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Building A Better Future

Find information about Porter County Government's major projects and initiatives to help build a better future for our citizens. 

Dec 14

Public Input Requested For The Investment of American Rescue Plan Act Funds

Posted on December 14, 2021 at 7:52 PM by Curt Ellis

Commissioners Seek Input On ARP Funds Page Banner

The Porter County Board of Commissioners is seeking input from the the citizens of Porter County regarding the investment of the $33,096,066.00 allocated to Porter County under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) of 2021. (You can also download a PDF version of the content on this page HERE)

Generally, ARP provides that funds may be used as follows:

  1. INFRASTRUCTURE: To make necessary investments in water, sewer or broadband infrastructure.
  2. COVID RESPONSE: To respond to the public health emergency or its negative economic impacts, including aid to impacted industries such as tourism, travel and hospitality or assistance to households, small businesses, and non-profits.
  3. PREMIUM PAY: To respond to workers performing essential work during the COVID-19 public health emergency by providing premium pay to eligible workers.
  4. REDUCTION IN REVENUES: For the provision of government services to the extent of the reduction in revenue due to the COVID-19 public health emergency relative to revenues collected in the most recent full fiscal year prior to the emergency.

You can view and/or download the complete ARP Interim Final Rule published by the US Department of Treasury, along with more detailed information about permissible uses of the ARP funds HERE

The Department of Treasury is distributing the ARP funds in two tranches. The first tranche of $16,548,033.00 was received on May 25, 2021. The second tranche will be distributed in 2022. Accordingly, the Porter County Board of Commissioners have developed a PART ONE plan for the first distribution of funds. The PART TWO plan has not yet been developed.


PART ONE PLAN

The Board of Commissioners, subject to appropriation by the County Council, has developed a plan to use the first tranche of funds ($16,548,033) as is listed below. The Commissioners are seeking public input on these designated uses.

  • INFRASTRUCTURE:
    • Porter County Storm Water Management Board: Up to $4,000,000 for critical storm water infrastructure projects including Stimson Ditch and Shorewood drainage system.
  • COVID RESPONSE (RESPONDING TO COVID-19):
    • Behavioral Health: Up to $25,000 for initial mental health study;
    • Mitigation and Prevention: Up to $785,000 for:
      • Jury Assembly Room construction and furnishings;
      • Information Technology for Jail, Sheriff and Courts;
      • Architect fees for space planning to mitigate or prevent COVID
  • COVID RESPONSE (RESPONDING TO NEGATIVE IMPACTS):
    • Assistance To Impacted Industries, Including Tourism, Travel & Hospitality;
      • Up to $2,500,000 for completion of Marquette Trail;
      • Up to $5,500,000 for upgrades, including restrooms and flexible open space for patrons and employees to allow for social spacing at Memorial Opera House;
      • Up to $150,000 for building upgrades at the Indiana Dunes Welcome Center.
    • Assistance to households and individuals, and/or assistance to small business and non-profits negatively impacted by COVID:
      • Township Governments: Up to $500,000 divided by population, for assistance to households and individuals, and/or assistance to small business and non-profits negatively impacted by COVID or any other allowed use under the American Rescue Plan Act;
      • Porter County Redevelopment: Up to $1,000,000 for assistance to small businesses.
  • PREMIUM PAY:
    • Up to $1,200,000 for eligible employees. Each eligible employee would receive up to $4,000 premium pay.
  • INFRASTUCTURE:
    • Porter County Storm Water Management Board: Up To $4,000,000 for critical storm water infrastructure projects including Stimson Drain and Shorewood drainage system.

 

PART TWO PLAN

The Board of Commissioners will be working to develop a PART TWO PLAN for use of the second tranche of funds ($16,548,033) to be received in 2022.

 

PROVIDE YOUR INPUT

The public is encouraged to provide comments and suggestions to the Board of Commissioners regarding the PART ONE PLAN and PART TWO PLAN. Please NOTE: Recommendations should be consistent with the four categories of permissible uses as outline at the top of this page.

 To provide your input, go to SUBMIT ARP PUBLIC INPUT ONLINE FORM

Your comments and suggestions will be automatically forwarded to the Commissioners.

Dec 14

Notice Of DNR Next Level Trails Program Grant Application

Posted on December 14, 2021 at 8:54 AM by Curt Ellis

The Porter County Board of Commissioners are submitting a grant application for the DNR’s Next Level Trails Program for the construction of Phases 3 and 4 of the Marquette Greenway Trail.  This trail is intended to replace the Calumet Trail from Dune Park Train Station to Lake Shore County Road in Beverly Shores.  The 10-foot asphalt trail will be constructed on property owned by the Indiana Dunes National Park and will be upgrading existing footpaths and utilizing former roads through the Park. 

The Route

The general route from the Dune Park Train Station will be to utilize the an existing trail that connects the station to the Dunes Kankakee Trail, running adjacent to SR 49 over NICTD’s rail lines and US12.  The trail will then head east into NPS property, improving the Glenwood Dunes Extension Trail to Hadenfeldt Road, then north along Hadenfeldt Road to Furnessville Road, and east along Furnessville Road to the abandoned Teale Drive.  At Teale Drive, the trail will head north to US12, then running parallel to US 12 from Teale Drive to the USGS Center at Kemil Road.  It is proposed to improve the pedestrian crossing at US12 and construct a crossing at the South Shore Railroad.  Thence east along the NIPSCO Right of Way, and the existing Calumet Trail for approximately 700 feet to an existing abandoned roadway.  At this roadway, the trail will head north to the former Service Drive right of way, heading east to Broadway in Beverly Shores.  From Broadway to Lake Shore County Road, the trail will be constructed on abandoned roadways.  Porter County is working with the National Park Service Staff to meet Environmental Compliance requirements for the final alignment of the trail.

Trail Maps

This 6.89-mile segment of the greater Marquette Greenway Trail, Phases 3 and 4, along with the scheduled reconstruction of the Calumet Trail from Mineral Springs Road to Dune Park Train Station in 2022-2023 and the Calumet Trail from Lake Shore County Road to Michigan City’s Signing Sands Trail will complete Porter County’s connection of the Marquette Greenway Trail. You can view the maps by clicking on the options below:

Project area: Phases 3 and 4 of the Marquette Greenway Trail 

Marquette Greenway Trail Connections Map

Marquette Greenway Trail Project Area Tile One

Marquette Greenway Trail Project Area Tile Two

Marquette Greenway Trail Project Area Tile Three

Comments & Questions

Your comments and/or questions are welcome. To submit your comment and/or question online, please GO HERE.

Nov 19

Use Of Golf Carts & Other Like Vehicles On Highways And Roads Under The Jurisdiction Of The County

Posted on November 19, 2021 at 12:09 PM by Curt Ellis

Golf Card Ordinance Banner Image

On October 12, 2021, the Porter County Board of Commissioners approved an ordinance regarding the use of Golf Carts, Off-Road, and Other Like Vehicles on highways and roads under the jurisdiction of the County. You can read the ordinance below and/or DOWNLOAD & PRINT THE ORDINANCE. You can also VIEW A GIS MAP that shows which county roads that can and cannot be used by golf carts and off road vehicles.

PLEASE NOTE: This ordinance ONLY applies roads in unincorporated Porter County. Unincorporated means outside of the municipal boundaries of our cities and towns  Also, it DOES NOT APPLY to State Roads and US Highways.

THE ORDINANCE:

CHAPTER 10.28 GOLF CARTS, OFF-ROAD, AND OTHER LIKE VEHICLES

10.28.010:  Definitions

  1.  LICENSED PERSON. Any person holding a valid Indiana motor vehicle operator's license, or a comparable license issued by another state.
  2. GOLF CART. Any three or four-wheeled motor-powered vehicle: 
    1.  With a maximum design speed of not more than 35 mph;
    2. With a maximum weight not to exceed 2,200 pounds; and
    3. With the capacity to transport one or more persons from one place to another or for recreational use
  3. OFF ROAD-VEHICLE. Any four-wheeled motorized vehicle having either a side-by-side seating arrangement or straddled seating for which the state does not require registration and plating to utilize in going from one place to another for transportation or recreation. The term includes vehicles commonly referred to as all-terrain vehicles (ATV), side-by-side Vehicles (SxS), utility task vehicles (UTV), recreational off-highway vehicles, (ROV). 

 10.28.020: Equipment, Drivers Licences And Insurance Requirements.

  1. In addition to being in good operating condition, the Golf Cart, Off-Road, or other like vehicle must have the following:
    1. a windshield,
    2. seatbelts for use by the operator and all passengers, 
    3. an operating horn, 
    4. headlights, taillights, turn signals and brake lights visible from a distance of at least 500 feet,
    5. rearview mirror.
    6. a roof mounted amber or yellow flashing light, or a slow-moving triangle sign fixed on rear of the vehicle. 
  2. The Operator of a Low Speed or Off-Road Vehicle shall maintain insurance on the operation of the vehicle in the minimum amounts specified in I.C. 9-25-4-5.
  3. The Golf Cart, Off-Road, or other like Vehicle shall only be operated on roads, within the jurisdiction of Porter County, by licensed drivers.

 10.28.030: Regulartions

  1.  The utilization of Golf Carts, Off-Road Vehicles, or other like vehicles in and on the highways or roadways of the County (including highways in the state highway system) is prohibited where the posted speed limit is above thirty-five (35 mph) miles per hour. 
  2. The utilization of Golf Carts, Off-Road Vehicles, or other like vehicles is prohibited on the following county roads regardless of posted speed limit: 
    1. Division Road, Tower Road, Smoke Road, 700 North, 625 West, Calumet Road, Meridian Road, Joliet Road, 100 South, and Sedley Road. 
  3. No Golf Cart, Off-Road Vehicles, or other like vehicle may be operated on a state highway or a road under the jurisdiction of the county with a speed limit more than 35 miles per hour, other than to cross the state highway or county road with a speed limit more than 35 miles per hour, at a 90 degree angle (right angle) in order to travel from one County roadway to another County roadway and only when the operation can be done safely.
  4. Any permitted use shall still be subject to all state statutes and relevant County ordinances applicable to the operation of motor vehicles, including speed limits and parking restrictions
  5. The number of passengers permitted on any Golf Cart, Off-Road Vehicles, or other like vehicle may not exceed the number of passengers recommended by the Vehicle's manufacturer.
  6. Golf Carts shall only be operated between March 15 and October 31. Golf Carts shall only be operated between sunrise and sunset.
  7. Golf Carts may not operate, regardless of date, when there is one inch or more of snow accumulation.

 10.28.040: Enforcement

  1.  The Porter County Sheriff’s Department is authorized to enforce the terms and provisions of this Ordinance.

 10.28.050: Penalties

  1.  The first violation of this section shall subject the owner and/or operator of the golf cart to a fine of $100.00.
  2. A second violation of this section shall subject the owner and/or operator of the golf cart to a fine of $150.00.
  3. A third violation of this section shall subject the owner and/or operator of the golf cart to a fine of $200.00 and revocation of their operating permit for a term of one year from the date of the third violation.