Porter Redevelopment Commission members were urged Tuesday by Porter Beach
resident Roger Carnell to include wider sidewalks there in a package of
planned improvements to be developed in partnership with the Indiana Dunes
Carnell said a foot-washer that drains into the street rather than the sand
also causes an extreme problem in that area.
RDC president Michele Bollinger assured Carnell the sidewalks and
foot-washer will be addressed in final plans to develop a picnic pavilion,
accessible beach access, upgrades to the town parking lot and the addition
of a town-operated concession stand.
Bollinger said funding improvements to the town lot will be significant
because they include a better turnaround and a retaining wall to hold back
the dune. The RDC agreed to seek funds through a Lake Michigan Coastal
Program grant, for which consultant SEH is developing a project cost; the
matter will be revisited Dec. 27.
Also Tuesday, by a 3-0 vote the commission agreed to pay $5,000 tied to a
mortgage release on property the RDC seeks to purchase from Orchard
Apartments for a planned Waverly Road hike/bike trail. A bridge over the
Little Calumet River was erected for the trail years ago.
Porter director of engineering Matt Keiser said, weather permitting, initial
sections of the pedestrian bridge over U.S. 20 for the Brickyard hike/bike
trail will be set near Howe Road late this week. Daily updates will be
provided when construction begins. The highway will remain open but brief
temporary closures could occur.
In a semantic exercise the RDC voted to “accept” a report detailing the
findings of new environmental testing at the 32-acre Brickyard property for
which the RDC paid $350,000 three years ago. The RDC hired Weaver Boos to do
the testing and received the results in September, but the commission
forwarded them to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management for
comment without “accepting” it.
Tuesday, Keiser said IDEM questioned Weaver Boos’ methodology and
assumptions and is asking the firm for additional information. Accepted or
not, IDEM released the study to the public this fall when requested upon its
Keiser announced the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority has
agreed to reprogram funds for the town’s local match to acquire seven
different parcels needed to upgrade Munson Ditch near Indiana 49. A Lake
Michigan Coastal Program grant for the project has been extended until June