Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Porter paving comes in under budget

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By LILY REX

Porter Building Commissioner Michael Barry reported at the Porter Town Council meeting Tuesday night that bids are in for 2020 Community Crossings paving projects.

The lowest responsible bidder was Walsh and Kelly, with $642,673.50. Barry said the original estimate for Porter’s 2020 paving list was approximately $800,000. The Town is only on the hook for 25 percent of the cost of Community Crossings paving projects, so $200,000 was budgeted for 2020 paving, but Barry said the Town’s share should come in about $40,000 less.

The following roads will be paved this year: E. Oakhill from Waverly to Ind. 49; all the roads in the Hunter’s Glen subdivision, including some ADA sidewalk work; Sievert, Stephens, Hokanson, Ash, Birch, and Cedar.

In other development business, Barry reported the Town’s INDOT asset management plan is due for an update. The Council approved a task order, not to exceed $9,000, for Abonmarche to complete the update.

Also, the Redevelopment Commission, which met just before Town Council Tuesday, received bids for the new Public Works building and approved low bidder Berglund Construction’s offer of $1,533,000. The new building, with a salt dome, will be behind the Fire Department and provide storage space and a small office with a waiting area for Public Works. Barry said construction will likely be delayed by COVID-19, but could start in June and wrap-up in as little as four months.

COVID-19 Response

The Council extended its order to waive late fees and penalties for late sewer bills to the next billing cycle. Sewer bills are still due, but residents will not be charged fees for late payments.

The Council also extended its work-from-home order for at-risk, essential employees through June 12.

The Council briefly discussed how to safely hold public hearings in the midst of reopening and continuing preventative measures against COVID-19. Council member Brian Finley expressed support for the idea of residents submitting written or electronic comments prior to hearings. Town Attorney Greg Sobkowski said, however, that the Town can encourage written comments, but cannot limit comments to written communication.

Barry said a public hearing at the last Plan Commission meeting went well because only a few people attended, but there isn’t room in the Town Hall meeting room for a large group to maintain social distance. Barry said he’s considering options such as using Hawthorne Park for future hearings or rigging a speaker to broadcast audio of the meeting from inside the Town Hall to the front lawn where there would be more space for attendees to keep distance.

Reports

The Porter PD is getting three new vehicles since the Council approved Porter Police Chief Jamie Spanier to order two new Chevy Tahoe SUVs and a Dodge Durango. The low quotes came from Thomas Dodge for $32,374 for the Durango and Fort Wayne-based Kelly Chevrolet for the Tahoes, which are $35,950 each.

Spanier said the total cost will be $120,461 to purchase and outfit the vehicles, $120,000 of which was budgeted to come from the Cumulative Capital Development (CCD) fund, and $461 of which will come from the department’s budget. Spanier reported he went with Dodge and Chevy SUVs this time around because Ford production is uncertain and Dodge Charger production is likely delayed until next year due to COVID-19.

Porter Fire Chief Jay Craig reported a refurbish of the PFD’s tanker is complete and thanked the Burns Harbor Fire Department for hosting a course that two Porter firefighters are attending.

Porter Swimming pools cheaper to fill after June 16

Clerk-treasurer Carol Pomeroy reminded residents not to fill their swimming pools until June 16 because the Town’s summer water use credit starts that day.

According to Town code, residents are charged for water during the summer based on their average use from the first four months of the year. Residents who fill pools before June 16 will be charged for their actual water use, which Pomeroy said can amount to a hefty bill.

 

 

Posted 5/27/2020

 

 
 
 
 

 

 

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