TOWN OF PINES | Although town officials are not able to determine exactly when the town of Pines was incorporated, the town of only 2.26 square miles is still home to 708 people and 302 households, according to the last census, and Clerk-treasurer Sandra Hall assures all, it definitely is a town.
“Looking through the records, the earliest I could find came from the 1950s, but we can't seem to determine exactly when we were incorporated. But we are an official town and have a budget,” said Hall, who has served in her post since 2003.
That budget provides for town residents, and Hall says they have a number of services that deliver an excellent quality of life.
“Our street department takes care of all of the plowing and mowing at our parks, and our residents don’t have to pay for garbage pickup," Hall said. "We have two parks, the Whitey Wardean Park with playground equipment, basketball and restroom facilities, and the Pines Park, which also has playground equipment. We don’t have a public sewer, and in the long term it’s something we’d like to look at, but the cost doesn't allow us to at this time. We have municipal water through Michigan City.”
Hall said a big improvement has come with construction of the new Town Hall.
“We built a new Town Hall in 2011 and the old one was built in the 1970s," she said. "We've turned the old building into a garage which is perfect for our equipment. The new building is brick and provides an office for the clerk treasurer, a kitchenette for our polling place during voter season, two handicapped bathrooms, and a large meeting room which is a little larger and much nicer than the older one. It’s called the Whitey Wardean Town Hall, named after the first police officer in the town when the town had a police department. Now we use the Porter County police.
"The new Town Hall is great for organization purposes, too, because in the past we always used to have to change addresses for our mail every time the clerk-treasurer changed. They would use their home as their office. Now all of the mail will come here, and it will be more secure. The new Town Hall is all paid for with cash, so we have no debt,” Hall said.
Town officials and council members will be busy in the coming month as they plan for the future.
“In December we received a grant from the Regional Development Authority, so we will be working on a comprehensive plan for the town," Hall explained. "We have never had a comprehensive plan for the town, so this will be very useful in guiding the town into the future.”