Learn free safety skills from Valpo's first responders on May 23 at Stop the Bleed Day event
In honor of national Stop the Bleed Day, the City of Valparaiso’s Fire Department and Police Department are hosting a free daylong Public Safety Event on Thursday, May 23 at the William E. Urschel Pavilion at Central Park Plaza. The training is free and designed to teach the community valuable skills in how to stop traumatic blood loss during an emergency, and how to provide hands-only CPR. First responders will also demonstrate use of the city’s drone, K9s, and other safety equipment. The day begins with free coffee with the first responders, giving the public an opportunity to interact with both the Police and Fire Departments. No RSVP is needed and all ages are invited to attend. Check out the poster for the full event schedule .
Webinar now available to learn more about the Neighborhood Improvement Grant program guidelines
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? Here's what you can do:
Meet us at the Valparaiso Market this season!
“Market Meet-Up” is a new community outreach initiative that encourages market-goers to interact with various city departments and members of Mayor Costas' leadership team. Join us at the Valparaiso Market on the first Tuesday of each month June through October between 11:00am and 1:00pm to get to know more about your local government. Each month, 2-3 departments will host a booth at the Market and will be available to provide materials, answer any questions or discuss topics of interest in the city.

On June 4, Market Meet-Up will be hosted by Valparaiso's Police Department and Fire Department. The city's booth will be located under the William E. Urschel Pavilion at Central Park Plaza. View the full Market Meet-Up schedule .
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 unanimously approved the final steps to assist developer of St. Paul Square residential development (City Council 5/13). View an additional summary on the background and recent action by the Council related to the St. Paul Square Economic Improvement District. Please note that the next City Council meeting will be held on June 10.
  • Valpo Parks Foundation and Valpo Parks are moving forward with plans to create Valpo's first dog park at 2902 Campbell St. ValPAWraiso Dog Park construction is set to begin this summer and will be completed substantially this fall. (View the full press release and renderings distributed 5/10.)
  • The Advisory Human Relations Council appointed a new Chair and Vice-Chair at their April meeting. Roxanne Mendez-Johnson will be the new Chair and John Albers will serve as the Vice-Chair. The group also discussed hopes and goals for 2019 including better serving our senior/aging community members and highlighting existing programs working to increase diversity and inclusion in Valpo (AHRC 4/23).
  • The Redevelopment Commission is exploring additional transit options to support commuters traveling to Chicago. They will hear a full proposal at their June 13 meeting. Additionally, the Commission will be contracting with an attorney to further their housing initiative to remove blight and dangerous structures from the city (Redevelopment Commission 5/9, Board of Works 5/10).
  • The Plan Commission held two public hearings including a petition for approval of a primary plat for the subdivision to be known as Hawthorne East and a petition to rezone a property on Cumberland Dr. The Hawthorne East agenda item will be carried over to the June meeting and there was a favorable recommendation on the rezone which will now proceed with a public hearing and vote by the City Council (Plan Commission 5/14).
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!
Members of the Redevelopment Commission and city staff joined the College Hill Neighborhood Association and the Beauty Creek Villas HOA for ribbon cuttings on May 6. Both neighborhoods were celebrating the completion of their 2018 Neighborhood Improvement Grant sidewalk projects.
The Banta Neighborhood Association brought neighbors together on May 4 for a block party. During the party, neighbors were able to vote on which sign topper design and park equipment features they wanted to see come to life through funding from the 2018 Neighborhood Improvement Grant program.
On May 9, Mayor Costas and members of the city's leadership team completed a Neighborhood Walk through Northview. Neighbors were able to share ideas to improve sidewalk infrastructure, increase bike lanes and brought attention to traffic concerns at some key intersections.
Concord Woods hosted a neighborhood potluck on May 13 to gather neighbors and discuss the possibility of organizing a formal neighborhood association. About 30 neighbors came together to discuss ideas for future gatherings, the possibility of starting a neighborhood watch and the city's grant program.
Valparaiso Police Dept. forms creative partnerships with Valparaiso University
The Valparaiso Police Department has teamed up with Valparaiso University to enhance the department’s community outreach and recruiting efforts. One initiative is the Valparaiso University Police Preparation course, which allows students and residents throughout the region to participate in a 5-week program. The course is designed to help those interested in a career in law enforcement train for the physical exam, as well as practice skills needed for the written exam and interview process. Chief Balon and his team worked with the university’s Continuing Education Department to create the curriculum and expectations for the program. In 2018, 12 participants completed the program and 5 applied to the department. Most students were encouraged by their overall improved physical assessment at the end of the course. 

Another initiative is the Student Citizens’ Police Academy which is composed of 3-4 sessions on various police topics, chosen by a group of students in the Social Work Department, while working with the department’s Commander of Support Services. The topics cover a variety of day to day operations and specialty assignments within policing. Each class averages 20-25 participants, as well as educators and police officers. In 2019, over 100 people attended the three completed sessions, which included presentations on Active Shooter Response, the Emergency Response Team, K-9 Unit, Investigations and Evidence Collection, Use of Force, and Shoot/No Shoot Scenarios. These partnerships will continue to evolve and develop moving forward, to address both the needs of our agency and the university.     
City leaders recognized by Valpo Parks Foundation
The Valpo Parks Foundation celebrated Legendary Friends on May 2 at Butterfield Family Pavilion. The reception celebrated all who have helped support the continuing legacy of high-quality experiences provided by Valpo Parks.  Special recognition was given this year to Sharon Swihart and Bill Oeding as “Legendary Friends”, and to Mayor Jon Costas who was recognized with the Park Foundation’s highest expression of thanks, the “Art and Irene Malasto Legends Award.” Dr. Robert Behrend was honored with the Community Champion Award. Costas, Swihart, Oeding, and Behrend embody the spirit of this community and sustaining quality of life for Valparaiso. Each one of them merits the awards in their advocacy and actions where parks, and Valpo as a whole, are concerned.  The Valpo Parks Foundation is proud to recognize their partnership efforts as residents, business owners and statesmen of the community.
Student Government Day
Each spring, Valparaiso High School students have the opportunity to "serve their city" by shadowing city and county officials on Student Government Day. On Friday, May 3, Matt Smaga (pictured right with Nate McGinley, Public Works Director) and his peers were able to get a hands on look at local government by touring various locations and talking with department heads one on one. The students even ran a mock city council meeting. Thank you to our community volunteers for coordinating the program each year!
Meet Your City
Analisa Warring, Ethics Commission
Analisa has been a member of the City of Valparaiso’s Ethics Commission for six years and has served as the Chairperson of the Commission since 2014. She has worked at REGIONAL federal credit union for 12 years as the Senior Vice President of Branch Development, overseeing branch operations. She is a local Valparaiso High School graduate who excelled as a three-sport athlete. In 2003, she graduated from Indiana University- Bloomington with a degree in Communications. During her time at IU she participated in the Women’s Little 500 Annual Bike Race and rode her bike from Key West, Florida to Bloomington, Indiana, covering more than 1,600 miles in a 3-week period. In 2016, Influential Women of NWI awarded her as their Up & Coming Community Leader. You may have also seen her in the community at Valparaiso Chamber events or serving on various Porter County committees and boards. When not volunteering or working, she and her husband enjoy watching college basketball and cheering their children on in a variety of local youth sports. 

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