Buidlding A Better Future For Porter County page banner

Building A Better Future

Find information about Porter County Government's major projects and initiatives to help build a better future for our citizens. 

Oct 25

Porter County Government 2021 Subdivision Paving Projects Are COMPLETED!

Posted on October 25, 2021 at 12:22 PM by Curt Ellis

Subdivision Paving Projects Update


PROJECT UPDATE AS OF 10/25/21


On October 20th, Rieth-Riley paved the final street of the 2021 Subdivision Paving Projects! Plus, due to tight project controls by the County, THREE additional subdivisions were added to the original list of nineteen subdivisions. Scroll down for a description of the Subdivision Paving Projects and information about how subdivisions were selected and the funding used to complete the projects.


THE FINAL PROJECT LIST:

OrderSubdivision
Status
1Heritage ValleyCompleted (awaiting minor clean-up).
2Hawthorne HillCompleted (awaiting minor clean-up).
4Edwardsville ManorCompleted (awaiting minor clean-up).
5Sager EstatesCompleted (awaiting minor clean-up).
6WoodviewCompleted (awaiting minor clean-up).
7Willow Heights
Completed (awaiting minor clean-up).
8Whispering HillsCompleted (awaiting minor clean-up).
9Warren WoodsCompleted (awaiting minor clean-up).
10Wedgewood ParkCompleted (awaiting minor clean-up).
11Lexington FarmsCompleted (awaiting minor clean-up).
12Tanner Trace
Completed (awaiting minor clean-up).
13Wind Ridge
Completed (awaiting minor clean-up).
14Glenwood Hills
Completed (awaiting minor clean-up).
15Summerhill
Completed (awaiting minor clean-up).
16Forest View
Completed (awaiting minor clean-up).
17Goodview Estates
Completed (awaiting minor clean-up).
18Lamplight Lane
Completed (awaiting minor clean-up).
19Rillstone Pointe
Completed (awaiting minor clean-up).
20Five Points Acres
Completed (awaiting minor clean-up).
21Pheasant Hills
Completed (awaiting minor clean-up).
22Seasons View
Completed (awaiting minor clean-up).
23Morgan Estates
Completed (awaiting minor clean-up).

Due to tight cost controls, the three new subdivisions highlighted in gold were added to the paving project list! They were next on our worst condition list of subdivisions.


Subdivision Paving Projects Plan Summary

Over the past few years, Porter County Government has increased its focus on improvement and preservation of the over 800 miles of roads in unincorporated areas of the County. Unincorporated means areas that are outside the municipal boundaries of our cities and towns. This has included:

  • Chip & Seal on 130 miles of side roads. Chip & Seal is a common pavement maintenance practice that extends pavement life and provides a good driving surface. Chip & seal applications were done in-house by the Porter County Highway Department, providing a 55% cost savings when compared to using outside contractors.
  • In 2020 and 2021, nearly $3.9 million in reconstruction and paving projects on high traffic major thoroughfares and arterial roads through the Indiana Community Crossing Matching Grant (CCMG) program. 50% of the cost was paid by the state and 50% by the County.
  • All of these projects were funded WITHOUT imposing a wheel tax on residents of unincorporated Porter County or increasing the county’s property tax rate.

In late 2020, the County began to examine the approximately 202 miles of streets in the over 300 subdivisions in unincorporated areas. These subdivisions include small one-street developments up to mega-developments such as South Haven and Shorewood. Recognizing that many of these developments were over 30 years old, the County began to formulate a plan to expand its road & street improvement programs to include subdivisions.

The Porter County Highway and Engineering team conducted an assessment of the structural and ride conditions of the streets in each of the 300 subdivisions.  Based on the data acquired in the assessments, a priority rating was assigned to each subdivision. Using the priority rating, the County established a ranking system that determined the worst to best subdivisions based on overall street conditions. 

Upon examination of the highest priority subdivisions, it became clear that action needed to be taken.  Using a “worst first” approach, the 17.2 miles of streets in the 19 highest priority subdivisions were targeted for repaving. 

“This rating system will provide the roadmap for future repaving projects in our subdivisions,” said Board of Commissioners President Jeff Good. “The “worst first” priority rating system is a purely objective process based on data and evidence. This is how good government works.”

With a cost of approximately $175,000 per mile, the estimated price tag to complete the 19 subdivisions is $3 million. The Board of Commissioners and County Council worked together to identify possible funding sources for these projects. After reviewing several different options, the two bodies unanimously agreed to allocate $3 million in funding from the Porter County Government Non-Profit Charitable Foundation’s investment earnings. 

“Funding of the subdivision paving program is another example of the continuing collaboration between the County Council and Board of Commissioners to achieve common goals,” said County Council President Jeremy Rivas. “Projects like this normally could not take place without an increased cost to taxpayers, but with the sound fiscal investment policy of the Porter County Government Foundation’s Board, the County has been able to keep taxes low for all Porter County residents while investing in our infrastructure.”

A request for bids was announced, and the bids were received and opened at the July 13th Board of Commissioners meeting. Awarding of the contract will took place at their August 8th meeting.

The subdivisions ORIGINALLY included in this project, listed by “worst first” are:

Priority

Subdivision

# Miles

Township

Cost

1Warren Woods0.437Center$79,296
2Lamplight Lane0.197Morgan$34,394
3Five Points Acres0.223Pleasant$38,934
3Forest View Estates2.025Porter$353,547
3Goodview Estates0.249Porter$43,473
3Hawthorne Hills0.332Center$57,964
3Lexington Farms0.518Liberty$90,438
3Rillstone Pointe0.224Pleasant$39,108
3Sager Estates1.190Center$207,763
3Tanner Trace0.714Liberty$124,658
3Wedgewood Park0.586Center$102,310
3Woodview0.521Center$90,962
3Summerhill0.357Union$62,329
4Edwardsville Manor1.053Center$183,844
5Whispering Hills1.011Washington$176,512
6Wind Ridge0.878Liberty$153,291
7Willow Heights0.291Center$50,806
8Glenwood Hills1.952Center$340,802
9Heritage Valley4.425Center$772,566


2021 Subdivision Paving Project Photos

Photos of the 2021 Subdivisions Paving Projects



Warren Woods Subdivision #1

Crumbling road pavement in Warren Woods subdivision

Warren Woods Subdivision #2

Crumbling road pavement in Warren Woods subdivision

Heritage Valley Subdivision #1

Crumbling road pavement in Heritage Valley subdivision

Heritage Valley Subdivision #2

Crumbling road pavement in Heritage Valley subdivision

Glenwood Hills Subdivision #1

Crumbling road pavement in Glenwood Hills Subdivision

Glenwood Hills Subdivision #2

Crumbling road pavement in Glenwood Hills Subdivision


Jun 10

911 Moving To A New State Of The Art Dispatch Center

Posted on June 10, 2021 at 3:50 PM by Curt Ellis

Over the next 30 days, Porter County Central Communications (911) will be transitioning their department from their current location at the Porter County Sheriff’s building to a new state of the art dispatch center located at 157 Franklin Street in downtown Valparaiso. During this period, we will be testing and retesting equipment at the new location, making sure that the numerous and necessary redundancies are in place. When all testing is completed, we will split the dispatching staff and run operations out of both centers for a period of time to assure that no calls are missed.

Here is more information about the improvements and investments Porter County Government has made to serve our first responders and citizens. All of this was achieved while keeping your county property tax rate flat!

Basic Facts

  • 911 Primary Answering point for all calls in Porter County
  • Dispatches all Porter County Fire/EMS/Rescue, and eight of the ten Police agencies


New Systems 
These new systems were purchased by Porter County government to improve the current 911 technologies and provided better services to the residents and first responders:

  • Radio- Motorola 7500 p-25 Digital system-Provides better coverage for all field units improving better interoperability between all agencies
  • 911 Phones- Motorola CallWorks system that can be integrated with Radio and Computer Aided Dispatch System
  • Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD)-Migrating to Premier One by the end of 2021


Benefits of new center

  • Centrally located within Porter County which will allow for better access of Porter County police and fire departments to Porter County Central Communications.
  • Strong building structure that can withstand high winds and severe weather.
  • Building layout allows for Dispatch to have a dedicated area separate from Administration.
  • New state of the art HVAC system to provide exact cooling and heating needed for servers and 911 technologies.
  • Ten dispatch positions from Xybix Furniture which are ergonomic for the dispatcher and have been proven to improve dispatcher efficiency.
  • New dispatch positions also have a dedicated cable management system that improves upon the older out-of-warranty positions.
  • Dedicated Fiber line for improved reliability and increased data capacity. This allows for needed for newer technologies and future developments for Porter County.
  • New IT server room allows for a better managed cabling system.
  • Newer technologies utilized through fiber and Ethernet will allow Porter County to discontinue additional costs of older circuits and copper lines.
  • Capability to add advanced technologies to the new center such as access to current video feeds throughout Porter County.
  • Training room for 911, to be used for hosting local and regional training to improve services.
  • Purchase of the Premier One Computer Aided Dispatch system was required as the current. Tiburon Computer Aided Dispatch is at its “End of Life” and no longer supported by the vendor.
New systems are Next Generation 911 compliant. Integrating all systems and connectivity through Porter County’s purchases of these systems will allow dispatchers to provide better. services to the public and responders. Each system will provide advanced capabilities that were previously unavailable in prior systems. 


Photo Of New Dispatch Position:
Photo of New Dispatch Position At 911 Center

Photo of New Training Room:
Photo of New Training Room At 911 Center
Jun 08

Porter County Government Is Building Bridges!

Posted on June 8, 2021 at 2:02 PM by Curt Ellis

Porter County Government Advances Bridge Improvements With $15.5 Million In Grant Funding.

Over the past few years, most people have been aware of the $30 million invested in county owned buildings without a tax increase, and a $20 million investment in stormwater infrastructure improvements.  What has not received much attention is the County’s focus on the 132 bridges it is responsible for maintaining.

“Our citizens may not be aware that these 132 bridges are not just in unincorporated areas of the county,” said Commissioner Jim Biggs. “Many of them are along major thoroughfares in our cities and towns.” 

In 2017, a Highway Engineering team was established in the Department of Development & Storm Water, and a professional engineer and project manager were hired to develop and implement a new bridge asset management strategy. Based on the bridge rating study required by the Federal Highway Administration, it was clear that the county bridge infrastructure was deficient. The Commissioners began to allocate more money to its bridge fund while continuing to keep the county property tax rate flat. 

“We’ve approached the bridge problem the same way we have approached other major issues,” said Commissioner Laura Blaney. “We identified a need, hired top-notch professionals to address the need, developed a plan and found the funding.” 

In 2018, the county spent $625 thousand to provide preventative maintenance on 32 county bridges. In 2019, using $2.75 million of the $30 million of the capital upgrade plan, the three worst bridges were reconstructed. An additional $800 thousand was spent rehabilitating two major bridges in 2019. 

At the June 8
th Board of Commissioners’ meeting, Development & Storm Water Director Bob Thompson provided the Commissioners with a bridge progress update. As part of the update, Thompson also announced that $15.5 million in grant funding has been secured to rehabilitate or reconstruct 17 bridges in years 2021 through 2025. Eleven of those bridges are included on the list of the top 15 bridges in Porter County that require replacement. 

“Securing $15.5 million in grant funding to improve our bridges is historic,” said Commissioner Jeff Good. “Due to the efforts of Bob and his team, we are now able to dramatically improve our bridge infrastructure.”

Here is a drone photo of the current reconstruction of Bridge #62 which is County Road 625 West over the Kankakee River. This bridge ranks as the number one bridge on the list of county bridges that require replacement.

Photo of replacement of Bridge 62  Which Is County Road 625 West Over Kankakee River


You can view the slide show presentation below:

June 8 Bridge Update Slide Show Page 1

June 8 Bridge Update Slide Show Page 2

June 8 Bridge Update Slide Show Page 3

June 8 Bridge Update Slide Show Page 4

June 8 Bridge Update Slide Show Page 5

June 8 Bridge Update Slide Show Page 6

June 8 Bridge Update Slide Show Page 7

June 8 Bridge Update Slide Show Page 8