to express opposition to the proposed development at the old Waterpark at
last night’s Porter Town Council meeting.
spoke to reiterate their concerns about the proposed apartment complex at
the northeast corner of Waverly Road and U.S. 20 and to say they were
disappointed that the Plan Commission approved a rezone of the property that
will further plans for development despite opposition. Last week, 18 people
spoke against the rezone at a Plan Commission meeting and 10 residents wrote
letters opposing it.
Weiss Entities, the
developer who built Lakes of Valparaiso, has proposed an apartment complex
with upscale features and amenities for the site. The $35 million
development would have 318 apartments built in two-phases, with amenities
including a clubhouse, an on-site dog run, a pool, and covered parking.
Karen Kenney said
she knows the old waterpark is an eyesore, but she thinks apartments aren’t
right for that area. “I ask that you would give thoughtful consideration for
the residents of this town who pay taxes and who are raising kids here,” she
Tristan Kehle was
concerned about increased traffic causing a safety hazard at the
intersection. Kehle also said she and her son were both concerned to read
that the Plan Commission approved the rezone against residents’ wishes, and
the proposed apartments aren’t in line with the National Park just to the
north. “If we are going to gear people to come here for a small town
experience, a high rise across from a liquor store doesn’t seem to be the
route to go,” Kehle said.
MaryAnn Becich said
she can’t see a good future for her home just a quarter mile away from the
waterpark site if a large apartment complex goes in. She said adding these
apartments puts her property just a quarter mile away from more than 500
apartments, like she’s living on “the corner of rent-a-Porter.” “I think we
need affordable housing, but I think we need to spread it out,” Becich said.
After those three
residents spoke, Jen Klug took a moment to thank the Council for letting
them speak about an issue that had already had a public hearing. Klug said
she has heard of some elected officials shutting comments down after a
matter has been decided on, but it’s important for officials to listen. “I
think that is very important, and that’s what elected and appointed
officials are for,” Klug said.
Fire Chief Jay
Craig reminded folks that the Porter Fire Department’s annual Open House is
Sunday, Dec. 8 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Santa will arrive on a fire truck and
some equipment will be out for display. The PFD is also collecting
nonperishable food and toys for tots donations up to and through that day.
Superintendent Sarah Olson reported leaf pickup is still on, weather
permitting, though the Department was slowed down by one of its machines
being damaged by rocks that were put out with leaves. Luckily, no one got
hurt when the rocks got in the machine, Olson said.
Greg Stinson reminded residents that nothing other than leaves can be put
out for leaf pickup, and cautioned residents to be careful when they rake
their leaves and make sure no refuse gets added to the piles, especially
dangerous objects like bottles, rocks, stones, or scrap metal. “You’re not
only costing us Town money, plus slowing down our ability to do the work,
you’re putting our workers at risk of serious harm,” Stinson said.
Town Attorney Greg
Sobkowski reported the Town has reached a tentative agreement with former
Public Works Supervisor Brenda Brueckheimer to settle her claims of wrongful
termination. Brueckheimer was abruptly let go at the July 2019 public
Sobkowski said she
disagrees with Bruckheimer’s allegation that she was terminated wrongfully,
but it makes financial sense for the Town to settle out of court. The Town
voted to settle by making a one-time payment of $5,000. The payment is not
an admission of wrongdoing, per the agreement, Sobkowski said, and will be
paid out of the attorney line item.
conducted a second reading of the 2020 salary ordinance and adopted it.
Town employees that the Town Christmas party is Dec. 13 at 6 p.m. at the
rescheduled its second meeting in December to Dec. 30 at 5 p.m.
Apply now to serve
on Porter town boards or commissions
The Town of Porter
needs citizens for the following Board positions: 1 BZA presidential
appointment, any party; 2 Plan Commission seats, any party; 1 Police
Commission seat, Council appointment, any party; 1 Stormwater Board seat,
must be Republican or Independent; 5 Redevelopment Commission seats
(appointments are for only one year), 3 are Council appointments and 2 are
presidential appointments. Those interested in applying for these seats
should contact the Clerk-Treasurer’s office, 303 Franklin Street, Porter,