2019 Neighborhood Improvement Grants Awarded
The City of Valparaiso has awarded 14 new grants through the 2019 Neighborhood Improvement Grant program. Introduced last year, the neighborhood grant program was created to encourage neighborhood unity and support resident-driven improvements that benefit the community. The grants are funded by the Redevelopment Commission and the program is administered by the Community Engagement Department.

In total, $132,570 was awarded in this second annual grant release. Projects funded this year include creative crosswalks, neighborhood tree plantings, sidewalk improvements, signage, playground equipment and more. Combined with neighborhood matching funds, more than $179,00 will be invested into the community. The neighborhoods receiving grants include Audubon, Banta, Beauty Creek Villas, Central, Chandana Point, College Hill, Concord Woods, Greenfield Creek, Harrison West, Jesse-Pifer, Keystone Commons, Pine Creek, Sierra and Villas at Vale Park.

Since the pilot in 2018, we have seen a 75% increase in grant awards, a 139% increase in dollars awarded and a 162% increase in total community impact. 2019 applicants have been given a feedback survey and 100% have responded that they were able to submit meaningful projects, will apply for grants in the future and were very satisfied with the materials and support from city staff. For more information view the final funding recommendation and the presentation on the program and feedback survey .
Weigh in on Topics for 2020 Neighborhood Workshops
To further promote neighborhood engagement and support, the City hosted its first Neighborhood Workshop in July 2019. Based on participant feedback, there is a desire to offer quarterly "Neighborhood Workshops" where neighborhood representatives have the opportunity to network, learn from each other and increase their skills and capacity by hearing from experts on particular topics of interest. Which topics would be most valuable or interesting to you and your neighbors? Weigh in by completing this quick, 1-question survey. Your feedback is important as we continue to build upon our existing neighborhood services.
City Hall Open for Business at 166 Lincolnway
City Hall has been under construction since November 2018 to renovate the current space and add about 2,000 square feet. Earlier this month, city employees made the move from Hayes-Leonard School back downtown to City Hall at 166 Lincolnway. We are now open for business and ready to serve the public in our newly renovated space! The renovation allows our departments to have enhanced work spaces from the basement up, with additional conference rooms, a new council chamber, greater office space, new technology opportunities and room to grow for the future. The goal of this project was to ensure that City Hall is more user-friendly and accessible to our residents.
Valparaiso Police Department Hosts Breakfast with Badges
Valparaiso Police Department hosted their first two "Breakfast with Badges" events this week at Memorial and Flint Lake Elementary Schools. Officers were able to connect with students and staff during the regular school breakfast time. This is the VPD's newest community outreach program, in partnership with Valparaiso Community Schools, that allows the public to interact with law enforcement in a positive, friendly setting. The VPD will make stops at all ten elementary schools before the end of the school year.
Fall Harvest Festival by Valparaiso Events October 18-20
Valparaiso Events has tons of fall fun planned for this weekend! On Friday, October 18 from 4pm-6pm you're invited to dress up in your spookiest or silliest costume and go door-to-door all throughout downtown Valparaiso to get some tasty treats from various restaurants, retailers and businesses. Central Park Plaza will have additional activities, including free hayrides provided by Valpo Parks. On Saturday, October 19, visit the Valparaiso Market on its final day of the season from 8am-2pm and look for even more family-friendly fall activities to begin around 11am. Come enjoy free face painting, pumpkin painting, live entertainment and more. On Sunday, October 20 wear your favorite jersey to Central Park Plaza to watch the Bears take on the Saints on the big screen. Learn more.
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 public hearings on the 2020 Budget and the Valparaiso Community Schools 2020 Budget, approved amendments to the city's Unified Development Ordinance and held first and second readings on a number of ordinances related to Valparaiso City Utilities acquisition of the Damon Run Conservancy District (City Council 10/14).
  • The Redevelopment Commission approved Neighborhood Improvement Grant funding recommendations, discussed partnering with NITCO on ValpoNet and approved matching funds to purchase an additional ChicaGo Dash Bus (Redevelopment Commission 10/9).
  • The Board of Zoning Appeals approved three requests for variances (BZA 10/15).
  • The Mayor's Advisory Human Relations Council had a "spotlight resource" presentation from Dressed for School, discussed strategies for building awareness and discussed a draft triage protocol (AHRC 9/24).
  • Valpo Parks has released the 2019-2020 Winter Recreation Guide.
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!
Banta Neighborhood Association's (BNA) 2018 Neighborhood Grant funding went towards sign toppers and a new piece of playground equipment for toddlers at the existing park at Banta Center. On October 8, members of the Redevelopment Commission and City Staff joined neighbors to celebrate their accomplishments on these projects over the last several months.
Berkley Park , located at the intersection of Sheffield and Berkley, is currently under construction to bring a sand volleyball court to Valparaiso! This project is being completed by Valpo Parks and is possible through a 2018 Neighborhood Grant. We are excited to see this neighborhood-driven addition in our community.
On October 19, Central Neighborhood Association will be teaming up with Valparaiso Public Works to host a Neighborhood Tree Planting. They plan to plant about 40 trees throughout the neighborhood by working together on matching funding and coordinating tree locations. This will be the second year of this partnership and their 2019 Neighborhood Grant will allow them to take on another planting next year.
Leaf Pickup Tips
As it starts to look and feel more like fall in Valparaiso, we want to remind our residents of some leaf pickup tips. Valparaiso Public Works started running the leaf pickup vacuum on October 14 and it will continue to cycle through the city until a closing date is determined (largely dependent on weather). The leaf vacuum is able to pickup loose leaves that are left curbside in a pile. Leaves should be the only thing in the pile - no sticks, bricks, boards or other items. Residents also have the option of bagging their leaves using biodegradable paper bags. Bagged leaves may be left for curbside pickup or dropped off at the city's compost site. Please note that alleys are not serviced by the vacuum, but bags may be left there for pickup by another truck. If you have any questions about leaf pickup please contact Valparaiso Public Works .
Meet Your City
Chief Chad Dutz, Valparaiso Fire Department
Chief Dutz has been with the Valparaiso Fire Department since 1997 and has been serving as Chief since the end of 2015.  He has worked his way up thru the ranks, and recently has attended the National Fire Academy, located in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Chief Dutz is a resident of Valparaiso and a graduate of Valparaiso High School. He is married to his wife Dana, and together have four children. When he’s “off-Duty”, he enjoys golfing, hiking, and spending time at the beach with family.

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:
  • Halloween Trick or Treat Hours - October 31 from 5:30pm-7:30pm

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 | 166 W Lincolnway Valparaiso, IN 46383