Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Public hearing for proposed luxury apartments is November 20 in Porter

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By LILY REX

At least one resident showed up to the Porter Town Council meeting last night to comment on the proposed luxury apartments planned for the old Waterpark, though the proposed plan isnít at the Council level yet.

Council President Greg Stinson announced last night that the matter of Wiess Entities--the same developer who built Lakes of Valparaiso--building a luxury apartment complex with as many as six buildings, a dog run, clubhouse, and other amenities on the old Waterpark isnít before the Council yet.

Stinson said the Plan Commission is still considering the project, and there will be a public hearing at the next Plan Commission meeting, 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 20 at the Town Hall, where residents can voice their opinions about the potential development. Wiess is seeking to rezone the property from B-3, general business, to R-4, multi-family residential.

Building Commissioner Michael Barry said residents who canít attend that meeting are welcome to send letters or emails, which will be read at the meeting and made public record. Those interested can direct letters to the Building & Development Department at Town of Porter, 303 Franklin Street, Porter, or reach Barry at mbarry@townofporter.com.

Stinson said the Town wants to hear from residents who are both for and against the project because itís a major undertaking.

During the public comment portion of the meeting, another resident mentioned that Fleming Street is like one huge sheet of ice currently. Stinson said the Council would get someone out there to salt it. In related business, Barry, who has been standing in as head of Public Works, reported the last of the anti-icing equipment he ordered has arrived and will be in use shortly.

Public Works

The Council appointed Sarah Olson as the new Public Works Superintendent. Barry said itís not common that the Town is able to promote from within since there arenít many employees to begin with, but it was clear Olson was the one for the job. ďIím very happy to have Sarah take that spot,Ē Barry said.

Stinson said he agreed with Barry: ďIíve watched and observed and spoken to people, and the right person is already there.Ē Stinson added that itís great to be in a position to promote from within.

The Council passed on first reading an amendment to the 2019 salary ordinance and suspended its rules to adopt the change on second reading so Olson can start getting paid for her new position.

There was standing room only at the meeting last night, and those in attendance applauded when the Council voted unanimously to appoint Olson.

Health Insurance

The Council voted to switch from United Healthcareís Prestige plan to Unitedís Core plan for employee health insurance. The Prestige plan would have increased by about $3,000 a month for next year, Stinson said. The switch stands to save the Town eight percent without changing benefits for employees.

Stinson noted that the Town is not changing carriers, as a previous headline in the Chesterton Tribune suggested. The Town is staying with United, but changing plans, which involves a new provider network that doesnít include two Illinois hospitals covered under the current plan.

Stinson also noted that Steve Brady, the Townís insurance consultant, checked that no current employees are receiving treatment at those facilities--University of Chicago Hospital and Lurie Childrenís Hospital--so there will be no interruption in service.

Reports

The Council approved a quote for Gasvoda & Associates to provide chopper pumps at the lift station in Woodlake Springs for $41,976. Barry said the pumps should arrive and be installed in six to eight weeks. The new system will solve an ongoing problem with solid waste being discarded and clogging the pumps in that subdivision.

The Council approved Clerk-treasurer Carol Pomeroy to pay the Porter Volunteer Firefighters. Stinson also reported the Fire Department is hosting its annual open house Dec. 8 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Santa will be there, and the Porter FD will be collecting nonperishable food and Toys for Tots. Stinson encouraged those who canít stop by the open house to still drop in to donate a food item or toy in the coming weeks.

Parks Director Brian Bugajski received approval to pay Recreation Contractor LLC $26,020.40 for installing the new playground equipment at Porter Cove Park. The funding came from the $830,000 general obligation (GO) bond the Town secured last year for a new fire truck and park upgrades.

Bugajski said the new equipment looks great, and heís looking forward to putting in a sidewalk.

Council Comments

Council Vice-president Bill Lopez congratulated Olson on her new position. He also reminded residents to abide by the Townís snow parking bans since the weather has turned.

Stinson thanked everyone who supported him and Council member Erik Wagner in their fundraising for St. Baldrickís this year and said invitations for the Town Christmas party will be going out soon. This yearís celebration is Dec. 13 at the Spa Special Events Center.

 

Posted 11/13/2019

 
 
 
 

 

 

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