Chesterton Tribune



Porter Town Council objects to state diversion of catastrophic liability funds

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The Porter Town Council is sending a letter down state to object to the Indiana General Assembly’s allocation of some funds from the Indiana Political Subdivision Catastrophic Liability Fund.

At the Council’s meeting Tuesday night, Council President Greg Stinson reported he had drafted the letter after Anton Insurance, the Town’s agent for property and casualty insurance, notified him of state activity in the dormant fund.

The fund contains an estimated $4 to 5 million from the contributions of the various municipalities and local government entities that opted-in when the fund was established in the 1980s and paid into it over the course of up to two decades.

The Fund went dormant over a decade ago, and the Town of Porter stopped participating in contributions in 2008, according to Stinson. Stinson said he recalled that Chesterton, Portage, and Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD) were also party to the fund at one time.

Per a legislative action this year, the State approved moving some money from that fund, which is made up of local contributions, and allocated it into Indiana’s general fund.

Stinson’s letter objects to that allocation, saying it is the Town of Porter’s position that the State should disburse the remaining funds equally among all the municipalities that contributed. “The State did not put that money in, the Towns did, and we believe that we should get a portion of that money back,” he said.

It’s unknown at this time how much money Porter contributed to the fund.

Stinson said it only makes sense to him to return the money to the municipalities that contributed, since those contributions came from the Towns’ local tax funds.

“What we’re trying to do is make sure it doesn’t all get taken out and that it all gets distributed equitably,” Stinson added.

Paving/Road Closure status

Building Commissioner Michael Barry reported the Wagner Road bridge resurfacing work is on schedule and Wagner Road should be open Friday. Barry also reported residents should look out for continued work at Waverly Road and U.S. 20 where NIPSCO is relocating poles, causing intermittent closures. Once NIPSCO is done, INDOT will be releasing a timeline for work on that same intersection to widen U.S. 20 and create dedicated left-turn lanes.

Barry said a remediation project at the former Nike Missile Base has started. Rails will have to be installed for an excavator and then 200 trucks will be in and out removing and replacing soil. There will be a flagger on Wagner Road during the project, and there is an order for the project not to cause noise before 8 a.m. Residents can contact Barry with any complaints.

Paving on the following roads begins in approximately two to three weeks: Portage Avenue, Eugene Street, Deerfield Lane, 25th Place, 24th Place, W. Burwell Drive, E. Burwell Drive, Coleman Street, Fleming Street, Ballard Street, Knoelke Drive, Dune Forest Trail, Triangle Trail, Clark Drive, Six Box Lane, and N. Babcock Road.

The Council also approved Barry to go out for quotes on patching E. Oakhill Road. E. Oakhill will be resurfaced in spring 2020.

In other business, the Council passed on second reading an ordinance establishing procedures for avoiding conflicts of interest in the Building Department. The ordinance was required, per a change in State Law.

Become a volunteer firefighter

Porter Fire Chief Jay Craig renewed his call for Porter residents to attend the Indiana Fire Academy that starts Oct. 1 and become volunteer firefighters. Those interested should call the PFD, Craig said at Tuesday’s Porter Town Council meeting.

Craig also made note of a new partnership Dunelanders can take advantage of. The Indiana Volunteer Firefighter’s Association is partnering with Ivy Tech to offer free tuition or scholarships to area volunteer firefighters and EMS responders. Interested residents should visit or



Posted 8/30/2019





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