Portage Indiana Government Page

Portage Indiana Government Page This is the Official Government page for the City of Portage, Indiana.
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Operating as usual

The plows are filled with gas. The salt spreaders are packed full. Portage Street Department crews are ready for whateve...
01/25/2021

The plows are filled with gas. The salt spreaders are packed full. Portage Street Department crews are ready for whatever Mother Nature brings us this afternoon and overnight through Tuesday morning.
Be safe out there, drive carefully.
And, please remember, to help our snowplow crews efficiently clean our streets, do not park any vehicles in the street overnight. City code bans on street parking if there is an accumulation of 2 inches or more of snow.

Here's the National Weather Service's full forecast.

Winter Storm to Impact the Region Beginning This Afternoon and
Evening...

Including the cities of Crete, Peotone, Beecher, Gary, Hammond,
Merrillville, Portage, Valparaiso, and Chesterton

...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 4 PM THIS
AFTERNOON TO NOON CST TUESDAY...

* WHAT...Mixed precipitation expected, snow will likely be heavy
at times for a period this evening. Total snow accumulations of
3 to 6 inches and ice accumulations of a light glaze. Winds
gusting as high as 35 mph.

* WHERE...In Indiana, Lake IN and Porter Counties. In Illinois,
Eastern Will County.

* WHEN...From 4 PM Monday to noon CST Tuesday.

* IMPACTS...Plan on slippery road conditions. The hazardous
conditions could impact the morning or evening commute.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS...The snow will likely mix with or change to
freezing rain or freezing drizzle for a time this evening into
the overnight.

Sunday SpotlightEach Sunday we will feature a project going on within the city, happenings within a department or someon...
01/24/2021

Sunday Spotlight
Each Sunday we will feature a project going on within the city, happenings within a department or someone who works hard to provide services to the community. This week we look at what it takes to pick up trash and recycling throughout the city.

Last year, the city's sanitation department picked up 18,000 tons of trash, recycling and bulk material. That's 3,158 pounds per household annually or 61 pounds from the 11,400 residential stops made each week.
The city's sanitation department, headed by Street and Sanitation Department Superintendent Randy Reeder, completes the task in four days with 17 employees, including 11 designated drivers, five laborers and crew leader Dan Timmons. The crews utilize eight automated trucks for each day's pick-ups - four for trash and four for recycling.
Reeder said the department switched from five-day-a-week pick up to four days a week in 2013 when the city switched to full automation. The switch, he said, has allowed the crew to concentrate on other duties each Friday, including preventative maintenance on its equipment and being able to conduct roadside clean-ups. It's also saved the city on overtime, especially during a holiday week when crews had to work Saturdays to pick up trash and recycling under the old system.
Of the materials picked up, 19 percent is diverted from trash to recycling. That's about average for area municipalities. Prior to the implementation of the system, only 4 to 5 percent of the city's trash was diverted to recycling.
Recycling, said Reeder, has become more difficult as the worldwide market for recycled materials has changed. It's caused a crack down of sorts on what can be recycled.
Recycling is no longer a revenue maker for the city, as it once was, but, said Reeder it still saves the city money by offsetting landfill costs. Last year some 3,400 tons of waste was diverted to recycling. At a landfill dumping cost of just over $57 per ton, it saved the city approximately $194,000 in landfill costs. In 2020, landfill costs still topped $891,000.
"Trash is very expensive," said Reeder.
Recycling services are free to residents at this point, but Reeder said he sees the day when the city may have to charge for recycling services.
Because of the changes in what can and can't be recycled, his department began auditing green toters to make sure people are recycling the appropriate materials. Placing non-recyclables in the green toters "spoils" and entire truck of recyclable materials and drives up city costs. While the auditing was suspended this winter, Reeder said they will again begin auditing recycling for compliance in the spring.
The sanitation department has an ongoing educational process for residents on recycling, including sending a flyer to residents on what can and can't be recycled last fall. That flyer is attached to this post.
"It is very important to the continued success of the program that residents adhere to the recycling policy," said Reeder.
Once both commodities are picked up from residents, they are taken to the Republic Services transfer station in Lake Station and dumped in separate yards at the transfer station.
In addition to weekly trash and recycling pick up - which costs each household $19.25 per month - the department supports an amnesty day for residents each month. The amnesty day is a resident's first pick-up of each month. For a refresher on the department's amnesty day pick-ups, the bulk pick-up policy is also attached to this post.
Reeder said senior citizens, veterans and disabled residents may also seek discounts on the monthly trash fees.
The department adopted a new yard policy in 2020 (that policy is also attached here). The policy allows residents to bring grass bags, limbs, leaves, e waste and bulk items to the sanitation department headquarters on Hamstrom Road during regular business hours for disposal.
Reeder said he sees some possible changes to the trash and recycling routes come this summer due to the city's growth on the east side. Presently the Thursday route, which is on the east side of the city, is the busiest. Because of the residential growth, Reeder said his department will put together a plan this summer which could move some of the Thursday route to Tuesday pick-up.
Reeder also wants to remind residents of optimum toter placement on the curb to help make sanitation pick-ups as efficient as possible. The policy is also attached to this post.
Reeder said the department handles nearly 100 calls from residents each day. He suggests residents email the department at [email protected] as an alternative to calling.
More information on the department can also be found on its website at: portagein.gov/department/index.php?structureid=11

Planned road closure on Monday.
01/23/2021

Planned road closure on Monday.

On Monday January 25th from 7:00am until 4:00pm (weather permitting) Central Avenue will be close between McCool Road and Prairie Run Drive for sewer work. North/South traffic on McCool Road should not be effected by this. Central Avenue traffic please use an alternate route.

Here is the latest COVID-19 update from the Porter County Health Department. Porter County remains at COVID Alert Level ...
01/19/2021
COVID Alert Level Red | Porter County, IN - Official Website

Here is the latest COVID-19 update from the Porter County Health Department. Porter County remains at COVID Alert Level Red.

Find information about the County's current COVID COLOR LEVEL along with information about special measures and restrictions based on the Color Level, general requirements for individuals, businesses and gatherings & events, along with the Governor's Executive Order.

Mayor Sue Lynch is encouraging everyone age 70 and over to schedule their vaccination for COVID-19.Lynch received her fi...
01/19/2021

Mayor Sue Lynch is encouraging everyone age 70 and over to schedule their vaccination for COVID-19.
Lynch received her first round of the vaccination on Monday and reported no side effects. The experience, said Lynch, was quick, easy and painless.
Persons age 70 and over may schedule their vaccinations through the Indiana Department of Health's ourshot.in.gov website or by calling 2-1-1.
There are currently four vaccination sites in Porter County, including NorthShore Health Centers, 6050 Sterling Creek Road, Portage; the Porter County Department of Health site at the Porter County Expo Center, 215 E. Division Road, Valparaiso; NorthShore Health Centers, 407 W. Indiana Ave., Chesterton or HealthLinc Valparaiso, 1001 Sturdy Road, Valparaiso.
Additional vaccination sites are expected to be added as the vaccination efforts continue. Porter County residents may also schedule appointments in other counties. Currently, there are some 14 vaccination sites available in Lake County.
For more information on the vaccination roll out, visit the Indiana Department of Health website at: coronavirus.in.gov
The Porter County Department of Health website, porterco.org/1598/Coronavirus-COVID-19-Updates, also provides information on the local vaccination implementation plan as well as important information on the status of cases, testing and other virus-related issues.
The Portage Township YMCA is offering assistance in scheduling appointments through their St. Mary's nurses. For more information or assistance, call the Portage Township YMCA at 219-762-9622.

All city offices will be closed today, Monday, Jan. 18, in recognition of Martin Luther King Day.Trash and recycling rou...
01/18/2021

All city offices will be closed today, Monday, Jan. 18, in recognition of Martin Luther King Day.
Trash and recycling routes will run one day late this week, Tuesday, Jan. 19 through Friday, Jan. 22.

Sunday SpotlightEach Sunday we will feature a project going on within the city, happenings within a department or someon...
01/17/2021

Sunday Spotlight
Each Sunday we will feature a project going on within the city, happenings within a department or someone who works hard to provide services to the community. Today we talk to Director of Planning and Community Development A.J. Monroe about the role of the Redevelopment Commission in the city.

Look around the city of Portage. Founders Square, Fire Station 3, the recently completed road project on Willowcreek Road and Central Avenue -- all are projects sponsored by the city's Redevelopment Commission (RDC).
The RDC is an unique group, yet used by nearly every municipality in the State of Indiana to redevelop property or spur economic development within a specifically outlined district in a city or town.
The state-authorized entity, said the city's Director of Planning and Community Development A.J. Monroe is charged with creating what is known as a Tax Increment Financing or TIF district, and creating plans for the redevelopment of property within that district. Portage has one TIF district.
The RDC is funded multiple ways. It collects the increment property taxes within the district. For example, if the property tax on a piece of land is $10 prior to being included in the district, the RDC can collect property taxes above that $10 after the property is included in the district.
The funds are then used to redevelop or improve properties within the district.
The RDC also gains revenues from the purchase and sale of lands and from leasing RDC-owned property. For example, in recent years, Portage's RDC has purchased blighted properties along U.S. 20, such as the former Don's Motel. That land is marketed for resale and, when sold, the funds return to the RDC. The RDC also owns the NIRPC building on the north side of the city and collects funds from leasing the building. RDC revenues also come from bank interest, tax abatement fees and utility reimbursements, said Monroe.
The RDC can also issue bonds to finance larger projects in the city.
Much of the downtown Portage improvements over several years were sponsored and funded by the RDC, including the new fire station, police station, Founders Square and its amphitheater and the infrastructure supporting the development.
The RDC also partnered with Holladay Properties in the development of AmeriPlex at the Port.
In 2021, the RDC will be tackling several projects. It is the sponsor of the Central Avenue West Phase 1 project, which will improve Central Avenue between Swanson and Willowdale roads. The RDC will also be sponsoring the next phase of the Marquette Greenway Trail at AmeriPlex; the repaving of the Willowcreek Road Bypass from the Indiana Toll Road to Old Porter Road; the extension of Robbins Road west of Willowcreek Road; remodeling of City Hall (a joint project between the RDC and city) and the next phase of development at Founders Square.
Members of the RDC are Mayor Sue Lynch, Ralph Mundt, Greg Lach, City Councilman Collin Czilli and Allen Eckdahl. Portage Township School Board Member Shaunna Finley is a non-voting member of the commission.
For more information on the city's RDC, visit its website at: https://www.portagein.gov/department/board.php?structureid=187

The Indiana Department of Health announced this morning that Hoosiers age 70 and older can now begin scheduling appointm...
01/13/2021

The Indiana Department of Health announced this morning that Hoosiers age 70 and older can now begin scheduling appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine.
Please see their press release below (NOTE: The governor's press conference will be held at 1:30 Central Time):

INDIANAPOLIS — Hoosiers age 70 and older can now begin scheduling appointments to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.


Appointments can be scheduled by visiting https://ourshot.in.gov. Those needing assistance with registration can call 211 or one of Indiana’s Area Agencies on Aging. A caregiver or loved one also may make an appointment on behalf of an eligible senior.


More information will be provided during Governor Holcomb’s weekly press conference at 2:30 p.m. today. The press conference will be live-streamed at https://vimeo.com/event/356296

Sunday SpotlightEach Sunday we will feature a project going on within the city, happenings within a department or someon...
01/10/2021

Sunday Spotlight
Each Sunday we will feature a project going on within the city, happenings within a department or someone who works hard to provide services to the community. Today we talk to Building Commissioner Doug Sweeney and the role of the building department in the city.

The city's building department is here to serve residents, first and foremost, said Building Commissioner Doug Sweeney.
In its three basic roles -- issuing licenses to contractors, issuing building or improvement location permits and conducting inspections -- the goal is to make sure residential projects, as well as commercial and industrial projects, meet building codes and are constructed to minimum workmanship standards.
Sweeney said the building department should be a resident's first stop when they are considering a property improvement.
"We want residents to bring in a plan for what they want to do," said Sweeney. Staff review the plans to make sure they meet zoning requirements. If the plans meet city code, projects can be granted a building or improvement location permit, If they don't.
"They can get all the help they need from the department," said Sweeney, adding his most important piece of advice is to come and talk to the employees before they begin their improvement.
"You give us your plan and we can tell you what you need to do. We'll help you tweak it to meet code," he said.
suggestions can be made to bring them into compliance. Larger or more complicated projects can be referred to the planning department, especially if variances are needed.
All construction is regulated by state-adopted building codes as well.
"Everything we issue a permit for, should have inspections," said Sweeney, adding once a permit is issued, the resident will be provided information on scheduling inspections.
Inspections, said Sweeney, are protection for homeowners to make sure improvements that are being made meet building codes and workmanship standards.
"This is your property, but it is not going to be your property forever," he said, explaining the inspections make sure the project is being done in compliance not only for the present property owner, but for anyone who might purchase the property in the future.
Each year employees license some 1,100 contractors, whether they are doing one job in the city or are city based and conduct ongoing business within the city. Some trades, such as carpentry, electrical and HVAC, require one principal in the company pass a licensing test. Other contractors, while not having to be tested, must still be licensed. Licensing requires the companies to be bonded and carry liability insurance. An exception, plumbing companies, are licensed by the state.
This past year has been fairly busy despite COVID-19 requiring much of the department's business being conducted via email, telephone or appointments, said Sweeney.
The department issued in excess of 100 permits for new home construction. That has been a fairly steady number for the last four years. Commercial construction was also steady in 2020.
In addition to Sweeney, who has served as building commissioner for about 13 years, the department employees three full-time and one part-time clerical employees and two part-time inspectors.
The department is funded through the fees collected for various permits.
"By state statue we are not a revenue source for the city. Fees are structured to cover the cost of the department," said Sweeney.
More information on the building department can be obtained by calling the department at 219-762-4204 or by going to the department's website at https://www.portagein.gov/department/index.php?structureid=9

Please be aware of this scam.
01/08/2021

Please be aware of this scam.

Yesterday our officers took a report from an elderly victim of a telephone scam. The suspect in this case claimed to be a DEA agent who had recovered a vehicle registered to our victim that contained narcotics. Due to this there were now active warrants for our victim’s arrest. The “agent” asked for our victim’s DOB and social-security number to ensure he was speaking with the right person. At this point the “agent” assured our victim that he was not the suspect the DEA was looking for but that he was likely the victim of identity theft perpetrated by drug smugglers. The “agent” then told the victim he needed to quickly remove the money from his checking account and place it onto gift cards in order to protect it from the same people who stole his identity. The victim did this and provided the gift card information to the “agent” resulting in a significant monetary loss.

We want to remind everyone that no legitimate law enforcement agency will ask you to purchase gift cards. If there is ever a doubt that a caller is not a legitimate law enforcement officer please hang up and call that agency back on their published public telephone line or even your local police department to determine the legitimacy of a phone call you might receive. These scams generally target the elderly so please talk with your older friends and family about these types of incidents.

Address

6070 Central Ave
Portage, IN
46368

General information

The City of Portage Indiana is a City of Pride. Mayor: Sue Lynch Clerk Treasurer: Nina Rivas The City currently has 7 City Council Members including: Council At-Large: Debbie Podgorski Council At-Large: Ferdinand Alvarez First District: Gina Giese-Hurst Second District: Patrick Clem Third District: Scott Williams Fourth District: Brian Gulley Fifth District: Collin Czilli

Telephone

(219) 762-5425

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Comments

I needed information on how to stop spam phone calls calling to land lines in portage? My mother is getting so many that she has unplugged her landline. 
Can someone please post where and when people should register for the COVID-19 vaccine?
Does code red mean everything closes
City of Portage why am I still waiting for the city to remove 2 cars from my park that we're tagged over 2 months ago?
I have some household batteries I need to recycle. Can I still bring them to City Hall?
Question... Is the City of Portage/Portage City Hall endorsing/allowing this event (allowing Trump supporters to use the disguise event as Back The Blue/Support first responders) to park/use their parking lot and sell their merch as stated on the events page?
Thank you to the City of Portage Building Department for looking out for their citizens against fraudulent contractors - especially roofing contractors - Words alone cannot convey our sincerest gratitude. Your building inspector is outstanding - thank you
Who do we contact about a very large family of raccoons?
What was going on yesterday afternoon at Willowcreek and Central? I get alarmed when I see open carrying of assault weapons and Hawaiian shirt Boogaloo Boys!
The four-way Stop just north of Central by Strack's, in the parking lot, isn't working as a four-way Stop. People blow through the stop signs repeatedly or go when it's not their turn. Is it possible to put a Stop sign in the middle of that intersection? This is near the pet store. Maybe drivers aren't seeing the four stop signs. Thank you.
Saw this in my feed. Not sure where it is but am appalled that this literally looks ghetto. Portage Government, please do something!
Why in the world is a union rep of a federal agencie discussing city business at tonight's city council meeting. Oh i can answer that. It's called political grandstanding.