Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Porter to bid health insurance; resident wants to see permits published

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By JEFF SCHULTZ

Chesterton does it. Burns Harbor does it. So resident Joan Burke wants to know why Porter doesn’t do it.

Burke at Tuesday’s Porter Town Council meeting posed the question, why isn’t a list of building permits from the Building Department printed in the newspaper as the other two towns do.

“I want to know why Porter never does,” Burke said.

The Council looked to Building Commissioner and Director of Development Michael Barry, who responded by asking “Why should I do it.”

Barry said he does not have someone on staff who could create the list and it would take hours to do. “We just don’t (do it),” he said.

“I don’t agree with it, but that’s fine,” Burke said in taking Barry’s answer.

Also in comments from the floor Tuesday, the Council gave permission for Liberty Rec’s 16U team to use the softball field at Hawthorne Park for practices.

Health insurance

Council President Greg Stinson announced that the current plan for the Town Employee Health Care coverage expires in August and the Town is seeking quotes from interested firms.

“Any agent or company interested in serving to provide health insurance to the Town, we will be accepting quotes through June 15,” he said. Contacts should be made to Clerk-Treasurer Carol Pomeroy.

There are 30 employees on the plan currently, not including dependents, Pomeroy said.

Ordinances

During the business portion, the Council approved two ordinances.

The first was to name the assistant police chiefs from Porter and Chesterton to the board that oversees the local 911 dispatch center.

Stinson said state law requires that more than half of the board be members of law enforcement. The members had been the two Town Council presidents, the two police chiefs and the County’s 911 Communications Director.

Since the 911 Director is not considered law enforcement, the matter is fixed by adding the two police chiefs.

Second reading was given and approved for an ordinance amending the 2016 Employee Salary ordinance. The ordinance will now include the $7,000 that is given to the deputy clerk and secretary of the Redevelopment Commission. Stinson said there are no changes to the compensation and the intent is to have the amount in the ordinance for bookkeeping purposes.

Swimming pools

As a yearly reminder, Pomeroy cautioned residents not to fill their swimming pools until June 16 when the Town’s sprinkler credit goes into effect, or the water they use will be charged onto their sewer bill.

The sprinkler credit was adopted a few years ago to give residents a break on billing during the time that water usage is higher due to summertime activities.

Help wanted

Public Works Director Brenda Brueckheimer reported to the Council that work is steady on road paving projects around town, despite interruptions by wet, cold weather.

Next, Brueckheimer said the department will be hiring for an operator/labor position. The person will need to be on call at all hours, she said.

Applications are available at the Public Works Department at 550 Beam St. or they can also be downloaded from the Town’s website.

Parks Director Brian Bugajski said the application deadline for summer programs director and programs assistant has been extended through May 13, this Friday, at 2 p.m. Interested applicants should call the Parks Department at 921-1687.

Help thanked

Bugajski expressed his appreciation to the volunteers of Rebuilding Together Duneland for helping out at the parks on Saturday, April 30.

The crews of volunteers removed four pieces of large, old equipment from Porter Cove, built a new railing at the Hawthorne Park Community Center and spread mulch material out at the playground there.

“Despite the rainy weather, we got a lot of work done. We are miles ahead with these projects,” Bugajski said.

He also expressed gratitude to the Lakeshore Drifters 4-H Club for donating two hanging flower baskets for the community center.

In other Park news, Bugajski said that Brummitt Brownie Troop 30352 is collecting plastic caps and lids and storing them in the basement of the community center. The goal is to collect 800 pounds of caps and lids which can then be reused and turned into a bench.

It takes approximately 400 pounds of caps to make a bench, Bugajski said, meaning the parks department could get two benches if the goal is reached.

The public is encouraged to bring their plastic caps and lids to the community center if they wish to contribute to the project.

ROSE Awards

A few more kudos were given out during the meeting.

The Council lauded Barry on receiving a professional of the year honor at last week’s Recognition of Service Excellence (ROSE) awards banquet, sponsored by the Porter County and LaPorte County tourism bureaus. Stinson said Barry was recognized for his efforts on improving the trails in town

Stinson was also one of the three recipients of the professional of the year ROSE award.

Barry added that the Speakeasy at the Spa on Mineral Springs Rd., which was renovated by Ed Kis, was given the Community Improvement ROSE award. Kis plans to open the restaurant at the Spa sometime this summer, Barry said.

 

 

 

Posted 5/11/2016

 
 
 
 

 

 

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