Chesterton Tribune



Porter to extend break on summer outdoor watering

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The Porter Town Council began the process Tuesday to give residents a more accurate break on summer outdoor water uses that don’t go down the sanitary sewer.

The town’s current ordinance allows bills to receive a credit adjusted to the average water usage in previous billing cycles even though more summer water might be used for lawns and landscaping, which is encouraged to promote good property maintenance.

But the ordinance states the adjustment is applied for June, July, August and September although the actual water usage during those months isn’t computed until later.

The council voted 4-0 with member David Wodrich absent to ask the town attorney to draft an amendment to extend the adjustment period to account for outdoor water used later in the season.

In another sewer matter, the council revisited its January motion to accept a negotiated $1,229 settlement with Augsburg Lutheran Church over its back-billed sewer charges resulting from the wrong size meter being used to compute previous bills.

Council president Greg Stinson said both sides agreed to reduce the past-due amount and future bills based on representations that Augsburg’s 5-inch meter would be reduced to a 1-inch meter, but it wasn’t clear if billing would be done at the reduced rate during the months that the settlement was under negotiation.

Council member Elka Nelson said it was her intention in making the motion to have the reduced rate apply to the entire period.

Council member Jeannine Virtue recommended the town check whether the church has had the smaller meter installed yet.

In other council business Tuesday:

*  Members unanimously approved spending $1,900 from the CEDIT fund for the Police Department to switch to a new vendor for its database and numbers for Porter’s reverse 911 telephone notification system. Chesterton is paying half the cost. Both police departments will have a joint radio dispatch system.

*  Park director Brian Bugajski said registration begins this Saturday at 7:30 a.m. for The Eggcellent 5K race in Hawthorne Park covering a 3.1-mile flat course through Porter. The 1K kids race starts at 8:45 a.m. and the 5K at 9 a.m. Cause 2 Compete is the sponsor.

*  The Chesterton Lions Club is hosting a pancake breakfast Saturday from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the park community center with runners receiving a discount.

*  Bugajski announced the popular Porter Easter egg hunt will take place April 12 at Hawthorne with a large number of volunteers and businesses providing goods and services.

*  This summer the Park Department will host a fundraiser to promote recycling, added the director. Aluminum cans, office and newspapers are being collected in advance of the event.

*  Porter building commissioner Mike Barry advised that contractors doing work in town must be licensed, insured and in most cases have a building permit. “We’re watching,” he assured.



Posted 3/26/2014