The average Chesterton household could see a small increase on its bimonthly
sanitary sewer bill this year, under a 2-percent rate hike endorsed by the
Utility Service Board.
At a special meeting Monday night, members voted 4-0 to endorse that hike
and forward it to the Town Council, which must hold a public hearing on the
proposed increase before taking any further action. Member Jim Raffin was
not in attendance.
The average Chesterton household currently pays a bimonthly bill of $75.25
for sanitary service. A 2-percent hike would raise that amount by around
$1.55, to $76.80.
Out-of-town customers—chiefly the Town of Porter and the Indian Boundary
Conservancy District—would see no rate increase, because the hike as
proposed by the Service Board is intended solely to offset the costs of
maintaining the town’s collection system.
“So many things need to be done to the collection system,” President Larry
Brandt told the Chesterton Tribune last week. “We have to maintain
the lift stations and there are some repair projects that need to be done
because of breaks. We’ll be spending more on the collection system than we
thought, not less.”
Brandt did say that a rate hike this year would probably negate the need for
one next year.
Bids Opened for
In other business, members voted 4-0 to take under advisement the seven bids
received for this spring’s Downtown sanitary sewer replacement project.
The base bids:
•Reith Riley Construction Company Inc. of Gary: $518,208.30.
•Woodruff & Sons of Michigan City: $572,899.50.
•Grimmer Construction Company Inc. of Highland: $646,642.55.
•G.E. Marshall Inc. of Valparaiso: $658,468.02.
•Gough Inc. of Merrillville: $745,675.
•de Boer Egolf Corporation of Portage: $786,700.50.
•Gariup Construction Company Inc. of Gary: $847,700.
The good news: the lower bids are better than ballpark. Town Engineer Mark
O’Dell told the Tribune after the meeting that the original
engineer’s estimate of the project’s cost was $600,000.
Meanwhile, members voted 4-0 to award the bid for a new dump truck to Truck
City of Gary.
Member John Schnadenberg, who reviewed the two bids—$144,799 from Chicago
International Trucks of Hammond; $146,497 from Truck City—recommended the
higher Truck City bid, because the lower Chicago International Trucks bid
included 19 exceptions to the advertised specifications.
“Truck City met all specs,” Schnadenberg said.
He added that no one should expect delivery until September at the earliest.
Town Attorney Chuck Lukmann had one other piece of news for the Service
Board, namely, that the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission has named the
Town of Chesterton an intervenor in the Damon Run Conservancy District’s
petition to accept wastewater from Porter hospital’s new facility in Liberty
Lukmann noted, however, that the town only has two weeks to file its
testimony in the case.
On Lukmann’s recommendation, members voted 4-0 to retain the Indianapolis
consulting firm London Witte Group LLC to appear on the town’s behalf before