Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Town of Porter prepares to sell former lift station property

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By JEFF SCHULTZ

The Porter Town Council made plans Tuesday to put a town-owned one-acre parcel on the market.

The land in question once contained a lift station at the north end of Porter Ave. abutting the Little Calumet River as it runs under Interstate 94. Town Director of Development Michael Barry said at the previous meeting that the neighbor to the east expressed an interesting in purchasing the property.

Town Attorney Greg Sobkowski said typically a municipality would need to have the land appraised to know what the price is before it can offer a sale. However, if the land is assessed at $6,000 or less, no appraisal is required.

Barry said that the value is less than $6,000 and is not buildable. He believes the neighbor would like the property to have more frontage along the Little Calumet.

Governments are exempt from having appraisals too if they negotiate a sale with a nonprofit organization, Sobkowski said. Aside from the residential neighbor, the parcel also abuts land owned by the nonprofit conservation group Shirley Heinze Land Trust.

To sell it to the neighbor, the Town would need to put notice in the newspaper that the property is for sale.

Council President Greg Stinson asked if the Town should ask if Shirley Heinze would be interested in the land or go about the process of selling to the neighbor.

“We don’t have any use for (the property). All it is is a drain on our resources,” Stinson said.

Council member Erik Wagner said that the neighbor should be “given a chance” if he wants to buy the land. Other Council members agreed.

“It’s only fair to give him the option,” Stinson said.

Barry said he will look for an appraiser. The cost for the appraisal can be added to the sale price.

Stinson said the notice to sell the land can be expected to appear in the newspaper sometime in April.

Going, Going, Gone

Parking permits for Porter Beach proved their popularity once again as they sold out at nearly lightning speed.

Clerk-Treasurer Carol Pomeroy said 540 permits were sold on Monday after going on sale that morning. By 11 a.m. on Tuesday, all 600 permits were sold out, she said.

Public Works Director Brenda Brueckheimer applauded Pomeroy and the staff at Town Hall for their work. She figured that within that time frame, staff must have been selling a permit every minute.

“Kudos to you. You did a great job,” Brueckheimer said.

Trimming

Brueckheimer said with spring just a few days away, she asks residents to remember to trim back their trees and bushes that are overhanging in a public right-of-way. This is so Public Works vehicles can get through the roads.

Fire Contract

In new business, the Council approved its annual contract with the Westchester Township Board to help provide fire service throughout the Township. The Township agrees to pay the Town $7,493 in total this year for fire service. That amount is based on the number of calls the Town receives.

Porter Assistant Fire Chief Jay Craig said the amount is less this year because there were fewer calls from Dunes State Park in 2016.

Playground at Hawthorne Park

In his report, Brian Bugajski told the Council that his department is planning for the installation of new playground equipment at Hawthorne Park, with the next step being removal of the equipment that is there now.

The parks department will be removing the tire dragon in the next week or so, Bugajski said. The rest of the equipment will be removed after the park’s Easter event on Saturday, April 8.

Bugajski said Friday, May 4 and Saturday, May 5 will be installation days of the new equipment. He is looking for individuals and organizations willing to help out on those days. No experience is necessary, he added. Volunteers can contact him at 921-1687.

Paving

The Council approved Barry’s recommendation for Abonmarche of Valparaiso to do engineering and create specs for the upcoming paving projects planned for this year with the State’s Community Crossing grant funds.

The firm will be paid $24,063. Barry said that last year the engineering firm for the $2.1 million in paving projects was paid $125,000. Abonmarche is being paid a fifth of that, but there is much less paving to be done this year compared to 2016, so it appears there is a significant savings, Barry said.

Assembly permits

Two assembly permits were approved Tuesday as presented by Police Chief Jamie Spanier.

The first is by Mark Lecy of Pedal Power who is planning an event on Saturday, June 3 at the cul-de-sac near the entrance of the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center where he has bikes for rent. Spainer said the event is to have food and drink vendors and music from 1 to 10 p.m. The event is far enough away from neighbors that Spanier said he doesn’t think the noise will bother anyone.

The second is more “unique,” Spanier said, because the request has asked for multiple dates. Tyler Spence of Stoke Riders requested to have use of the public right-of-way near Porter Beach for either April 8 or 9 or April 22 or 23 for kite board racing. The reason for the multiple dates is because the race would depend on wind, Spanier said. The Council gave permission for Spence to have his race on either of those weekends.

Flags

In comments from the floor, resident Jennifer Klug inquired about whether the Town plans to use the state flags that the Town got through State Sen. Karen Tallian’s office. If not, Klug requested they be returned.

The flags are to be used at the Fire Dept. and Town Hall. Craig and Pomeroy said they plan to hang them once the ropes on the poles are fixed.

 

 

Posted 3/16/2017

 
 
 
 

 

 

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