Chesterton Tribune



Porter won't change 2018 budget for Kids Cove playground

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Residents of Porter Cove are not done in their push for the Porter Town Council to aid in bringing improvements to Kids Cove Park, despite the Council moving forward with its 2018 budget without any money earmarked for the project.

Last month, resident Blake Lange presented a fundraising plan to the Council designed to raise funds through donations and corporate sponsorships, with a target of $250,000. After a tepid response from Council members insisting there are no funds in the Town’s coffers to purchase new equipment for Kids Cove, resident Corinne Peffers read a statement written by Lange arguing the need for improvements during Tuesday’s public hearing on the 2018 proposed Town budget.

“We are fearful now that tough political choices will not be made in the effort to support Kids Cove. We are fearful our elected leaders will not support Kids Cove in the near term and push Kids Cove off for another five-year time frame,” Lange’s statement read, who called on the Council to “reallocate resources and realign plans” to the park in the new budget.

“We ask to increase the budget for the park system. Too many other initiatives are impacting our priorities,” said the statement. “There are many wants in our community but Porter must face the financial reality that they let Kids Cove go too long without repair and succession plans.”

Peffers, for her part, added that her subdivision feels like it’s been “forgotten about” and want the Town to have a plan for the park. She said she hopes it can work together with the Council and advocated for developing a phase-in plan.

Responding, Council President Greg Stinson said it is too late to increase the budget at this point because it has been advertised as-is and no money can be added to the Parks Department in the 2018 budget. If there are any changes, it would need to be in the form of an additional appropriation after the budget is put in place, he said.

According to the budget notice, the estimate for the Parks Department is $199,047, but all funds are advertised higher than expected in order to capture the most dollars out of the tax levy when it is approved by the state. The overall budget, which includes a $2.4 million general fund, totals $4.4 million.

Stinson said all the Park’s budget will have is enough for services, supplies and salaries and not capital expenditures.

“There is no meat on the bone,” Stinson said. “I don’t think anyone up here has ‘forgotten’ about Kids Cove, but the budget is tight.” The Town is expecting to take $200,000 out of its County local income tax shares and put it toward the general fund again this year just to keep it in the black, he said.

From the floor, Daniel Colbert said he resides at one of the homes surrounding Kids Cove and called it an “abomination” in its current state. He asked how is it the Town is planning to buy a new fire truck and not have money for the park.

Stinson said the Council needs to make sure the Town’s budget is responsible. The Town raised money for equipment at Hawthorne Park through park donations and grants over multiple years, he said. The next project in line is Kids Cove Park but it could take time as well.

The Council will have second reading and adoption of its 2018 proposed budget at its next meeting on Oct. 10.

Other comments

On a separate note, Peffers told the Council that the S-curve on Port Cove Drive often has vehicles parked on both sides of the road. She asked the Council to consider making the north side a no-parking zone. Director of Development Michael Barry said he would check Wednesday and report back to the Council if anything needs to be done.

Meanwhile, Christina Chase asked if street safety lights could be put in near the corner of Mineral Springs Rd. and Beam St. to deter vehicle break-ins in the neighborhood.

Vote for Harley

Deputy Fire Chief Jay Craig said the Department’s retired search and rescue dog Harley was nominated for a Hero Pet award for the Celebrate Wildlife event on Saturday, Oct. 7, put on by the Porter County Wildlife Management Advisory Board.

“This would be a phenomenal end to his career as a search dog,” said Craig.

To help Harley win the award, Craig said website users can go to, and vote for him underneath the Hero Pet heading.

Thank yous

Craig also commended residents in Porter Beach and several first responders for their responsiveness to a drowning incident on the west side of Porter Beach this past Sunday.

“We’ve had a quiet past couple of years on Lake Michigan. This was a reminder that the lake is still dangerous, I’d like to thank everyone who was involved,” said Craig.

Leaves and trees

Public Works Director Brenda Brueckheimer said fall leaf pick-up will begin on Monday, Oct. 2. Leaves are to be put at the edge of the road and be free of metal objects or animal waste. She also asks subdivision residents to trim their trees back to allow public works vehicles to get through.

Parks Director Brian Bugajski said the parks department received a grant through the Northern Indiana Regional Plan Commission for their “Communitree” program and 20 trees total were planted.


Barry reported that road paving projects are done for the year. He said the contractor Town and County Paving made a smooth project and was great to work with.

The Town received its 2018 Community Crossings grant and will be receiving $479,121 at a 75 percent match. New paving is expected to start in the spring, Barry said.

Bird Town

In new business, the Council voted in favor of an application for Porter to be named a certified bird town by the Indiana Audubon Society. The application was suggested a year ago by resident and birding enthusiast Kim Ehn.



Posted 9/27/2017




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