PORTER | The Porter Town Council unanimously adopted a resolution to establish a riverfront district around the Little Calumet to revive the shuttered Spa restaurant.
Council President Greg Stinson said the district “will include an area not more than 1,500 feet around Mineral Springs Road, containing The Spa restaurant."
The purpose of this is to allow for liquor licenses, to allow a prospective owner of The Spa to go to the state for a liquor license to get the restaurant back up and running.
The property was originally built in 1928, rebuilt in 1955 and in 1987 owners added the Banquet Center. The Spring House Inn is still open for business, but the restaurant facility closed in 2002.
Stinson said that every resident he has talked to has expressed interest in seeing the restaurant opened again and there is a prospective buyer.
“The interested party is from Northwest Indiana and is familiar with what The Spa once was and is interested in bringing it back to its former glory,” Stinson said.
“It’s great for the whole area to grow that corridor over there,” said David Wodrich, who is also owner of multiple restaurants in downtown Chesterton.
In other business, former council member Jon Granat asked the council for clarification on an ordinance to recover fire protection costs.
He asked why the ordinance only billed those who are customers of Indiana American Water in the town since two-thirds of the town’s homes receive their water from wells.
“There is no mechanism for the town to bill it any other way. Under state code the only thing that is allowed is for Indiana American Water to bill it,” Council Vice President Elka Nelson said.
Granat argued those who are not customers of Indiana American Water, including those with wells, receive fire protection but will not have to pay this fee.
“This fee is for water used from the hydrant,” said attorney Gregory Sobkowski, but Granat said that those with wells will still have a fire doused by water from the same source, via pump trucks or other methods.
“I know the town can’t afford it, but you’re putting it on us then? You think I can afford it? How do I proceed with trying to get this changed because I don’t think this is fair,” asked Granat and he was told to approach the legislature for a change in state code.
The council unanimously approved the ordinance.
Park Superintendent Jim Miller reported that Joe McHugh had completed his Eagle Scout project at Hawthorne Park with the construction of a 10 by 12 observation deck north of Ackerman Drive overlooking wetlands.