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.
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
“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.
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.
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.
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
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 celebratewildlife.org, and
vote for him underneath the Hero Pet heading.
commended residents in Porter Beach and several first responders for their
responsiveness to a drowning incident on the west side of Porter Beach this
“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
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.
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.
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.