Chesterton Tribune



Burns Harbor sewer system design blamed for 'rotten cabbage' stench

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The stench concentrated around Haglund Rd. and Westport Rd. was so bad that Burns Harbor Town Council member Marcus Rogala couldn’t breathe when he passed it one day on his run.

Resident Gayle Van Loon said it’s an odor “like rotten cabbage” and makes her nauseous. She has smelled it off and on for over 10 years.

Van Loon made complaints about it at Wednesday’s Town Council meeting wanting to know if something can be done about it.

Sanitation Department Superintendent Bill Arney said the smells are caused by an off-gassing in the sanitary sewer system, giving off a sulfuric-like chemical smell. It “comes and goes depending on what the flow is,” he said, and is a result of the design of the system.

Multiple lift stations dump their flows into the same conflict structure near that point and the infrastructure doesn’t have the capacity to reach the peak flow, Arney said.

He is trying to quicken the flow but suggested exploring alternatives.

Council member and Sanitation Board president Toni Biancardi said the topic will be discussed at the next sanitation board meeting next Wednesday.

Construction noise

Van Loon later complained about hearing a “shrill” noise coming from Praxair throughout the day, which is creating a disturbance for her. She asked if anyone from the town had information on when the noise will cease.

Praxair is not done with construction, said Arney who added that he’s contacted the company about the noise complaints. Praxair must dry the cylinder as they do new construction and the noise is from the driers, he said.

“It really gets noisy, especially on which way the wind is blowing,” Arney said. “It sounds like a large vacuum cleaner.”

Arney on Thursday said he spoke to representatives at Praxair who said they are responding to the concern and will work to get it resolved.

Another concern of Van Loon’s was the cooling tower “blowing across Ind. 149.” Arney said a pretty thick fog moves in some days from Praxair bringing Tower 3 up during the new construction. He will ask Praxair about what more can be done about it.

Road bids

In further business, Town Engineer Scott Kutcha presented the bids received for three paving projects the Town looks to get done with its share of state local road and bridge grant funds.

The projects include milling, paving, patching, and markings for .3 miles of Westport Rd., .2 miles of North Salt Creek and .17 miles of Navajo Trail.

Reith-Riley had the lowest bid at $217,928 compared to Walsh and Kelly, Inc. at $228,567.

The Town can make a $100,000 match with its share of the local option income tax the state distributed to local governments last year, which would cover $200,000. The remaining $17,928 can be taken out a combination of funds the Town has on hand and miscellaneous revenue, Town Clerk-Treasurer Jane Jordan.

No money from the state has been received yet, however. Jordan said the Town had submitted the documentation for the funding in November and it could take up to 90 days to receive that money. “It may be soon,” she said.

Kutcha said there wouldn’t need to be any action taken Wednesday and the main purpose for Wednesday’s meeting was to see the bids that came in for the projects. The bids are good for 60 days from the day they are opened, which was Tuesday, Jan. 10.

Council President Ray Poparad discussed seeing if there is a way to tie in the Westport Rd. drainage project, which would be best done before the road is paved over, reducing costs as well. Kutcha said there may be a way that can be done without having to rebid.

The Stormwater Board will discuss the drainage project at its next meeting while the Council holds onto the bids.

Fire report

Arney, who is also the Fire Chief, reported that BHFD responded to 46 calls in the month of December. Firefighters spent a total of 28 hours and 33 minutes on scene. A total of 15 firefighters were trained for 30 hours, plus eight duty hours, for a total of 38 man hours. Vehicles traveled 1,875 miles.

In the 2016 report, a total of 486 calls came in for the year. Firefighters spent 1,297 hours and 30 minutes training. Total man hours were 1,511 hours and 30 minutes. Time spent on scene was 269 hours and 12 minutes total for the year. Vehicles traveled 20,558 miles.

Arney told the Council that the department is working with the medical director and will start carrying Narcan on first response rigs in case the ambulance is not available.

“It’s a very important thing in today’s society, unfortunately,” he said.

Officer Tim Lucas honored

Town Marshal Mike Heckman reported that BHPD officer Tim Lucas was recognized for making the most DUI arrests in the department and the Porter County Sheriff’s Police also awarded him with another honor. Lucas had saved a life by using Narcan on someone who would have died from an overdose.

“Please extend to (Lucas) our congratulations,” Rogala said.



Posted 1/13/2017




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