The Lake Pratt
Accessible Ramp project at Porter’s Indian Springs Park is moving forward
with a grant from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources’ Lake Michigan
Director Brian Bugajski reported at Tuesday’s Town Council meeting that he’s
gotten conditional approval for a $65,000 Lake Michigan Coastal Program
Grant to fund construction of an ADA-accessible walkway from the hilltop
parking lot at Indian Springs to the lake below.
Currently the only
access to Lake Pratt and the Park’s greenspace are railroad tie and gravel
stairs built into a steep hillside.
looking into a ramp for the Park last year when he secured a $5,000 Lake
Michigan Coastal Program 50/50 matching grant to defray the costs of
engineering design on the walkway. Abonmarche did the design for $12,000.
Bugajski presented the results to the Council in June.
Bugajski said he’ll
sign the grant contract for the $65,000 in September and construction on the
walkway could start in spring 2021.
In other business,
the Council adopted ordinance 2020-03, an ordinance amending Town code
regarding allowed uses. The ordinance came favorably recommended by the
Porter Plan Commission.
Town Planner Jim
Mandon, Building Commissioner Michael Barry, and Plan Commission Attorney
Laura Frost spent months working to update an outdated list of ‘allowed
uses’ in Town Code, sort the allowed uses into appropriate zones, and draft
the new ordinance. The issue arose last year out of discussions about
‘non-conforming structures’ and minimum square footage of residences in Town
Code that formerly created barriers for would-be homeowners wanting to build
Greg Stinson noted the ordinance doesn’t change any zoning in Town, but the
updates ensure that landowners can use their properties in ways that make
sense for a particular zoning without going through the time and expense of
getting a use variance. Unique uses will still require variances.
the Council had to delay the appointment of members for Porter’s new citizen
Economic Development Commission that will review requests for tax relief
regarding new development in Porter. Because the Porter County Council gets
to appoint one member of the three-member EDC, the Town needs to give the
Council 15 days-notice to respond to a letter notifying them of their
Stinson said the
Town Council received a number of applications for the two EDC positions,
one to be appointed by the Council President and one by the Council as a
whole, and has started reaching out to applicants.
Police Chief Jamie
Spanier announced that Porter Police Lieutenant John McMahon is retiring
after 22 years.
Stinson gave a
brief tribute to Officer “Big John” McMahon. “The Town won’t be the same
without Big John. He’ll be difficult if not impossible to replace,” Stinson
The Council also
approved Spanier’s requests to declare McMahon’s service weapon surplus and
to start soliciting quotes for three new 2021 police vehicles. The new
vehicles could be all SUVs or a mix of cars and SUVs, depending on what
department vehicles are going out of rotation, according to Spanier.
Fire Chief Jay
Craig reported the Department’s new fire engine is in Town and a wetting
ceremony is tentatively scheduled for March 1 at noon. Craig said he’s
waiting on a new hose for the truck. If it arrives this week, the wetting
ceremony could be moved up to Feb. 23 at noon.
Firefighter of the
month is Steven Davis.
Barry got Council
approval for a task order for Global Engineering to wrap up land surveying
work to locate sewer inlets and outlets in Town. Barry said the Town’s
Geographical Information Systems (GIS) map will be up-to-date, in accordance
with MS4 requirements, once the project concludes. The remaining work is not
to exceed $20,000 from the sewer fund.
Barry reported the
following roads are on the 2020 paving list: E. Oakhill from Waverly to Ind.
49; Cardinal Court; all roads in the Hunter’s Glen subdivision; Ash, Birch,
and Cedar Streets; Sievert; Stevens; and Hokanson.
Next year, Barry
said the Town will start on Porter Cove and Woodlake Springs and finish off
some stub roads in Porter Beach.