Chesterton Tribune

Porter Town Council splits to pick new president for 2011

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Dave Babcock unexpectedly was elected Tuesday to lead the Porter Town Council in 2011.

The vote deadlocked 2-2 with member Trevin Fowler absent when clerk-treasurer Carol Pomeroy broke the tie in Babcock’s favor.

Associate town attorney Ethan Lowe said Pomeroy was not required to vote but may. Some members of the audience were urging her to do so.

As the meeting was about to adjourn member Jon Granat nominated Babcock for incoming president. 2010 president Michele Bollinger said elections would take place at the Jan. 11 meeting. Granat stood by his nomination and Babcock seconded.

He and Granat voted yes; Bollinger and Todd Martin voted no.

After the meeting Bollinger said choosing a council vice-president and 2011 department heads, appointments to boards and commissions and other reorganizational business will take place Jan. 11.

The council did vote 4-0 to adopt the 2011 salary ordinance, which is based on a merit system. The salaries listed are the maximum allowable for each position and department heads have discretion to approve a lower salary. The council sets the salary of department heads.

Police chief James Spanier will be paid $58,298 (allowable range of $52,000 to $60,000); Public Works superintendent Brenda Brueckheimer a combined $53,560 ($26,780 each of up to $28,000 from both the Street and Sewage works); director of engineering and development Matt Keiser a combined $77,249 (a maximum allowable $81,000 from general, redevelopment and stormwater funds).

Fire chief and full-time firefighter Lewis Craig Sr. will be paid $50,000 ($42,000 to $52,000 allowed) and building commissioner Art Elwood $33,619 ($32,000 to $46,350 allowed). Elwood also receives 10 percent of the building permit fees issued.

Pomeroy will receive a combined $44,566 from the general and sewer funds; the deputy clerk-treasurer $42,765; and the stormwater/sewer clerk a combined $30,900 from those funds.

Town council members receive a combined $6,600 from the general and sewer funds and are eligible to participate in the town’s employee health insurance plan.

All full-time employees also will be paid longevity in the amount of $125 per year of full-time employment.

As for appointed town officials, Plan Commission members will receive $109 per meeting; Board of Zoning Appeals, $60 per meeting; Redevelopment Commission, $100 per meeting; Police Commission, $92 per month with meeting; and Stormwater Board $53 per meeting.

Two pages of numerous year-end transfers in several town departments also were approved 4-0 Tuesday.

In other business, Bollinger announced the winners of the recent outdoor Christmas decorating contest. Jill Wadding of Porter Cove placed first winning $75; Rich Janusaitas of Old Porter Road second with $50; and Bruce and Jean Daniels of Burwell Drive third with $25.

Spanier said the Police Department will have a drop box at the police station for unwanted/expired prescription drugs.

Brueckheimer said the town doesn’t salt alleys because they are gravel and the salt would damage vegetation.

Keiser said the town received its permit to upgrade sewer facilities at Six Box Lane with the project to be bid shortly. Bids are being solicited now for a downtown manhole project. Road closures and installation of a culvert in the area of State Park and Waverly roads are on hold pending relocation of a gas main, he added.


Posted 12/29/2010