Town
Council for a second year in a row voted not to give a monetary contribution
towards the Lakeshore Fireworks display at Indiana Dunes State Park put on
by the Duneland Chamber of Commerce.
However, like last
year, the Council voted 5-0 to provide an in-kind donation, lending its
Police and Fire departments for protection at the event, an estimated value
of $2,500 in staff salaries.
“All we are doing
is providing a service and in all honesty as the event is going on, we are
going to have to have personnel down there anyway because it is on our
property, so this is a formality,” said Council President Greg Stinson.
Maura Durham was present at Tuesday’s meeting to make the request for the
in-kind donation and for any monetary donation. The Town had given in years
past up to $3,000 but last year the Council felt they wanted to have money
for the Town’s own 4th of July celebration and fireworks at Hawthorne Park.
Brian Finlay made the motion for no contribution, telling Durham he’d
“rather have the Council give to their own fireworks.” The rest of the
Council agreed with a vote of 5-0.
Fireworks event will be on June 29, Durham said, with a rain date of July 5.
She said there will not be a large change in logistics this year but there
will be a major change in operations. Due to insurance changes, the Duneland
School Corporation will not be providing buses this year to get people to
Police Chief Jamie Spanier if the discontinuation of buses would cause
problems. Spanier said it shouldn’t as there were no buses the first few
years of the event. This would require less manpower by the police
department because there wouldn’t be so many officers directing buses,
DEDC business grant
In another matter,
Durham also asked the Council encourage businesses to apply for the Duneland
Economic Development Company’s exterior improvement grant. The DEDC will
match 80 percent on grants ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 for exterior
rehabilitation with a 20 percent match by the business. The grant
applications will be accepted until the end of business on Friday.
The Council, under
new business, amended the 2017 Town Employee Salary Ordinance 5-0 to change
the parks full-time maintenance position from salaried to hourly to make it
more comparable to all the other maintenance positions in the Town which are
The position will
now pay $15 to $17 per hour.
Brian Bugajski said Tony Baruffi has been hired as the new employee,
replacing Jim Miller who will retire on Friday after serving 27 years with
the parks department.
“We would like to
thank Jim for all he has done for the department and wish him a relaxing
retirement,” Bugajski said.
Baruffi has had the
experience of being head of maintenance of the Westchester Public Library
System, Bugajski said.
Bugajski asked that
the public be patient in the next few weeks as they will spend time training
Baruffi. “It may take a couple more hours to get to phone calls and the
grass may look a little shaggy but we will be up to speed in the next couple
of weeks,” he said.
Also, the Hawthorne
playground installation on Thursday, May 4 and Friday, May 5 could use more
volunteers, Bugajski said. Anyone interested in helping may call the parks
department at 921-1687. He also asked that if businesses in the area would
like to sponsor a lunch, that will be appreciated as well.
days will start at 8 a.m. and go until 5 p.m.
Earlier in the
meeting, the Council held a public hearing for an appropriation for $5,000
in the parks donation fund for playground equipment. No one from the public
spoke. The Council then voted 5-0 in favor of the appropriation.
reports, Public Works Director Brenda Brueckheimer said May 4 will be the
last day for leaf pickup until the fall. The last for chipper and brush yard
waste pickup will be a week later on May 11.
“Make sure to get
out this weekend and put the final spring cleanup items out there. Please
follow the brush pickup rules. If you need assistance, please give us a call
at 926-4212,” Brueckheimer said.
grasses, residents should bundle them in groups not too exceed 50 pounds.
Stinson said that residents should be sure those are clean of debris so that
no objects damage the equipment.
she has also received a lot of phone calls on construction debris. Her
department does not handle construction debris and questions on how to get
rid of those items should be directed to Able Disposal at 1-800-828-2253,
Dogs on leashes
comments, Finlay asked that residents at Porter Beach be considerate in
keeping their dogs leashed. He said his wife was “charged by five dogs” on
the beach and one of them bit her deep enough to break the skin.
Finlay said he
doesn’t know who the owner of the dog was but stated, “Please, keep your dog
on a leash. This could have been a lot worse than what it was.”
Spanier said that
any resident who sees a dog outside without a leash can contact the police
department so they can notify animal control and make record of it.
expressed his condolences to the family of Nicole Gland who was the victim
of a homicide in Chesterton last week and thanked police and emergency
responders for their work.