PORTER | Duneland Business Initiative Group Vice President Laura Layman discussed upcoming festivals in Chesterton and Porter on Tuesday night during the Porter Town Council meeting.
Council President Elka Nelson had inquired about possible differences.
“We are all volunteers, no one gets paid a dime and you put in so many hours you could die. I wanted to clear that up," Layman said. "And we don’t pay Chesterton for police services during festivals, with the exception of the Oz Festival."
That was done because booths are out overnight and the attendance of that festival, she said.
"We truly only pay a small portion,” Layman said.
She said Porter's Family 4th Fest involves more police but “nothing got out of hand,” and the Porter Fire Department is on duty due to the evening fireworks.
“We’re coming to you to ask for whatever you can give and we do appreciate anything you give us because right now we only have a little money for advertising," she said. "We’ve tightened our budgets even tighter so whatever donations you can give, we are grateful."
Nelson said the town gave $1,000 last year and she inquired to see what the costs were for officers required for the parade and it is estimated that it is $650.
“The same week we reviewed our budget for beach officers and agreed to taper down the hours for beach patrol this year and instead use code enforcers we look at this request, so I suggest in-kind services this year and no charge for the use of Hawthorne Park,” Nelson said.
Other council members noted Hawthorne Park is the sponsor of the event.
“My concern is that last year was fantastic as the result of an influx of private donations after Chesterton chose not to fund the event,” Council Vice President Greg Stinson said.
Jeannine Virtue made a motion for a $650 in-kind donation of police services and $350 cash, which met with unanimous approval.
In other business, Nelson noted the Orchard pedestrian trail portion along Woodlawn is still being discussed and funding requires that NIRPC be involved.
“It is once again on hold. We want to consider some alternatives before proceeding,” Nelson said.