A new proposal by
the Porter County Department of Development and Stormwater Management staff
would have the County implement a cost-sharing program for the replacing of
infrastructure on a private crossing within a regulated drain.
The property owner
would pay for the materials while the County would take responsibility for
installing them in a new drain, said County Stormwater Engineer Mike
Novotney who discussed the proposal at Monday’s Stormwater Advisory Board
“I think the
(Development and Stormwater Management) Department and the property owner
has an interest in making sure that the infrastructure is in good condition.
I view this as good public relations, to work with our fee payers and meet
in the middle in terms of cost,” said Novotney.
The process is like
one that the Porter County Highway Department is currently developing,
Novotney said, where it will replace a property owner’s driveway culvert
that is in the county right-of-way and roadside ditches as long as the owner
agrees to pay for materials and replacing of pavement.
and Stormwater Board member Jeff Good said the County has received several
requests for culvert replacements as many are getting older or worn. He said
he and Highway Superintendent Andy McKay and the Department of Development
and Stormwater Management Director Robert Thompson have met to see what the
County is responsible for from a legal standpoint.
“We thought we
could be proactive and try to come up with a program that would work for
everybody,” Good said.
There is a state
law that gives county drainage boards the ability to form cost-sharing
programs for private crossings, Indiana Code 36-9-27-72.
Good said that as
the County is getting grants for road paving from the state, it would like
to undertake getting the culverts upgraded to have good drainage structures
for the roads.
“I think it might
slow us up in the beginning but I think once we get the ball rolling, it’s
going to help our roadway drainage,” said Good. “From the perspective of the
Board of Commissioners, we feel this is something we needed to check off the
County Surveyor and
Stormwater Board member Kevin Breitzke agreed that coordinating with the
Highway Department would help with getting the right-sized culverts and
Good asked his
colleagues on the advisory board to send any suggestions they have to the
department staff so a final resolution can be decided on soon.
Also during the
meeting, Senior Stormwater Specialist Reggie Korthals with Butler, Fairman
and Seufert advised the board on items to look out for in the upcoming
changes to the Municipal Separate Stormwater Sewer System (MS4) permitting
entities within a designated urbanized map would be able to file reports to
the state under the same general permit, although each entity would have
their own separate number for the permit, she said.
“It saves you from
duplicating work and its saves a bit of money in the long run,” Korthals
said. Which entities can be included in the general permit would depend on
the 2010 Census data, she added.
Korthals said she
sees the state requiring more documentation from local governments as “the
focus is going to be on compliance” with more audits and inspections.
She also encouraged
the Porter County Stormwater Management Board to look at what it’s doing and
not be short on the six minimum control measures for the MS4 permit which
include public education and outreach, illicit discharge detection and
elimination, construction site runoff and control for new developments and
pollution prevention for municipal operations.
Tanner Trace appeal
In requests, the
board heard a petition by Tanner Trace resident Donald Trowbridge to waive
the stormwater fee for a 1’ x 60’ strip of land that is past the east
dead-end of Alled Dr.
Given the small
size of the parcel, Novotney said staff recommends the fee be reduced to $10
per year. The parcel is non-buildable and is going to remain in its natural
condition, he said.
The advisory board
voted unanimously to recommend the fee reduction to Stormwater Management
Board which will vote on the issue under the consent agenda at its meeting
mentioned that the department will have a total of eight interns working for
them this summer, four of whom will be collecting data for the drainage
Due to the more
than average amount of rain the past two months, the department has received
more complaints than usual, Novotney said. The data collected by the interns
will help the department address more issues, he said.