Chesterton Tribune



Porter Town Council eyes accessible ramp for Indian Springs Park

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Porter Parks Director Brian Bugajski is looking to make Indian Springs Park more accessible.

Last night, the Porter Town Council approved Bugajski to release a request for quotes (RFQ) for an engineering firm to start work on the Lake Pratt Accessible Ramp Planning Project.

The only parking lot at Indian Springs is set on a hill overlooking the park. There is one entrance to the park, and only one path down to the shore of Lake Pratt and the park’s greenspace: a wooden staircase down the hill.

Whatever company comes back with the most attractive quote will be tasked with conducting a land survey, determining the safest and most economical path from the parking lot to the lakefront, and providing drawings of that design.

“The goal is to make an accessible path down to the lakefront,” Bugajski said, noting the project fits the long-range plan for Porter’s parks that he authored and the Council approved last year. “It dovetails right in.”

The cost of the planning will be offset by a $5,000 Lake Michigan Coastal Program matching grant the Porter Parks Department was awarded last year.

Bugajski said he hopes to have plans for the ramp by June and present them to the Council over the summer. “Once we have the plan in place, we can go after more funding down the road for implementation,” he said.

If the Council moves forward with the project after the presentation, Bugajski said the “absolute earliest” construction on the ramp could start would be 2020.


Fire Chief Jay Craig reported the PFD had 48 calls in December, bringing the 2018 total to a record 685 calls. Craig noted that was 180 more calls than they had in 2017.

Craig also renewed his call for locals to enroll in the District 1 Fire Academy, which begins the first week of February, and join the PFD.

Firefighter of the month is Ryan Born.

Building Commissioner Michael Barry, reporting in Public Works Supervisor Brenda Brueckheimer’s absence, reported organized leaf and brush pick-up has ended, but if residents bag their leaves, the Town will pick up the bags. Also, Republic Services will pick up bundled brush tied in bundles of no more than four feet by four feet.

Barry reminded residents not to rake leaves to the curb or into the street, not to leave brush in the street, and to follow the brush rules on the Public Works page of the Town website,

New Business

The Council conducted a first reading of an amended version of the 2019 salary ordinance because compensation for one position was incorrect in the first version. Second reading is scheduled for the next meeting, Jan. 22.

The Council appointed department heads and Council liaisons and made appointments to boards and commissions. All department heads were reappointed. They are: Jay Craig, Fire Department; Jamie Spanier, Police Department; Brian Bugajski, Parks Department; Brenda Brueckheimer, Public Works Department; and Michael Barry, Building Department.

Council Vice-president Bill Lopez is the liaison to the Parks Department. Council member Ross LeBleu is liaison to the Fire Department. Council member Erik Wagner is liaison to the Police Department. Council member Brian Finley is liaison to Public Works, and Council President Greg Stinson is Town Hall liaison.

For boards and commissions, the Council started by joining Chesterton and Burns Harbor in reappointing Lisa Woodrich to the Tourism Board. The Council appointed Jim Burge to the Board of Zoning Appeals and Jeff Huckabee to the Police Commission. For the Plan Commission, the Council appointed Erik Wagner, Jay Craig, and Jamie Spanier. Lopez was reappointed to the Stormwater Board. All five seats on the Redevelopment Commission were up, and Stinson, Lopez, Finley, Wagner, and Tara Duffie will fill them.

Up next were annual contracts. The Council renewed its contracts with: Town Planner Jim Mandon, Porter Volunteer Firefighters, and the following engineering companies: Haas & Associates, Abonmarche, Global Engineering.

For financial services, the Town renewed its contract with Umbaugh. For IT services, the Town renewed its contract with Innovative Technology Services. The Town also renewed contracts MCR Partners, for consulting, and Nora Wiergartz, for Human Resources work. None of the contracts increased in price or had significant changes in their terms for 2019, according to Stinson.


Posted 1/9/2019




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