Learn more and apply for a Neighborhood Improvement Grant
The Neighborhood Improvement Grant program is intended to give residents an opportunity to have direct input and influence into the improvement of Valparaiso’s neighborhoods. Grants of up to $15,000 are available to neighborhood groups in 2019 with a total cap of $100,000 for the program. The grant funds are provided by the Redevelopment Commission and the program is administered by the Community Engagement Department .

Is your neighborhood interested in applying for funds? Here's what you can do:
  • Review the modified program guidelines for 2019.
  • Attend a public information session to learn more about the grant program and requirements for submitting a successful application.
  • April 29 at 7-8pm Valparaiso Public Library Meeting Room B
  • May 1 at 12-1pm at Valparaiso Public Library Meeting Room A
  • May 14 at 5-6pm at Valparaiso Public Library Meeting Room A
  • Review the grant application and grant review checklist to gain a better understanding of eligible projects.
  • Review our Neighborhood Toolkit for ideas and tips for bringing your neighbors together.
  • Contact us for questions or to discuss the program in more detail.
Public Works shares projected paving plans for 2019
Valparaiso Public Works (VPW) has the responsibility of maintaining more than 166 miles of roadway that cover our city. Many residents may not be aware that VPW works with a third-party engineering consultant every other year, most recently in 2018, to rate all of our roads using PASER ratings. This INDOT accepted rating system allows VPW to objectively prioritize roads, and along with other criteria, choose which city streets should be paved each year. The total miles of streets paved and preserved each year depends on available funding resources. Fortunately for our community, VPW was awarded a $1,000,000 matching grant through the state's Community Crossings program for 2019.

With about $3.75 million to support paving this year, the city hopes to enhance about 10 miles of roadway. View the 2019 projected paving list for the annual bid contractor and the paving list for the Community Crossings Grant .
Silhavy/LaPorte roundabout construction begins next week
Construction of the new roundabout coming to the Silhavy/LaPorte intersection is slated to begin on April 22. It is anticipated that the roundabout will be functional in late fall of this year, while completion may linger into early 2020 depending on the weather. This project is funded through a Federal Surface and Transportation Grant and is matched locally through the Valparaiso Redevelopment Commission . Project Engineering has been completed by DLZ Indiana, and will be constructed by Reith Riley.

With construction set to begin next week, here is a summary of what you can expect in the early phases of the project. For Phase I , there will be one lane of traffic closed for the placement of temporary asphalt. This first phase will last for about a month, with additional lanes closed in late May/early June for Phase II . Once Phase II begins, traffic patterns will be reduced to single lanes, however, motorists will still be able to travel in all directions throughout the project. Contact us for questions.
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!

  • The City Council approved two items relating to the St. Paul Square Development and the Economic Improvement District. This matter will be presented to the Council again at the 4/22 and 5/13 meetings to finalize the terms of the city's assistance. View a one-page summary to learn more (City Council 4/8).
  • The Redevelopment Commission is piloting a new housing initiative at 603 Indiana Ave where they purchased a vacant, fire-damaged home and then requested proposals for a single-family home to be constructed on the lot. One proposal was received and approved from Charlson Custom Homes and they plan to have the new home constructed by November 2019 (Redevelopment Commission 4/18).
  • The Engineering Department has a number of upcoming projects including the addition of a second southbound left-turn lane onto IN-2 at the US30 and Washington St intersection and efforts to implement a trial modification at the intersection of Burlington Beach Rd and Silhavy Dr to increase traffic safety (Board of Works 3/22).
  • The Valparaiso Fire Territory received approval for an emergency ambulance purchase to replace an older model (Board of Works 3/22). The new ambulance is serving the community from Station 1. The Fire Territory is also working to raise funds to bring a bronze fireman statue to the community as a way to recognize firefighters for their service in partnership with the Porter County Museum (Redevelopment Commission 3/14).
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!
City staff partnered with VU social work students and the Central Neighborhood Association to help the neighborhood discover their top improvement ideas, current assets and action steps to reach their top priority. Neighborhood beautification and branding was the top goal and action steps included enhancing communication efforts, seeking funding and engaging with local businesses.
A partnership between the city, Porter County Public Library System, Porter County Museum and the Banta Neighborhood Association allowed the neighborhood to come together and celebrate their history with resources from neighbors and the Larry J. Clark Genealogy Center. About 65 community members came out to the event and the majority of them were current or former Banta neighbors.

Mayor Costas and the city's leadership team completed their first Neighborhood Walk of 2019 in the Berkley Park area. While walking through the neighborhood, the team got to meet a handful of neighbors and learn more about their perspective on infrastructure needs. It was also an opportunity to highlight and discuss the upcoming beach volleyball project at Berkley Park which was awarded through the 2018 Neighborhood Improvement Grant program.
Valparaiso proud to celebrate Arbor Day as Tree City
The City of Valparaiso is proud to be recognized with the Tree City designation for 16 years and counting. To achieve Tree City status, the city has to meet four core standards of urban forestry management including having a tree department, a tree ordinance, spending at least $2 per capita on urban forestry and celebrating Arbor Day. The Tree City USA program was established in 1976 and today more than 3,400 communities have made the commitment.

Arbor Day is April 26 and we encourage residents to celebrate this year at a local event.
  • On Friday, April 26 from about 10-11am, join us at the intersection of Freeman and College (near VU's former law building) for a tree planting demonstration by an ISA certified arborist from our Public Works team. There will also be a drawing for a special guest to win a recycled hand chair! This event is offered through a partnership between the city and Valparaiso University. View our press release to learn more!
  • On Saturday, April 27 from 10am-3pm, visit the VU campus for some family-friendly fun to celebrate Arbor Day and Earth Day. Learn more about the Valparaiso University Earth Day Celebration.
Out to Alarm Valpo free smoke detector program
With the recent house fire on the north side of town, we want to take a moment and remind our residents of the Valparaiso Fire Territory's Out To Alarm Valpo program. This program, which provides and installs smoke detectors to residents at no charge, was formed through a local partnership with Martin Security. Smoke detectors are one of the best safety features that can be easily installed to protect residents and their property. Simply fill out the request form and we will be in touch to deliver or to install the smoke detector. You may also consider hosting a "neighborhood smoke detector blitz" where the VFT can come out to your neighborhood and help promote the program. Contact us to learn more.

Our thoughts are with the residents impacted by the recent fire. We are thankful for the service of our public safety departments.
Meet Your City
Lynn Gralik, Human Resources Director
Lynn has been with the Valparaiso Human Resources Department since 2000. She started in an administrative assistant role in the department, transitioned to Human Resources Specialist, and was ultimately appointed Director in 2015. Lynn also represents the city on the Valparaiso Community Events Board and serves on the Board of Directors for NWI SHRM. Lynn is married to Phil Gralik and they have one son and one grandson. She enjoys the outdoors and loves vacationing to a warm climate.

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