The Porter Town
Council heard an update from its financial consultant, Umbaugh, at its
meeting last week.
Eric Walsh said Porter is doing so well, they may not need him soon.
The Town has been
working with Umbaugh to build its cash reserves with an eye toward long-term
planning for several years now. Walsh reported the strategy has been to keep
increasing costs incrementally, if they have to be increased at all, and
closely monitoring capital expenses to create a balanced budget each year.
The result is
Porter now carries 50 percent or greater operating balances in all of its
funds besides the general fund, which is carrying about 40 percent,
according to Walsh. The operating balance is cash left over after all
expenses have been paid for the year.
Walsh said the Town
also used to transfer about $200,000 from CEDIT to the general fund each
year, but has since cut down significantly--almost by half-- on using CEDIT
to bolster the general fund.
Since 2013, Porter
has seen a 240 percent increase in cash reserves held in its general fund
for a net increase of approximately $688,000. “That’s pretty phenomenal,”
Walsh said. Across all funds, the increase sits at 60 percent.
Walsh said the Town
has accomplished this while still paving almost every road in Town over the
past few years and without any funds suffering. “I think that’s the result
of the Town Council, Clerk-Treasurer, and department heads keeping spending
in check,” he said.
In other business,
the Council adopted the 2020 budget ordinance and tabled a planned second
reading of ordinance 2019-12, amending the language surrounding the Town’s
Republic Services contract. The matter had to be tabled because the Council
needs to advertise for and hold a public hearing on ordinance 2019-12 at its
next meeting on Oct. 24. The Republic contract hasn’t changed, rather a 50
cent increase for the 2020 collection fee that was part of the original
contract needs to be updated in the ordinance.
approved Building Commissioner Michael Barry to solicit quotes for chopper
pumps at the lift station in the Woodlake Springs subdivision after one of
the two three-horsepower pumps failed. Barry wants to upgrade to chopper
pumps, which cut up materials that shouldn’t be discarded in the sewer
system, because there are ongoing issues in Woodlake Springs with residents
using the sewer system to dispose of things improperly.
Barry also reported
paving has started, and quotes are back for sidewalk repairs in Hunter’s
Glen and on Rankine. One quote, from Advanced Concrete in Lake Station, was
rejected for an incomplete proposal. The council approved the one low,
responsive quote--Valparaiso-based American Concrete will do the work for
Police Chief Jamie
Spanier reported Trick-or-Treat in the Town of Porter will be 5:30 to 7:30
p.m. on Halloween, Thursday, Oct. 31.
Brian Bugajski reported the newly paved basketball court at Hawthorne Park
will be painted this week, weather permitting.
Fire Chief Jay
Craig reported Liam Oberlander is October Firefighter of the Month.
It’s that time of
year again--Council President Greg Stinson is going bald for cancer
research, and he’s setting up a Porter for Phoenix St. Baldrick’s team as
usual. Town employees wanting to participate in the fundraising and Nov. 2
event should email him.
Finley and Ross LeBleu also wished Bugajski and Craig luck at the Perfect
Pint Fundraiser which was held this past weekend.