The Porter Town
Council made plans Tuesday to put a town-owned one-acre parcel on the
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.
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.
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
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
Stinson said the
notice to sell the land can be expected to appear in the newspaper sometime
Going, Going, Gone
Parking permits for
Porter Beach proved their popularity once again as they sold out at nearly
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.
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.
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.
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.
Fire Chief Jay Craig said the amount is less this year because there were
fewer calls from Dunes State Park in 2016.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.