Chesterton Tribune

Porter sets special meeting on trail route

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By PAULENE POPARAD

A special meeting will take place Monday to reconsider the proposed Porter leg of the Dunes Kankakee Trail between Waverly Road and the Porter County Visitor Center at Indiana 49.

The Porter Redevelopment Commission will host the community input session at 7 p.m. at the town hall.

The town previously was pursuing a tentative route along the Munson Ditch easement from Indiana 49 west with appraisals conducted and land acquisition pending, but still unknown is how hikers/bikers are going to cross the busy highway safely.

Under construction now are two large pedestrian bridges across U.S. 20 and U.S. 12 for Porter’s Brickyard Trail; a third, smaller bridge was built years ago over the Little Calumet River adjacent to Waverly Road awaiting construction of Porter’s Orchard Pedestrian Way trail, now slated for 2013.

Concern has arisen how many pedestrian bridges the town should have and be required to maintain.

The RDC is looking to the public to help come up with a feasible alternative for the west leg of the Dunes Kankakee, said member Elka Nelson. “We’re really encouraging people to show up (Monday).” Maps and diagrams of the area will be available at the meeting for discussion.

During the Town Council’s meeting Thursday, building commissioner Mike Barry said next week a fence along the west side of Sexton Avenue south of Beam Street will be installed to protect Brickyard Trail users from a steep drop-off in that area.

In other council business last night:

• Greg Stinson was chosen to replace Bill Cantrell on the town Plan Commission as a municipal appointment. Cantrell asked to step down due to health reasons.

• Indiana Dunes Tourism executive director Lorelei Weimer said the state Department of Natural Resources will be presenting two proposals next week to an Indianapolis commission seeking approval for a third party to renovate the historic pavilion at Indiana Dunes State Park with alcohol sales restricted to the pavilion itself.

• The Porter council agreed to hire a police officer to patrol at Porter Beach this summer pending Police Commission approval. Town police chief James Spanier said the officer was an efffective presence at the beach last season.

• Public Works superintendent Brenda Brueckheimer said the downtown sewer reline project hopefully will be done in about seven weeks. Stinson thanked contractor Performance Pipelining for doing work at night so as not to disrupt downtown business operations.

• Stinson also encouraged entries to register for the July 4 parade in downtown Porter, especially family units observing the event’s patriotic theme.

• Porter Fire Department members will be out in force tomorrow soliciting fill-the-boot donations to benefit the Hoosier Burn Camp.

 

Posted 5/11/2012