Chesterton Tribune



Indian Springs Park ramp project moves forward

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The Porter Town Council last night approved Parks Director Brian Bugajski to contract with Abonmarche for planning an accessible pathway from the parking lot to the lake at Indian Springs Park.

Bugajski got the Council’s permission to release a request for quotes (RFQ) on the beginning phases of the Lake Pratt Accessible Ramp Planning Project in January. The results of the RFQ have Abonmarche Engineering as the lowest responsive and resposible bidder, offering to conduct a land survey, determine the best path from the parking lot on the hill down to the lakefront, and provide drawings of the design, for approximately $12,000.

Abonmarche was chosen from three proposals, which were then reviewed by staff from the Lake Michigan Coastal Program and a review committee of town employees.

Bugajski said a 50/50 matching Lake Michigan Coastal Program grant will fund $5,000 for the planning and the remaining $7,000 will come from the Parks operating budget.

Bugajski previously said he hopes to present the plans to the Council by June, and if there is funding for the build, construction would start in 2020 at the “absolute earliest.”

Currently there is only one entrance and one parking lot at Indiana Springs Park, and a wooden staircase down a large hill is the only access from the parking lot to the shore of Lake Pratt and the park’s greenspace.

In other parks business, Bugajski received Council approval to look into two projects that could be funded by the proceeds from the Town’s $830,000 General Obligation (GO) bond.

The projects are upgrading the HVAC system at the community center and removing and rebuilding the basketball courts at Hawthorne Park. Bugajski will advertise for quotes on those projects next.

GO Bond

The Council held a public hearing where no one spoke for or against appropriating the proceeds of the GO bond and subsequently adopted an ordinance finalizing the appropriation.

Council President Greg Stinson reiterated that the only figure that has been decided is the $538,029 portion of the bond that will go to the purchase of the Town’s new fire engine from Alexis Fire Equipment.

The proceeds of the bond have been appropriated into three funds: fire truck, park equipment, and other capital. Only $75,000 has been set aside for park equipment in order to establish the funds, but the Council is free to, and expects to, move more bond money to that line item later in the year.

Fire Department

Fire Chief Jay Craig reported that the Porter FD ran 51 calls in February, and received their new bunker gear that was partially funded by a 2018 DNR grant with a 50/50 match. Craig reported that the DNR only provided a match of $2,500 on $10,000 worth of gear due to a paperwork error, but the Porter FD will cover the remaining $2,500, and the Town’s portion will remain $5,000.

The Council also approved Craig to carry over five vacation days from last year that he was unable to use during his probationary period as Fire Chief. He must use them by July 1.



Posted 3/13/2019





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