Chesterton Tribune                                                                                   Adv.

Forums over, drainage study turns to officials for comments

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The Porter County Drainage Board is a first stop on the list of various county boards and municipalities that will be consulted for the countywide comprehensive study to improve drainage dilemmas in afflicted areas.

Anthony Kenning of DLZ Indiana, one of the consulting engineering firms the county has selected for the project, said at this morning’s drainage board meeting that the study has been successful so far after a series of four public forums to receive information. The information will be used as data to analyze and prioritize areas that hit hardest by drainage or flooding woes.

Kenning said over 250 Porter County residents attended one of the four forums. The areas most frequently addressed were around Duck Creek, Lake Eliza in Porter Twp., and others in the Valparaiso Lakes Area.

Kenning said he will be talking with city and town engineers throughout Porter County next and asked if drainage board members had any specific concerns they would like to address. Members of the board felt it would be best to speak with Kenning one-on-one.

The board eventually decided that a workshop would be the best to air their issues. The workshop is planned for next Monday, May 17, at 8:30 a.m. in the Porter County Administration Building. The members include board president Dave Burrus, South County Commissioner Carole Knoblock, Harvey Nix of the Soil and Conservation District, Ed Gutt of Liberty Twp., Russell Pumroy of Pleasant Twp., along with County Surveyor Kevin Breitzke.

“I understand we’re looking for ways to prevent future problems. That is really important,” said Gutt.

Burrus said the workshop will be open to the public.

Kenning said besides the forums, more than 1,200 questionnaires have been turned in by citizens that will be included in the data and mapping portion of the study. Breitzke commented that not all the returned questionnaires addressed concerns, but of those who responded without concerns, some indicated other places they believed were to have experienced drainage problems.

Also, Kenning said the firms and drainage study committee will be receiving the first images as a pilot program of the LIDAR mapping project next month that is being done by GRW Engineering. Aerial photography of the county was done earlier in April. Kenning said the pilot images, which will be mapped in one-foot contours, will include a good portion of the Portage area.

With the pilot program, the drainage study committee will be able to determine if the photographs are to their approval and will receive additional images intermediately. The images are expected to be completed and ready for use in September.

In other matter, Gutt addressed a concern regarding the wetland areas around the proposed hospital site in Liberty Township that will be built on the Northwest corner of U.S. and Ind. 49. The lake located behind the hospital to the north is connected to the Damon Run Conservancy District.

Gutt said there are additional tributaries that empty into the Damon Run Conversancy District which is not completely regulated and therefore the county may not be able to legally access some of the areas. It has not been determined yet what utility provider the hospital will be choosing, either the Chesterton Utility or Damon Run Conservancy which eventually empties into Portage.

The site plans for the hospital are to go before the Porter County Plan Commission at their meeting on Wednesday.

Also this morning, the board awarded of $6,400 bid to KNL Excavating of Kouts to clear the ditch located along the railroad crossing at CN 900N and Meridian Road. Work will begin sometime in the summer. The ditch contains several drains in that area, Burrus said.


Posted 5/10/2010






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