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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. 

Nov 14

Winter Weather Road Conditions Communications Process

Posted on November 14, 2022 at 9:14 AM by Curt Ellis

Winter Weather Road Conditions Communications Process Page Banner

The Porter County Board of Commissioners has established a proactive communications process during winter weather events when road conditions deteriorate because of snow and/or icing. This process has been developed and refined over the past few years to assure that consistent and correct information is disseminated on a timely basis, both internally to necessary department stakeholders as well as externally to school district leadership and the public. You can download and/or print the detailed communications plan HERE.

Roads That Are Included In The Road Conditions Reports:

These road condition reports only apply to the roads maintained by the Porter County Highway Department. Porter County Highway Department is responsible for streets and roads in UNINCORPORATED Porter County. Unincorporated means outside the municipal boundaries of our cities and towns. State Roads and US Highways are also excluded as they are maintained by the Indiana Department of Transportation. You can find more information about who maintains which roads at WHO MAINTAINS WHICH ROADS

Road Conditions Updates Commmunications Process:

In order to prevent confusing or conflicting information being disseminated, ALL road condition updates are coordinated through a designated staff member in the Board of Commissioners’ office.

When the Highway Department deploys trucks, no matter the time of day or night, they will notify the Commissioners’ designee with a road conditions report along with the steps they are taking to address the conditions. For ongoing snow and/or ice events, the Highway Department will provide updates every two to three hours or as conditions require. Upon receiving the initial report or any updated information from the Highway Department, the Commissioners’ designee will provide the information to:

Sign Up To Get Winter Road Conditions Reports Via Text And/Or Email 

The public can SIGN UP FOR TRAVEL ALERT NOTICES and received them by email and/or text message.

Travel Alert Communications Process:

When conditions warrant, the Emergency Management Agency Director will notify the Commissioners’ designee when any Travel Alerts are declared, modified or ended. The Director will update the Indiana Department of Homeland Security Travel website and the Commissioners’ designee will provide the information to:

What Are Travel Alerts?

When road conditions deteriorate during winter weather conditions, the leadership at the Highway Department, Sheriff's Department and Emergency Management Agency consult to determine if those conditions warrant the issuance of Travel Alerts to notify the public of potentially dangerous situations. These Travel Alert Classifications will be used to inform the public about the conditions of roads in UNINCORPORATED Porter County. These classifications were designed to mirror the Travel Alert Classifications on the Indiana Department of Homeland Security website.

TRAVEL ADVISORY: The lowest level of local travel alert, it means that routine travel or activities may be restricted in areas because of a hazardous situation, and individuals should use caution or avoid those areas. Under a Travel Advisory, you should exercise caution in driving, or avoid driving if possible.

TRAVEL WATCH: A Travel Watch means that conditions are threatening to the safety of the public. During a Travel Watch advisory, only essential travel, such as to and from work or in emergency situations, is recommended.

TRAVEL WARNING: A Travel Warning means that the Porter County Board of Commissioners has declared a State Of Emergency. It also means that travel on roads in unincorporated Porter County is restricted to emergency management workers only. Under a Travel Warning, individuals are directed to refrain from all travel and comply with necessary emergency measures. 

The Plowing & Salting Process

One Time Snow Events: During one-time snow events, the Highway Department will plow/salt main thoroughfares and emergency routes, followed by side roads and subdivisions. 

Continuing Snow Events: During snow events that continue over a few days, the Highway Department’s focus will be plowing/salting main thoroughfares and emergency routes, with single passes through subdivisions when possible. When the snow event subsides, the Highway Department will do a complete clean up of all roads and streets. 

Cul-De-Sacs: Cul-de-sacs will be cleared by smaller trucks that can more easily maneuver the area. These drivers do their best to place the snow in an unobtrusive area. 

Driveways: Please understand that our plows cannot keep snow out of residents' driveways. Snow from the roadway is pushed from the center to the edges, and it is the homeowner's responsibility to clear the snow from the end of their driveway, as well as in front of the mailbox. This snow should not be placed back in the street. County Code prohibits property owners to place snow from their property (driveways, sidewalks, etc.) in the street. 

Help The Highway Department Help You!

During snow events, you can help the Highway Department clear your roads faster with these tips: 

  • Do your grocery shopping and errands BEFORE the snow starts;
  • The less traffic there is on the roads, the quicker the snow plows can clear them. So, avoid driving if possible;
  • Keep your parked cars off the roads and streets. The less obstacles to the snow plow drivers, the quicker the roads can be cleared. Remember it is a violation of County Code to park your car on the streets if there is a snowfall of 2" or more until the streets have been plowed. Violators may be subject to having their cars ticketed and/or towed at the owners expense.
  • Give snow plows a wide berth on the road, for your safety and theirs;
  • When clearing your driveways, do not push snow into the roads. It is a violation of County Code. Violators may be subject to civil fines.

Above all, please be patient. The Highway Department is responsible for plowing and salting over 815 miles of roads. Because they have to make at least two passes down every road (one each way), that comes to 1630 driving miles...the equivalent of plowing one lane from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Key West, Florida.

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.