The City of Portage viewed the winter weather that recently hit Northwest Indiana as an opportunity to lend a helping hand to a neighboring community. Portage city officials chose to aid the City of Gary with snow plows during its recent snow crisis.
The city dispatched four snow plows to Gary on Wednesday afternoon to help with snow removal. Gary was nailed with 20 inches of snow on Monday and Tuesday, making it impossible for the city’s own work force to clear the roads in a timely fashion without assistance from a neighboring community.
For Portage Mayor James Snyder, this was a chance to further his relationship with Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson and continue the effort of “regionalism” between the two cities.
“We will always assist our neighbors in crisis; and each time we do, our city workers will stand a little taller,” Snyder said. “Portage has the best workforce a Mayor could ask for, and they were proud to help.”
Freeman-Wilson expressed her appreciation for the assistance her city received through a tweet on Friday.
“Working together works,” she said. “Thanks Mayor Snyder, Portage Public Works and Gary General Services.”
The City of Portage invited residents to provide their input on the project partnership with the City of Gary at Saturday’s Common Council meeting. Many residents showed an interest in contributing funds to a joint project between Gary and Portage.
The city has indicated that the majority of residents support the decision to come to Gary’s aid in a time of need. Several residents posted their support for the partnership on Snyder’s Facebook page.
“We are always ready to help those affected by disaster and grateful it didn't happen in Portage,” Snyder said in a Facebook post. “Our Street Department is second to none and we are all proud of them. With these random storms our time for help may come sooner than we know.”
The gesture extended by the City of Portage has allowed Portage to continue its already-strong relationship with the City of Gary, something both cities believe will be mutually beneficial for years to come.