Chesterton Tribune



Porter may sell extra beach permits this year, limit on buying

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The Porter Town Council directed Clerk-treasurer Carol Pomeroy to look into purchasing an extra 100 beach permits last night after prodding from a group that uses Porter Beach--and residents will be limited to buying only two permits per household this year.

Pomeroy said she has already ordered the regular 600 parking permits for Porter Beach, and she will have to ask the company the Town uses for printing if another 100 permits can be added to its order. Nothing is set in stone until she hears back.

The directive for Pomeroy to look into extra permits came after Chris Winkler, of Chesterton, and Nate Swetalla, of Valparaiso, spoke during the public comment period of last night’s meeting.

Swetalla said he and Winkler are part of a group that has been playing volleyball for decades at Porter Beach, and they had trouble getting parking permits last year when the Town changed its rules to ensure that only Porter residents could buy permits the first two days they were on sale.

Winkler said he was one of the first people in line and did not get a permit when what was left over, only 60 permits, went on sale to people outside of Porter last March. Winkler said one issue he noticed is that some people ahead of him had brought licenses and vehicle registrations for other people and were buying as many as seven or eight permits at a time.

Winkler and Swetalla didn’t suggest the Town stop giving Porter residents first dibs, but instead implored the Council to sell more permits. Both men said the parking lot is often underutilized during off-peak times. Council President Greg Stinson and Vice-president Bill Lopez both said they have observed the same.

Stinson said selling more permits shouldn’t overcrowd the lot, since the Town already sells far more permits than there are parking spaces. “A permit doesn’t guarantee you a space. People know that its first come first serve,” he said.

Council member Erik Wagner said he thinks getting another 100 permits is a great idea. The Council was in consensus in having Pomeroy ask about additional permits.

As for people buying permits for multiple households, Stinson said the Council is addressing that with a new provision governing the sale of beach permits.

“It did slow things down, and we recognize that,” Stinson said.

Later on, the Council conducted a first reading of an ordinance to amend Town Code regarding the sale of beach permits. The rates for permits haven’t changed, and Porter residents will still have first dibs the first two days the permits are sold, but those who buy cannot buy more than two permits per address and cannot buy for more than two households. The total number that any one person may walk away from the line with at one time is four permits.

Stinson noted the wording of the ordinance does allow for people who have bought four permits to buy more, but they may only do so after going to the end of the line and waiting again.

The Council will conduct a second reading to pass the ordinance at its next meeting.

The prices for permits remain the same as last year: $10 for seniors, $20 for Town employees, $30 for Porter residents, $60 for Indiana residents outside of Porter, and $100 for those out of state. Stinson made a reminder that elected Town officials, such as the Council members, do not get Town employee pricing.

Permits go on sale for residents Monday, March 11 and Tuesday, March 12. Those outside of Porter can buy what is left on March 13. Town employees can buy during a presale on the preceding Friday.

Stinson reminded residents to check their licenses and registrations to make sure their legal addresses are correct. Stinson said sometimes licenses for Porter residents will say Chesterton in error, due to the Towns sharing the same zip code. Stinson said any Porter residents with such a mistake on their licenses cannot be sold permits on Monday or Tuesday.



Posted 1/23/2019




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