Chesterton Tribune



Porter Town Council urged to oppose expanded highway tolls

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The Porter Town Council is studying a request to take a stand against new tolls on Indiana interstate highways.

Duane Parry, a Democrat candidate hoping to fill Rep. Scott Pelath’s open 9th District seat, appeared before the council at its meeting Tuesday night to make this statement: “It is the state’s intention to turn all our interstates into toll roads.”

Parry said that language in last year’s House Bill 1006, the same bill adding the 10-cent per gallon tax on gas, also contained language about such a conversion, with one exception: the legislation would not make the I-465 loop around Indianapolis into a toll road.

Parry plans to appear before every town council in the area to ask them to enact resolutions in opposition to the switch. He noted that traffic on local roads would increase due to truck drivers’ trying to avoid the tolls, and fatal accidents could become more common, in addition to added road maintenance costs.

Police Chief Jamie Spanier added that he recalls when U.S Highway 20 was called “Bloody 20”--before I-94 was constructed due to the number of accidents, while council members agreed that U.S Highway 30 has already become an alternative route for trucks, to the detriment of local roads.

Councilman Greg Stinson, also the liaison to Northwest Indiana Regional Planning Commission, noted that nothing about the proposed conversion has come up yet at NIRPC, but he can investigate. He offered to start work on a resolution and get back to the council over the weekend.

Public Works

In other business, Public Works Director Brenda Brueckheimer reported that, per her department’s measurements, Porter got a total of 14.5 inches of snow in last week’s storm.

She apologized for some errors in plowing the south route but noted that almost all of the feedback she received about her drivers was positive. Brueckheimer then thanked the Park Department staff for jumping in to help.

Stinson commended her and the department for a job well done with the snow management.

Fire Department

Meanwhile, Deputy Fire Chief Jay Craig sought the Council’s permission to apply for an Indiana Department of Natural Resources 50/50 grant, which would be used for the purchase of new bunker gear.

The grant--which the PFD applies for every year--requires a $5,000 match, and that amount is built into the annual budget. The council approved his request.

Craig also made a reminder that smoke and CO detector forms for rental properties are past due, and more people need to turn them in. “We have not gotten in nearly what we should have,” Craig said.

The forms are available for pick-up between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. in the foyer of the Fire Department, 550 Beam St. They are also on the town website.

New Vehicles

Police Chief Jamie Spanier and Building Commissioner Michael Barry received the council’s permission to get quotes for new vehicles.

Spanier reported that his department will gather quotes for three new vehicles, most likely Dodges, and Barry said that he hopes to replace his vehicle with a Jeep Renegade.

Replacing the Building Commissioner’s vehicle is long overdue, Stinson said. “It was here when I arrived. It made no sense then, and it makes no sense now, to have the Building Commissioner in a rear wheel drive Dodge Charger.”

Beach Permits

The Clerk Treasurer’s office would like to remind residents that Porter Beach permits are available exclusively to them on the first two days of sale, March 12 and 13.

Those wishing to purchase a permit on the first two days of sale must be able to prove residency in the Town of Porter with a valid driver’s license and vehicle registration.


Posted 2/15/2018




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