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
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.
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
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
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
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
Comfort Inn Suites
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
“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.