Chesterton Tribune



DeLaney wants to revisit Chesterton animal control contract

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The Chesterton Town Council is still smarting from the sticker shock it got in July 2015 when presented with a $31,120 contract for Animal Control services from the Porter County Sheriff’s Department.

That sticker shock was all the worse, as it happens, because--through a typographical error on the PCSP’s part--the council was originally under the impression it would be paying only $3,120 for Animal Control. In fact, the $31,120 figure was five times more than the $6,076 which the town paid in 2012 for exactly the same services.

Although Porter County Commissioner Laura Blaney, D-South, agreed at the time to phase the contract in over three years, she also admitted that Chesterton may have been the only municipality in the county over the previous few years actually paying anything at all for Animal Control, on account of a bureaucratic glitch no one was then able to explain.

That was two years ago. Now, Member Emerson DeLaney, R-5th, is seeking to revisit the contract, given the fact that the PCSP no long administers Animal Control in Porter County. As DeLaney noted in a prepared statement read at the end of Monday’s council meeting, “The current contract is with the Sheriff’s Department. This is no longer the case. There is verbiage in the contract that specifies things (which are) under the discretion of the Sheriff.”

In particular, DeLaney wants the following from Blaney:

*Another explanation of the fees being charged under the current contract, plus documentation to justify those fees.

*A list of the municipalities which have paid for Animal Control services over the last 10 years by year and amounts.

*The number of Animal Control call-outs in unincorporated Porter County.

*Documentation to justify the Commissioners’ threat to deny Animal Control services to municipalities which don’t pay the fee. “This verbiage is not specified in the contract.”

“Knowing that the new (Animal Shelter) facility was desperately needed, why have the Commissioners not addressed a funding source to pay for the construction and future operations that is fair and equal to all taxpayers in the county?” DeLaney asked.

“Our county has several funding options,” he suggested. “One can be interest money from the hospital sale. Currently there is talk of giving some of this money to special interest groups. Why not fund such a facility as the Animal Shelter? This is for the people of the county.”

“Another option would be to enact a leash law,” DeLaney added. “Indiana Code allows the county to enact one. This would create a level playing field for all county residents with pets.”

“I am by no means against the new facility,” DeLaney concluded. “As stated earlier, it was desperately needed. We just need to make it fair for all of the residents of Porter County.”

Re: Proposed Ordinance Banning Yard Parking

In other business, the first person yet to speak in favor of a proposed ordinance which would forbid residents from parking vehicles in their front, side, or rear yards--as well as in the “greenways” in front of their homes--addressed the council from the floor.

Patty Grismer told members that, in her view, the proposed ordinance would prove “instrumental in keeping our neighborhoods looking nice and maintaining property values.”

President Jim Ton, R-1st, thanked Grismer for her comments.

The proposed ordinance was not on the council’s agenda Monday night. Members heard numerous complaints about it from the floor at their last meeting.

Thanks You from the Chamber

Ton did take a moment at the end of the meeting to read a note fromMaura Durham of the Duneland Chamber of Commerce expressing her gratitude to the council for its donation to the annual lakefront fireworks extravaganza, held on June 29.

After several weeks of balking, the council agreed to pony up $2,000, 20 percent less than the $2,500 which Durham had originally requested but in keeping with the 20-percent slash of the town’s 2017 General Fund, inflicted by the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance following a computational error made last year by the Clerk-Treasurer’s Office.

In her note to the council, Durham thanked the council for its generosity given its currently straitened circumstances and said that she’s looking forward eagerly to next year’s 10th anniversary extravaganza.

“We weathered a few storms,” Durham said of this year’s edition, “but at the end of the night we were all proud to be Americans.”


Posted 7/12/2017




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