Chesterton Tribune



Porter trick-or-treat 5:30-7:30 pm, October 31; opt out by turning off lights

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The Town of Porter has followed the Town of Chesterton and neighboring municipalities by scheduling this year’s trick-or-treat from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31: Halloween.

At its meeting Tuesday night, the Town Council approved by consensus Police Chief Jamie Spanier’s recommendation to hold trick-or-treat, but with the understanding that households may opt out by turning off their porch or exterior lights.

Spanier emphasized, as Chesterton Police Chief Dave Cincoski already has, that trick-or-treaters should respect homeowners’ decision not to participate and under no circumstances approach a residence whose porch light has been turned off, even if the interior lights remain on. Spanier also encouraged residents to distribute wrapped, store-bought candy and, weather permitting, to do so outside their homes and wear face masks. Trick-or-treaters, for their part, should wear face masks as well and practice social-distancing.

K-9 Kilo Retired

In other business, and at Spanier’s recommendation, members voted unanimously to retire Porter Police K-9 Kilo to the care of his handler, Officer Scott Cornelison.

“He’s had a good career, we’ve had him for seven years, but at his age he’s having difficulty getting into and out of vehicles,” Spanier told the council. “Now’s a good time to retire him.”

“That would be the right thing to do,” President Bill Lopez said. “Thank you for your service, Kilo.”

Preemption Signal Project Endorsed

Members also voted unanimously, again at Spanier’s recommendation, to endorse the Town of Porter’s participation in a regional signal preemption grant, for which the Chesterton Fire Department is the lead agency.

Specifically, the CFD will be coordinating an application--for either an 80/20 or 90/10 matching grant--to acquire and install an Emergency Vehicle Preemption (Opticon) priority control system for emergency vehicles in Chesterton, Porter, Burns Harbor, unincorporated Liberty and Portage townships, Portage, and Valparaiso. The Opticon system works through 911 and GIS to automatically clear a signalized intersection at the approach of a police car or fire engine, by giving first-responders a green light and stopping oncoming traffic with a red. All signalized intersections along Ind. 49, 149, and 249 would be equipped with the systems; as well as all signalized intersections along U.S. 6, 12, and 20, from county line to county line; and all signalized intersections within a municipality.

Spanier told the council that the Town of Porter’s contribution would be on the order of $31,000 but that amount wouldn’t come due until 2024. “We’re quite a way out from deciding where we’re going to get those funds,” he said. “We saw what happened when the Chesterton fire engine tried to go through a red light a few weeks ago. I think this is a good thing.”

911 MOU

Meanwhile, members voted unanimously to approve a memorandum of understanding, under which the Porter PD will upgrade its in-car and dispatch software to mirror identical upgrades being implemented by the Porter County 911 Dispatch Center.

Spanier put the upfront cost at $61,519.18, and while that amount could be financed over 10 years, he recommended paying for it with cash on the barrel, out of the PPD’s current appropriation, which he said is sufficient.

There’ll be an annual licensing and maintenance fee, Spanier added, but that amount will be less than what the PPD is paying now for the current system.

Howe Road

Finally, members voted unanimously to close a portion of Howe Road from 7:45 to 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 7, for the Field Station Frenzy 5K race. Approximately 200 people will be participating in the event, Spanier said, but most of the race will be held on Indiana Dunes National Park trails.

Members made their approval of the closure contingent on receiving the proper insurance certification from the organizers of the event.


Posted 10/14/2020




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