Chesterton Tribune



Quotes in for Hawthorne Park improvements

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The Porter Town Council took bids for improvements at Hawthorne Park under advisement at its meeting Tuesday night.

Parks Director Brian Bugajski had previously told the Council that the Community Center at Hawthorne needs new HVAC systems and the basketball court needs to be torn-out and redone. The Council has so far allocated $75,000 from its $830,000 General Obligation (GO) bond for parks projects.

Bugajski reported he got four quotes for the HVAC work, and the low quote came from Tin Man’s HVAC, out of Porter, for $17,000. That covers the removal of three defunct HVAC systems and installation of two new ones, using brand name, warrantied equipment.

For the basketball court, one company doesn’t handle all the work needed, so Bugajski broke the project down into sections. For removal of old asphalt, site prep, and installation of new 4-inch thick asphalt, Town and Country came back with the low quote of $37,000, which was the sum of $6,000 for removal, $4,500 for site prep, and $26,500 for just under 11,000 square feet of asphalt. For servicing and striping the court lines with a dual color coat, the low bidder was ARS Sportmaster, out of South Bend, for $11,500. For removal of equipment and installation of four new poles and hoops with acrylic backboards, the low bidder was Supreme Sports, out of St. Charles, Ill., for $9,320.

The total cost of rehabbing the basketball courts, based on those quotes, comes to $57,820. The basketball court and HVAC project come to a total of $74,820.

The Council opted not to take action on the quotes Tuesday. Council member Brian Finley and Council Vice-president Bill Lopez said they wanted more time to consider the proposals. The Council will take up the issue again at the April 23 meeting.

In other Parks business, Bugajski made a reminder that the Easter Egg Hunt at Hawthorne is this Saturday, April 13 at 11 a.m. Bugajski said he’s looking for volunteers to help at the event, and thanked the Duneland seniors for helping fill 5,000 eggs with candy.

The Council approved Bugajski to use $1,000 from LIT to help offset the cost of $2,500 in new supplies for Rebuilding Together Duneland.


The Council passed an amendment to the Porter zoning map to reflect the recently approved rezone of 6 Franklin Street.

The Council then passed on first reading an ordinance creating a fund for receiving and spending the proceeds of a Lake Michigan Coastal Grant Bugajski secured for the Parks Department. A second reading will take place at the April 23 Council meeting.

The Council conducted a second reading of, and adopted, ordinance 2019-05. The returned checks ordinance stipulates that if residents trying to pay Town fees bounce two checks or have credit or debit cards rejected twice, they will have to pay by cash or money order going forward.

Fire Department

Fire Chief Jay Craig reminded residents that almost all open burning is illegal, despite the Town’s ordinance on open burning, which is more lenient than Porter County’s and the State’s

“If you read our Town ordinance, it may give you a false sense that its okay,” Craig said. Craig noted the Lake Michigan shore area has different state environmental regulations on things like open burning than other areas of the state might have.

Council President Greg Stinson said the Council will have to amend that ordinance as soon as possible to get Porter’s rules in line with State code.

Police Department

Police Chief Jamie Spanier reported it was a good thing the Town ordered their new police vehicles early, because there’s been a hitch in the building process. Spanier said the Town may end up waiting just as long as it did last year, despite ordering early, because there’s an issue with the company that supplies transmissions for the vehicles.

Building Department

Building Commissioner Michael Barry reported the Town’s contract with Haas & Associates for engineering has been modified following their discovery that one of the Town’s sewers going south toward Chesterton has a flaw. Haas has also recommended taking the opportunity to increase the sewer’s capacity in case of potential future development.

Fixing the sewer will involve adding a bypass in the line going down Waverly Road. Barry said this option is the least damaging way to make the improvements because it won’t involve bringing a new line under the Amtrak railroad line or the Little Calumet River, both of which would require costly permits and fees.

The original contract with Haas & Associates was $23,400, and the addition for the sewer work is $27,400, bringing the new contract total to $50,800.

Volunteer for trash pickups

Public Works Supervisor Brenda Brueckheimer reported her crew has informally started Spring Clean-Up, though the official go-live date is Monday, April 15. Brueckheimer directed residents with questions to the Public Works page on the Town website, which has a new section for 2019 Spring Clean-Up rules.

Brueckheimer also encouraged residents to volunteer at two trash pick-up days. First up is the Alliance for the Great Lakes event for National Beach Clean-Up Day on Saturday, April 20. The event starts at 9 a.m. at Porter Beach.

The next event is a roadside trash pick-up in Porter on Saturday, April 27 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Brueckheimer said Public Works is looking for as many volunteers as they can get.

Volunteers should meet at the Public Works building, 550 W. Beam Street.



Posted 4/11/2019




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