The Porter Town Council plans to spread the word it does not want U.S. 12
designated a restricted scenic highway where at a minimum semi-truck traffic
Doing so would discourage economic development in Porter along the Indiana
49 and U.S. 20 corridors and create havoc if semis traveling north on
Indiana 49 miss the U.S. 20 exit and try to turn around near the entrance to
the Indiana Dunes State Park, said town officials Tuesday.
To voice its opposition the Town Council unanimously authorized letters be
sent to the National Park Service, which has led the scenic-highway effort;
the Indiana Department of Transportation, which likely would yield U.S. 12
jurisdiction to NPS; and to state and federal representatives that oversee
Porter council president Elka Nelson said most recently the town has been
getting conflicting answers --- ranging from it’s a done deal to no
knowledge of it --- about the scenic highway that was proposed several years
ago by the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore to improve its visitors’
Nelson said removing semi traffic from U.S. 12 east of Porter to some point
along U.S. 12 in Burns Harbor would adversely impact both towns, and she
noted the tri-town Duneland Economic Development Co. plans to address the
matter as well.
At last week’s monthly meeting the Burns Harbor Advisory Plan Commission
discussed problems there associated with a possible scenic-highway
In other business, the Porter Town Council approved not to exceed $60,000 in
CEDIT funds for Porter’s share to repave 23rd Street from Wood Street to
Dakota Street in a joint project with Chesterton, which shares jurisdiction
over the road. Porter Public Works superintendent Brenda Brueckheimer said
she hopes the work will begin soon.
Also Tuesday, the council voted 5-0 to approve three separate assembly
permits for annual summer events; each was contingent on final insurance
paperwork being submitted.
OK’d were the Aug. 4 & 5 Chesterton Art Fair in Hawthorne Park, the July 3
midnight parade with festivities from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. sponsored by Wilson
Management/Village Tavern, and the July 20 Village-sponsored dance on
Lincoln Street to benefit the Porter Fire Department from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.
In the case of the midnight parade and street dance, both included a
deadline of 12 midnight for outdoor music to cease.
In other matters:
* Co-chairpersons Eric Ailes and Sophia Keating invited the public to
Friday’s Safety Fest from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Hawthorne Park. The
Porter Fire, Police, Park and Public Works departments will host
demonstrations and activities for area youth to promote safety awareness.
* The council later approved a disbursement not to exceed $500 from
the town’s CEDIT account to help defray Safety Fest expenses.
* On a 5-0 vote the council suspended the rules and appropriated
$1,768 into the Park Department budget as proceeds from its recent auction
of surplus equipment. Of that amount $1,368 went into the park
superintendent line item and $400 to miscellaneous supplies. During a public
hearing, no one commented.
* Park superintendent Brian Bugajski said tonight’s 7 p.m. outdoor
band concert, ballroom dance lessons and food vendor will be moved indoors
at Hawthorne Park if weather threatens and the event will go on as planned.
* Bugajski clarified that new rules for renting Hawthorne facilities
require renters wishing to serve beer and wine to obtain a temporary state
permit; those wishing to serve beer, wine and liquor must use a caterer with
a three-way liquor license.
* Brueckheimer invited residents to get rid of household hazardous
waste products July 6 at a collection day at Westchester Intermediate
School. She also announced Porter received its MS4 Phase 2 certificate of
* Porter building commissioner Mike Barry said town code requires
grass to be no longer than 6 inches and asked residents to please comply.
* Nelson said the council is accepting letters of intent from
residents interested in filling an open Republican or Independent seat on
the Park Board to serve until Dec. 31 to complete the term of Patty Raffin,
who resigned last month.