Tanya Smith spoke to the Porter Town Council for approximately 20 minutes at
its meeting Tuesday, suggesting improvements in her neighborhood.
Smith implored the
Council to consider installing fire hydrants in her neighborhood, which is
north of U.S. 20 between Wagner and Mineral Springs Roads. She noted that
newer developments just across Wagner Road, Dune Meadows and Wagner Hills,
have hydrants. Smith said though she knows the PFD has a tanker, she worries
about what would happen if a bad fire broke out in the area.
Smith suggested the
Town should look at other nearby communities for models for doing a big
project like installing a water main in order to have hydrants in that area.
She noted Markham, Ill., Country Club Hills, Ill., and Crown Point have all
received large grants for installing or repairing water mains in the last
few years. Just making the effort to apply for such grants would be greatly
appreciated on Smith’s end, she said.
Greg Stinson noted adding hydrants isn’t so easy, money aside, since water
is provided to Porter by Indiana American, a private company. Hydrants in
Town are owned by Indiana American.
Smith said she is
happy to share information she has gathered based on her research and
experience working in land surveying for years and would like to help the
Town as she is able. Building Commissioner Michael Barry and Clerk-treasurer
Carol Pomeroy took Smith’s contact information for further discussions on
Smith also said
lots of drivers, including semi-trucks and even school buses, speed past her
house down Oak Hill Road. Smith said the speeding vehicles are especially
scary when she and her neighbors do roadside trash clean-ups and welcomed
PPD officers to sit in front of her house on patrols.
Smith added that
there should be a stop sign, and potentially a speed bump, at W. Oak Hill
and Wagner due to the speeding and several accidents. Smith’s neighbor Henry
Hershman backed her up, saying the intersection of W. Oak Hill Road and
Wagner Road could use a stop sign with flashing red lights.
business, no one commented on the Town’s 2020 budget in a public hearing.
Stinson noted 2019 marks the eighth consecutive year where no member of the
public has commented on the Town’s proposed budget.
Fire Chief Jay
Craig encouraged residents to visit celebratewildlife.org and vote for PFD
search and rescue K9 Jakob in the 2019 Hero Pet contest by the Porter County
Wildlife Management Board. Winners will be revealed at the annual Celebrate
Wildlife Festival Oct. 5. Voting ends Oct. 3.
Firefighter of the
month is Amanda Sucku.
Craig also reported
that Westchester Township has agreed to completely cover the cost of
refurbishing the PFD’s 1995 International tanker. The low and responsible
quote for the work came from Alexis Fire Equipment for $145,940. Stinson
took a moment to thank Westchester Township for the support. “After sitting
here bonding to do an engine and everything else, to turn around and come up
with another $150,000 to do the tanker would have really stretched the
budget immensely,” Stinson said. “We greatly appreciate their support.”
approved a change order for $1,048.68 for extra stone base that had to be
added to the basketball court in Hawthorne Park when it was repaved
recently. Town and Country did the work, and the work is being funded from
the Town’s $830,000 general obligation (GO) bond.
Brian Bugajski made a reminder that Perfect Pint is coming up Oct. 12 from 1
to 5 p.m. VIP tickets to get in at noon are still available.
Barry reported Oak
Hill Road was patched, and he is working on an agreement with the Town of
Chesterton to share costs on paving E. Oak Hill Road in spring 2020.
approved Barry to go forward with purchasing anti-icing equipment for
$17,854, to be paid out of the Public Works budget. The low and responsible
quote came from Turbo Technologies Inc. for a 300-gallon ice control
sprayer, lane controller, turret broom, manual hose reel, salt brine maker,
50-foot hose, and a surge buster. Spraying a brine saves the Town 30 percent
in salt usage and cuts down on overtime, according to Barry. Public works
employees will be provided INDOT training in using the anti-icing equipment
on Oct. 8.
The Council adopted
ordinance 2019-13, approving a third replat of the Summer Tree planned unit
development (PUD) contingent on documents being in order for donating
right-of-way on Tower Lane to the Town. The replat was forwarded to the
Council from the Plan Commission with a unanimous favorable recommendation.
approved on first reading ordinance 2019-11, establishing 2020
appropriations and tax rates. Stinson said a representative from Umbaugh
will be present at the next meeting to discuss the rates in detail before
the Council votes.
approved on first reading ordinance 2019-12, amending the Town Code
surrounding the Town’s trash collection contract with Republic Services to
add language specifying that the monthly trash collection rate will be
increased 50 cents in 2020 to $16.53 and increased another 50 cents in 2021
to $17.03. The contract has not changed; the Council is just now changing
the wording in the Code.
There is no further
update on Stinson’s letter to the State Legislature about the dormant
catastrophic liability fund the Town paid into for at least two decades.
Stinson was moved to write a letter objecting to the use of those local
funds since the General Assembly this year allocated money from that fund
for statewide projects.