Local News

Flowers Not Doomed Yet

(LaPorte, IN) - A LaPorte man is feeling a bit wilted from orders to remove the flowers and other plants he put in the ground in violation of city code. Andrew Killin is asking for an extension of the August 12 deadline he was given to remove the petunias, sawgrass and other plants so he and his neighbors can enjoy them for the rest of the season.


He took his request to the city’s Board of Public Works and Safety on Tuesday. Killin said he also plans to approach LaPorte Code Enforcement Jeff Batchelor about pushing back the deadline   

“I’m just trying to add to the beauty of the community,” Killin said.


The tastefully arranged flowers and plants are outside his home at Rumely Historic Apartments at 800 Michigan Ave. across from LaPorte City Hall.


The plants surround the base of two trees in ground Killin also leveled and sprinkled with wood chips. Both spots were previously covered by metal grates heaved up by the roots of the trees along with pieces of broken concrete and old seedlings.


Ruth New and Brian Mrozinski, who also live at the apartment complex for people 55 and over, find the city’s objections hard to believe considering the vast improvement. “It would be nice if they allowed them to stay,” she said.


“Some of these people that live here are in pretty bad shape and this may be the only summer they can enjoy flowers.  They may not be here next year,” Mrozinski said. Mayor Tom Dermody after raving to others about the landscaping work later was informed the plants were a code violation.


Dermody said the hearts of the residents are in the right place. Unfortunately, Dermody said the flowers are not in compliance with the guidelines established by the city’s Business Improvement District wanting consistency in the appearance of plants in the downtown area.


Most of the flowers downtown are from a local greenhouse which places them in brick planters the city put at many of the intersections about 20-years ago. “We are trying to have an overhaul plan for our downtown,” Dermody said. Batchelor also gave high marks to the landscaping work.


However, he said Killin did not go before the governing body of the BID with his plans and receive its blessing as required for anyone wanting to do some planting in the downtown area.


The BID board is scheduled to meet again on August 10.  Batchelor said if Killin goes before the BID board then and receives approval the flowers can stay. “There’s a process because we don’t want everyone in the city just doing whatever they want to and plant whatever flowers they want around different trees.” he said.

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