The Porter Town
Council discussed cell phone usage by town employees and road safety at its
meeting Tuesday night.
Member Bill Lopez
suggested that the town should consider adding to the employee handbook a
guideline forbidding workers from using cell phones while operating
municipal vehicles. The handbook is currently being reviewed and amended
with the help of independent contractor Nora Wiergacz.
Indiana law does
not prohibit private motorists from talking on cell phones while driving but
does require drivers of commercial vehicles to use a hands-free or one-touch
device. Lopez noted that the town has not had problems with cell phone use,
but he suggested the guideline as a preventative measure that will show that
the town is proactive. “Hopefully people follow protocol, but some people
don’t always do the right thing,” he said.
Member Ross LeBleu,
on the other hand, raised concerns over how the rule would be enforced and
who would enforce it.
Director Brenda Brueckheimer, for her part, said that the Public Works
Department already has a standard operating procedure that requires
employees to pull over to use cell phones. The Police and Fire Departments
also have policies against employees using cell phones at an active scene.
the council decided not to take further action.
Deputy Fire Chief
Jay Craig reported that the Fire Department has been busy, responding to
several calls this month for fires and water emergencies which have taken
hours to resolve. Craig said that several local businesses provided
refreshments to the first responders at some of these calls. Among them are:
Dunkin Donuts, Subway, ZIP Foodmart, Venice Pizza, and Al’s. Craig thanked
them for their service to the community, and encouraged residents to thank
them as well next time they visit.
The Fire Department
will hold its annual Christmas Open House at the fire station from 1 to 4
p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, with Santa arrive by fire truck at 1:30 p.m. The FD
will also be collecting new toys for Toys for Tots, and encourages folks to
donate non-perishable food items for their food drive.
received authorization for an emergency repair to a 10-inch sewer main that
collapsed on Pine Drive. Public Works will go out for two bids on the
project and get it repaired as soon as possible.
reported that sidewalk projects in Porter Cove and on Franklin Street from
Porter Ave. to the bike trail have been completed. She extended thanks to
the staff for their support.
* A map detailing
leaf pick-up schedules for different areas of the town is available on the
municipal website, Brueckheimer said. Residents can also call the Public
Works office at 926-4212 to find out what days they can expect pick-up.
* The Park
Department will hold its annual Volunteer appreciation event from 2 to 3
p.m. Sunday, Nov. 19, at the Community Center in Hawthorne Park.
Commissioner Michael Barry reported that Michigami Trail was paved Tuesday.
Barry was also granted a change order to add $42,130.50 to the paving
projects budget for additional supplies and work completed. This brings the
cost of 2017 paving to $802, 130.50--exactly on budget.
* Members adopted
the 2018 salary ordinance on second reading.