The Porter Town
Council approved Parks Director Brian Bugajski to release a request for
proposals (RFP) for playground equipment at Kids Cove Park at its meeting
The RFP is a tool
to find out what kind of vision various playground suppliers have in mind
for the park. Bugajski said he’ll send the RFP directly to five large
companies and advertise publicly, as well.
The release of the
RFP is the Town’s first big step in rehabbing the park, in the Porter Cove
subdivision, since unsafe equipment was removed. Porter Cove residents have
been raising concerns about the park for several years, saying that they are
willing to help fundraise for park improvements and they feel like the
The Town is
seeking, per the scope of the RFP, proposals for equipment, installation,
fall protection, and sidewalk access that will have a total cost of $85,000
to $100,000. Funding will come from the $830,000 General Obligation (GO)
bond the Town secured last year for a new fire truck and park improvements.
The spending goal for Kids Cove is roughly what the Town spent on each set
of equipment at Hawthorne Park, according to Council President Greg Stinson.
Bugajski said he
expects the proposals for Kids Cove Park to be similar in size to the sets
of equipment at Hawthorne Park, but not necessarily similar in design.
Taking proposals, he said, will save the Town money as opposed to
approaching companies with a specific design.
“We want the
playground suppliers to give us the biggest bang for our buck,” Bugajski
said. “$85,000 or $100,000 in one playground system might look different in
another. We want to get the best that they can give us.”
Lake Pratt Ramp
In other Parks
business, Bugajski gave a presentation on possible ways to build an
accessible ramp from the parking lot to the lake at Indian Springs Park.
Bugajski secured a
50/50 matching Lake Michigan Coastal Grant to fund engineering design for
the ramp: the grant provided $5,000, and the Parks Department put up $7,000
to fund a $12,000 contract with Abonmarche for the design.
visitors to the park have to make their way down a steep hillside that drops
23 feet on a set of stairs that was constructed in the mid-90s out of rail
ties and gravel. Bugajski said the stairs, “served their purpose for a
while, but they’re starting to degrade.”
with design constraints including a limited use of concrete and ADA
compliance, in order to ensure the project can qualify for future funding
from the Lake Michigan Coastal Program, though, the hillside was the biggest
Bugajsk said the
best of two plans Abonmarche came back with involves installing a ramp with
a series of four switchbacks from the parking lot down the hillside and
extending a path across the park from there. The ramp would have four sets
of shortcut steps for park visitors who aren’t mobility impaired.
The path would be
made from a 100% permeable material called GravelPave2, which is a system of
plastic trays with weed-blocking mesh that holds ground stone into place.
Bugajski said the material wouldn’t shift with freezing and thawing like
regular pavers would. The stone also wouldn’t wash away in heavy rain or
when Lake Pratt floods.
Next steps in the
project are obtaining costs estimates for the work and looking for funding
through grants or donations, according to Bugajski.
“I think it would
be a great asset to the Town and the broader community to see this
implemented so we can actually get access down to the Lake,” Stinson said.
“It is difficult to get down there. It’s a great resource that’s being
Bugajski made a
reminder that the Family Fourth Fest is coming up Wednesday, July 4. The
festivities begin with a pancake breakfast at Hawthorne Park at 7 a.m. and
the parade starts at 9 a.m. There will be fun activities for all ages,
including the Lion’s Club Turtle Derby and a beer garden from Leroy’s Hot
Stuff. Parents are reminded that no outside fireworks or sparklers are
allowed in the park at the Fourth Fest.
thanked the Duneland Kiwanis Club for making a donation to Porter Parks
after he was a speaker at a Kiwanis luncheon.
Supervisor Brenda Brueckheimer reported the fifth annual MS4 Kids Fishing
Derby at Indian Springs was a huge success: “It was just an amazing event.”
thanked Bugajski and Fire Chief Jay Craig for their work on the derby, as
well as several organizations that supported the event. The Department of
Natural Resources and the Northwest Indiana Steelheaders were on hand to
teach the kids about aquatic life and fishing; Chesterton MS4, the Porter
Stormwater Board, and Rondi Wightman, on behalf of Residences at Coffee
Creek, provided prizes for the kids; and George’s Gyros donated 100 hotdogs
“Every child got to
go home with a fishing pole. Everybody had a great day. It was the lowest
amount of fish we’ve ever caught, but everyone had fun,” Brueckheimer said.