Whether or not the Porter County Council decides to contribute $900,000 to
the Ind. 49 utility corridor project, ground is going to break on that
project this year.
At its meeting Monday night, the Chesterton Utility Service Board
unanimously voted its willingness and readiness to go out for bids now.
Contracted project engineer DVG Inc. has estimated that it will cost around
$3.6 million to extend sanitary sewer and other infrastructure beneath the
Indiana Toll Road as far south as the town’s southernmost corporate limit.
It would cost another estimated $900,000 to upsize the lines enough to serve
anticipated commercial development in unincorporated Liberty Township. The
Porter County Commissioners voted 2-1 to endorse the expenditure of that
$900,000 but the Porter County Council has yet to make a decision.
It will not be possible to provide sanitary sewer service outside of town to
unincorporated Liberty Township property owners unless those lines are
In the meantime, the Town of Chesterton wants to proceed and will do so. “We
must go on,” Town Council Member Sharon Darnell, D-4th, said on Monday. “We
can’t lose another construction season.”
President Larry Brandt did note that, at a recent Porter County Council
meeting, numerous Liberty Township residents spoke against the $900,000
partnership. “Most were negative,” he said. “They didn’t support the
On the other hand, Brandt said, so far as he can tell from the candidate
stories published in the Chesterton Tribune over the last few weeks,
no candidate has actually gone on the record in out-and-out opposition to
the corridor project.
In other business, Town Engineer Mark O’Dell reported that two Porter County
Highway projects, just coming on the radar, are expected to force the
Utility to relocate a pair of sanitary sewer mains.
Both are bridge replacements: one on 1100N east of WiseWay Foods, the other
on East Porter Ave. near Chesterton Cemetery.
The county is right now mulling the replacement of each bridge, on each of
which the Utility has physically fixed a sewer main. Both mains would have
to be re-located, O’Dell said.
In the case of the 1100N bridge, the main would probably have to be moved on
the Utility’s dime. That may not be the case with the East Porter Ave.
bridge, O’Dell added.
Meanwhile, O’Dell reported that the 2009 bond issue is all over, bar the
shouting. Around $200 remains of the $2.166 million issue.
A number of high-profile projects were not completed under the issue, in
particular the repair of a main serving the Morningside subdivision. O’Dell
said that he will provide an updated list of completed projects at the
Service Board’s next meeting.
Four general categories of project were funded through the issue: collection
system work, including the South Calumet Road separation and replacement
project, with a total price tag of around $1,282,224.40; equipment
purchases, including backup generators, a crane truck, and a new camera
system, at $542,105.71; plant improvements, at $83,501.16; and
administrative and legal fees, at $37,364.37.
at Duneland Cove
It will cost something like $17,000 to upgrade the access drive to the
Duneland Cove lift station, after the weight of the Utility’s heavy vehicles
caused the brick pavers over time to crumble, Superintendent Rob Lovell
The cost includes the removal of the old pavers and the construction of a
new 115-foot concrete drive designed to support the weight of the Utility’s
largest truck, Lovell said.
The Service Board had originally wanted to build a concrete drive but
Duneland Cove residents objected and a compromise was reached under which
pavers were used instead.
Lovell told the Service Board that the plant’s No. 2 influent pump has been
sent for service at an estimated cost of $12,000.
“We’ve also ordered a second set of repair parts for spares, to help speed
up repairs the next time one of these influent pumps needs to be repaired,”
Members voted 5-0 to give the Chesterton Parks and Recreation Department a
credit of $909.50, after O’Dell reported that a water leak at Dogwood Park
was detected and repaired.
“We calculated how much we charged for water that never made it to the
plant,” O’Dell said.
Billing Clerk Donna Simmers noted that similar adjustments have been made in
the past for customers. “If we don’t treat it, we can adjust it out,” she
Two open positions in the Utility have been filled, Lovell reported, one of
them by a Street Department employee who transferred to the Utility. The
other new hire will begin work on April 23.
Chesterton used 45.55 percent of its 3,668,000 gallon per day (gpd)
allotment at the wastewater treatment plant; Porter, 51.49 percent of its
851,000 gpd allotment; the Indian Boundary Conservancy District, 71.77
percent of its 81,000 gpd allotment; and the plant as a whole, 46.41 percent
of its capacity.
There were 2.51
inches of precipitation in March and no bypasses.
Last month the
Utility ran a surplus of $130,306.54 and in the year-to-date is running a
surplus of $161,459.07.