Neighborhood Workshop July 30
To further promote neighborhood engagement, the Community Engagement Department is hosting a Neighborhood Workshop on Tuesday, July 30 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Forest Park Welter Room. This workshop will provide another opportunity for neighborhood representatives to connect, learn from each other and become more familiar with available neighborhood services. The city will partner with Patty Keating of Purdue Extension to facilitate the meeting. In addition, Jodi Jackson will be sharing tips on volunteer engagement through her experience with Valparaiso Noon Kiwanis and the Valparaiso Family YMCA. 

Neighborhood groups, including homeowners’ associations, neighborhood associations or newly-forming groups, are encouraged to send a representative or two to the workshop. Learn more about the workshop by viewing the detailed agenda and press release . A summary of the Workshop will be provided on the city's website by August 9. RSVP today to reserve your spot!
9 Businesses Recognized at Community Improvement Awards
The Valpo Chamber and the City of Valparaiso recognized local businesses for their commitment and investment in Valparaiso by awarding the 52nd Annual Community Improvement Awards on July 11. Nine projects were recognized and will join the more than 400 properties that have been awarded since the program began. The Community Improvement Awards are based on the visual impact of exterior appearance improvements and are judged on the following criteria: enhances the attractiveness of Valparaiso; compatible with the area and environment; enhances the quality of life and promotes pride in Valparaiso; and makes a commitment to Valparaiso's future.

2019 recipients include:
  • 1703 Calumet
  • Brick Street Burrito
  • Grand Trunk Train Depot Project
  • Hilltop Food Pantry
  • Jordy 'N Jax BBQ
  • McMahon Associates, Inc.
  • Porter County Expo Center
  • St. Agnes Serenity Garden
  • Valparaiso High School
New Art Sculptures Downtown
Valparaiso's downtown was recently decorated with 8 new art sculptures, funded by the Redevelopment Commission . The sculptures were created by brothers Greg and Alex Mendez from Decatur, IN. The goal in expanding the city's public art features is to create an excitement for residents and visitors to enjoy. Public art in the downtown highlights the vibrancy of our community. The sculptures will remain downtown for one year and they can be found by the County Courthouse, Valpo Chamber, Central Park Plaza, Porter County Museum and more!
Celebrate Progress with Mayor Costas August 17
Valparaiso Events is hosting a Farewell Celebration for Mayor Jon Costas on Saturday, August 17 from 5-8pm at Central Park Plaza. Celebrate Valparaiso’s success with Mayor Costas, complete with free carnival rides for the kids, live music and other family friendly activities. Local restaurants will be selling your favorites, plus there will be free dessert for all – to recognize 16 years years of success under the leadership of Mayor Costas. Learn more.

Check out Valparaiso Events' calendar for more information about the Valparaiso Market, Summer Concert Series and more!
20 Ideas to Inspire Your Neighborhood - Take a Look and Apply for a Neighborhood Improvement Grant before September 20!
The creation of the Neighborhood Improvement Grant in 2018 gave Valparaiso's neighborhood groups the opportunity to work together and apply for funds to go towards key improvement projects. The Neighborhood Grants allow neighborhoods to determine what kind of projects are important to them, which may look totally different from one neighborhood to the next. We recognize that this flexibility can be both exciting and intimidating when you start to brainstorm potential projects with your neighbors. To that end, we have created 20 Ideas to Inspire Your Neighborhood to help neighborhood groups think of creative improvement projects that have been completed in Valparaiso and around the country. This list is meant to inspire - it is not a list of all possible ideas - and it will continue to be expanded as the program evolves. We hope this information is helpful to you and your neighbors!
Council Corner
Council Corner provides a sample of updates from City Council and Board and Commission meetings in a quick, easy to read format. Please note that full agendas and minutes can be found by visiting our website - the search box is a great resource to find what you're looking for! If you have additional questions or comments give us a call at city hall.

  • The City Council held a first reading and public hearing on a proposed Planned Unit Development known as The Brooks of Vale Park as well as a first reading on the issuance of economic development revenue bonds towards infrastructure enhancements in conjunction with the development (City Council 7/8).
  • The Redevelopment Commission approved a funding request from the Valparaiso Economic Development Corporation and two sign grant applications. They also discussed recent code enforcement actions, ANCO updates, ValpoNet and upcoming infrastructure projects (Redevelopment Commission 7/9).
  • The Valparaiso City Utilities Board reviewed and accepted a resolution recommending various actions relating to The Brooks at Vale Park which was forwarded to City Council. The Board also approved purchase of new equipment for water reclamation and elected officers for the 2019-2020 term (VCU 6/23, 7/9).
  • The Board of Works and Safety approved a contract for transit mobile ticketing, locations of Banta Neighborhood sign toppers, two easements and certain road closures for upcoming community events (BOW 7/12).
  • The Plan Commission approved a minor subdivision replat on LaPorte Ave (Plan Commission 7/9).
  • The Board of Zoning Appeals approved a variance filed by Valpo Parks for new signage at Fairgrounds Park and a variance on required lot width at Winter Park Dr (BZA 7/16).
  • The Advisory Human Relations Council heard a presentation from the VPD related to their community programs and extended the Cultural Grant timeline to allow for more clarity and discussion on applications (AHRC 6/25).
Neighborhood Watch
Neighborhood Watch celebrates our neighborhoods by sharing stories of success, highlighting completed projects and more. Contact us to share a story from your neighborhood!
Neighbors in Concord Woods have been working to organize a formal neighborhood association. Volunteers captured about 100 survey responses to see if people were interested in having an association and how they would best like to connect with their neighbors.
Mayor Costas and members of the city's leadership team completed a Neighborhood Walk through Jefferson Park on July 11. We had the chance to connect with a couple of friendly neighbors and learn more about the street project happening on McCord.
Central Neighborhood completed its 2018 Neighborhood Grant project - landscaping and beautifying the triangle near Central Elementary. Take a walk or drive by to enjoy the new look!
National Night Out August 6 - Neighborhoods Wanted!
The Valparaiso Police Department is participating in National Night Out , being held August 6 from 6-9pm. National Night out is a national event, bringing communities and police together under positive conditions, creating an exchange of ideas and developing a partnership with citizens.  

The VPD is inviting community members and neighborhood groups to organize events and activities as part of the national celebration. To register your neighborhood, or inquire about the event, contact Sgt. Joe Hall at 219-462-2135 or jhall@valpopd.com . This is an opportunity to build relationships as we work together to provide safer communities. VPD staff members, including K9, Bike Patrol, support staff, Patrol Division and Investigations, will be visiting the planned activities in neighborhoods throughout the city to show their support. This will be the 15th year of participation for the Valparaiso Police Department. 
Porter County Public Library System goes Fine Free
Since January of 2019, the Board of Trustees for the Porter County Public Library System (PCPLS) has been transitioning to become a fine free library system. The fine free movement has been gaining steam nationwide as libraries examine the role of fines in their library and how they often block access to those who need materials the most. Fine free means that the daily charge for items returned late, the $.05 per book or $1.00 per DVD, will be going away. That being said, PCPLS will still have fees. A fee is the amount of money that a patron is charged when an item is lost, damaged or never returned. A fee, not a fine, is often the real impetus behind the return of long overdue material.  

PCPLS diligently examined their budget and assessed potential impacts and discovered that fine revenue had been decreasing and only made up about 1% of its total income. Additionally, they discovered that nearly 27% of juvenile and 26% of adult card holders were blocked from using the library due to fines and fees. The hope is that the transition to fine free will help break down barriers to access and bring more patrons back to the library. PCPLS joins 15 other Indiana libraries who have made the decision to go fine free.
Meet Your City
Melissa Osika, College Hill Neighborhood Association and Town & Gown Committee
Melissa is a lifelong resident of Porter County and has been a full time Realtor for over 25 years. She is actively involved with Ivy Tech’s Circle of Ivy, Valpo’s Town & Gown Committee and is a board member on the Housing Opportunities Board and Memorial Opera House Foundation Board. She and her husband Joe have lived in their College Hill home for 30 years, where they raised their children and now enjoy entertaining their grandsons. Their love for the neighborhood inspired them to form the College Hill Neighborhood Association along with their like-minded neighbors. In their spare time, she and her husband enjoy planning neighborhood events, attending performances at MOH and traveling to new and exotic places. 

Meet Your City allows our residents to learn more about city staff, board and commission members and neighborhood leaders throughout the community.
Calendar and Helpful Links
Check our calendar regularly to stay up to date on our public meetings. The most current agendas and minutes can be found on our website by selecting the board or commission that you are most interested in under the “City Government” tab. Upcoming meetings of note include:

Special Events:

Quick Links:
City Talk Now is brought to you by the City's Community Engagement Department.  Contact us with any questions or feedback.

City of Valparaiso  | 219-462-1161 | 653 Hayes Leonard Rd, Valparaiso, IN 46383