Chesterton Tribune



Chesterton Town Council votes to keep Chesterton/Porter 911 independent

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The Chesterton Town Council voted unanimously at its meeting Monday night to maintain independent 911 dispatch operations for the Chesterton and Porter police departments.

In late 2014 the 911 dispatch functions of the Chesterton and Porter PDs were merged into the Duneland Regional Emergency Dispatch Operations Center following a change in state law that limits the number of “public safety answering points” (PSAPs) to two per county. Before the change, there has been three PSAPs in Porter County: CPD, PPD, and the Porter County E911 Center.

Chesterton Police Chief Dave Cincoski and Porter Police Chief Jamie Spanier wrote in a joint memo that, at that time, both departments and the County E911 center agreed to decline to consolidate the three PSAPs into one due to the possibility of missed calls, extended dispatch times, improper directions to the locations of calls, and dispatching the wrong department to emergency calls that could result from the switch. They also wrote that having a dispatch center in Duneland adds a personal touch and a local angle that makes operations run smoother.

Two months ago, Porter County Executive Director of Public Safety Mike Brickner and the E911 Director Rob Lanchsweerdt approached the CPD and PPD to discuss merging again. The County E911 center asked that both Town Councils make decisions regarding the switch by May 17.

Last night, Member Jim Ton said the following, “I believe we’ve done what the state law requires, and that took a lot of time and effort to do. We’ve done what we were supposed to do.” Ton went on to say that something shouldn’t be fixed it if isn’t broken, and the 911 operations have been working fine since the 2014 merger. “It’s not broken in my opinion. I think we’re entitled to home rule on this and local determination.” His comments were met with applause from the audience.

Member Emerson DeLaney concurred with Ton. “We’re doing nothing wrong,” he said. “The county is doing nothing wrong. I personally feel we need to stay where we’re at.”

The Council voted unanimously not to merge, to which the audience applauded again. The Porter Town Council meets next on May 22 and has not formally addressed the merger at this time.


Meanwhile, Town Attorney Charles Lukmann reported on the status of an annexation of a 11.89-acre parcel of contiguous land owned by the Ballestero Living Trust.

The owners of the property--located on the north side of East Porter Ave., east of Sand Creek, in unincorporated Westchester Township--previously agreed to be annexed by the town in exchange for sanitary sewer service from the Chesterton Utility.

A single-family home and outbuildings stand on the lot. The owners have agreed to pay the costs of connecting their utilities to the Town’s and have devised a fiscal plan with the help of Attorney Greg Babcock and Lukmann. They are also amenable to paying a park impact fee. Babcock and Lukmann have worked with the owners to write a new legal description for the property that describes a 50-foot right-of-way for East Porter Ave.

The Council adopted a resolution allowing amendments to the legal description and establishing the written fiscal plan for the annexation and set a public hearing for an ordinance to annex the property at the next meeting, June 11. The vote was unanimous with Dane Lafata absent.

Other Business

Town Manager Bernie Doyle reported that the Indiana Department of Transportation’s call for applications for the Community Crossing grants has been posted. The applications open on Aug. 6, and Doyle said that he plans on having Chesterton’s application in by Sept. 28. The match is still 50/50. The only change in the application process is that it’s all electronic this year. Doyle said that was a plus, however.

Doyle also noted that the newest revised version of the Town Code is on Chesterton’s website at, thanks to Clerk-Treasurer Stephanie Kuziela. “It’s not light reading, but it’s there,” he said.


Posted 5/15/2018






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