Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Porter Town Council hears waste disposal report, approves hotel PUD amendment

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By JEFF SCHULTZ

The partnership between the Town of Porter and the Porter County Recycling and Waste Reduction District continues to be of value for the municipality and its residents, said PCRWR District Executive Director Therese Haller. Haller attended Tuesday’s Porter Town Council meeting and presented the District’s 2016 annual report and statistics specific to Porter and Duneland.

Porter accounts for about 8 percent of what is collected for the program in 2016, Haller said, which includes 51,763 pounds of electrics though the Porter Public Works Department.

The drop off recycling site at the Chesterton Strack & Van Til store off Ind. 49 and CR 1100 North was the second or third busiest site last year out of the seven around the county, Haller said. Over 600,000 pounds of recyclables were dropped off there.

The district assisted in saving the Town $2,175 for grinding and removal of wood waste composting as well as helping in MS4 education, promoting home hazardous waste collection and consulting on yard waste management through its partnership.

Municipalities are also able to collect recycled latex paint for free from the Hobart Public Works Site as a service made possible by the District. For individual residents, there is a cost of $3 per gallon, Haller said.

Last year, the district saw 1,970 Duneland students at classroom discussions and summer camps.

Haller said there is an upcoming Household Hazardous Waste Collection event at Westchester Intermediate School on 11th Street in Chesterton, set for Saturday, July 8. The 2016 collection event saw 266 homes participate and collected 25,490 pounds of household chemicals, she said.

“We make sure that those get disposed and doesn’t go down sinks or toilets. We try to keep chemicals out of the water system,” said Haller.

Haller said that if the Town ever did decide to establish a compost site, the district would be happy to partner on that.

The District is supported by annual fees that are included in property tax bills sent out by the County.

Town Council President Greg Stinson thanked Haller for her services and asked her if there was anything happening in the state legislature that would cause any changes or disruptions for the service. Haller said there had been some bills in recent years that proposed changes but there are none this year that would make any changes.

On a related note, Town Public Works Director Brenda Brueckheimer said her department is still collecting bicycles to take to the PCRWR District’s Earth Day event on Saturday, April 22, which will be held at the Porter County Expo Center.

Residents can drop off bikes at the Public Works department before then. The PCRWR District takes the bikes to agencies that can rehab them for children in third-world countries.

Comfort Inn Suites PUD

In new business, the Council voted 5-0 to accept the Plan Commission’s recommendation to amend the planned unit development for the 5.6-acre parcel on U.S. 20 near the Interstate 94 cloverleaf containing Comfort Inn Suites.

The amendment, carried out by an ordinance, subdivides the property into two lots, one for the hotel and one for the wetlands to the east. The property owner is Yashamar, Inc. which submitted the original PUD in 2005.

Council member Brian Finaly, a newcomer who replaced former Council member Tim Conroy late last year, asked if the Council receives this type of amendment request frequently. Stinson said it doesn’t happen often but occasionally the property owner will want to find a better use for the parcel as markets change over the years.

The Council passed on first reading authorization to appropriate $5,000 in the Parks Donation fund. A second reading, public hearing and action will take place at the Council’s April 25 meeting.

Hawthorne Playground

Parks Director Brian Bugajski said that work to remove the old playground equipment at Hawthorne Park has started and will continue for about two weeks.

The slide tower with tiles will be removed and anyone wanting tiles can make a request at the Parks Department, Bugajski said.

Saturday, April 29 is the work day for Rebuilding Duneland Together. Volunteers wanting to help at the playground can register for Site 12 on the RDT website, Bugajski said. The volunteers will scrape and repaint the swing sets so they can be updated when the new playground equipment is installed starting May 4 and 5.

Bugajski also thanked all the volunteers, businesses and Lakeshore Drifters 4-H Club that supported the Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, including the Duneland Seniors who stuffed 4,500 eggs.

“We were swarmed with kids and there were lots of people enjoying the park,” Bugajski said.

Maintenance position

In another park matter, the Council members gave Stinson their support to make the trails, parks and facilities maintenance full-time position an hourly paid job instead of salaried.

Bugajski said he had discussed the position with Stinson and how it could be affected by potential changes in the Fair Labor Standards Acts in moving the salary threshold of when an employee is eligible for overtime.

Stinson said that all other maintenance positions in the Town are hourly and the reason the parks maintenance position is not is because it had been held by a former park director paid with a salary. He asked his peers how they felt about changing it.

“For me it’s a consistency thing more than anything. It would be strange to have one of those individuals listed as maintenance person and getting paid on salary where everyone else is another way,” Stinson said.

With the consensus, an amendment to the Town’s salary ordinance will be drafted.

Good Friday closing

In her report, Clerk-Treasurer Carol Pomeroy said Town Hall will be closed this Friday in observation of Good Friday.

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The Chesterton Tribune on Wednesday incorrectly reported the location for the dropbox where residents of the Town of Porter can place their sewer bill payments.

The box will not be at the front door of Porter Town Hall, 303 Franklin Street, but on the fence next to the parking lot.

The Tribune regrets the error.

Clerk-Treasurer Carol Pomeroy said that Town Hall will be closed on Friday for Good Friday but payments made to the dropbox by the time Town Hall reopens on Monday morning will not be counted as late.

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Police vehicles

The Council approved Police Chief Jamie Spanier’s request to purchase a new Ford Escape and Mustang at $34,864 from Webb Ford and $29,971 for the equipment needed for those vehicles.

The Town had budgeted enough funds for three cars but Spanier said there are only two vehicles that are at high mileage and the additional car can wait. Being able to purchase the equipment right from the vendor will yield a savings of $2,000, Spanier said.

Also, the Council approved Pedal Power’s request to change its assembly permit date from Saturday, June 3 to Saturday, June 10, pending proof of insurance. The event will be in the evening in the cul-de-sac at the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center.

Assistant Fire Chief Jay Craig reported to the Council that he is repairing the rope and pulley on the FD’s flagpole to hang the flags received from State Sen. Karen Tallian.

 

Posted 4/12/2017

 

 

 
 
 
 

 

 

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