Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Porter prepares to give county$ 400,000 for trail

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By PAULENE POPARAD

The Porter Redevelopment Commission asked its attorney Tuesday to put the finishing touches on an agreement that would transfer $400,000 in RDC funds to Porter County.

The money would be used to help pave the hike/bike Calumet Trail, over which the county has maintenance responsibility, from Dune Acres east through a portion of Porter.

The money is part of a previous earmark from the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority to Porter for its Gateway to the Indiana Dunes tourism/economic development initiative.

Glenn Peterson of Gateway consultant SEH said the RDA agrees to let Porter transfer the money to the county to upgrade the graveled Calumet Trail. County representative Bob Thompson, also present last night, said a November bid letting is tentatively planned with construction targeted for early spring.

Town of Porter director of development Mike Barry said for the past three years town officials have been working with the county on the Dunes Kankakee Trail with each having been responsible for a section along Indiana 49 from the Indiana Dunes State Park to the county Visitor Center.

A spur also was built to the Dune Park South Shore train station for access to the Calumet Trail.

Barry said rather than build a separate DK Trail spur into Porter, the town’s nearly completed Brickyard Trail will be renamed the Dunes Kankakee at a significant cost savings. And after the Calumet Trail is paved, Porter will be the only community around with its trail system completed as part of the regional trails network, noted Barry.

RDC attorney Gregg Sobkowski was asked to make minor changes to a proposed memorandum of understanding between the commission and the county for the $400,000 transfer; a vote likely would take place at the June 24 RDC meeting.

Barry said the RDC previously donated $125,000 of its RDA money for the county’s section of the Dunes Kankakee Trail.

RDC president Jeannine Virtue said Porter needs a short connection between trails at Mineral Springs Road at the NICTD railroad tracks north of U.S. 12. Peterson said SEH is in talks with NICTD about the project.

In other trail news, the RDC approved two change-orders for the Orchard Pedestrian Way totalling $4,326; two DK change-orders at no cost; and three Brickyard Trail change-orders totalling $3,529.

The RDC also agreed to approve a $12,937 claim from the Duneland Group for previous services. Barry said he confirmed all work was done.

Posted 5/28/2014

 

Posted 5/28/2014