Chesterton Tribune



Porter resident asks Town Council for neighborhood improvements

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Porter resident 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.

Council President 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 the subject.

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.

In related 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 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.”

The Council 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.

Parks Director 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.

The Council 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.

The Council 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.

The Council 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.






Posted 9/27/2019




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