In about a month folks will have the chance to get their thoughts on the
record about the $11.4 million storage tank which the Chesterton Utility
Service Board proposes to build at the wastewater treatment plant, as part
of a mandated long-term control plan (LTCP) to reduce combined sewage
overflows into the Little Calumet River.
At its meeting Monday night, the Service Board voted 5-0 to hold a public
hearing on the storage tank—and the LTCP—at its next meeting, 7 p.m. Monday,
Mark Nye of DLZ, the Utility’s contracted engineering firm, has officially
estimated the cost of the storage tank—capable of holding 1.2 million
gallons of wastewater during heavy rain events until the treatment plant is
a position to catch up and treat it—at $11,441,600:
•Hard construction: $7,507,738.
•Twenty-percent construction contingency: $1,501,500.
•Three-percent annual inflation add-on for every year before the project is
let: $810,000, if the project does not begin until 2015.
•Engineering design: $900,900.
•Construction inspection: $720,700.
The tank will not be built—as was originally anticipated—on the State Park
Little League fields or on any part of the area used for Little League
The tank will be uncovered.
The project includes both construction of the tank itself and an upgrade of
the treatment plant’s main lift station, which in heavy rain events will
pump a maximum of 1.2 million gallons of wastewater away from the plant and
into the tank. When the rain has lessened and the plant has caught up, a
gravity line will flow the excess back to the pump station.
President Larry Brandt has voiced his expectation that a 10- or 20-year bond
issue will need to be floated to pay for the project and that a sanitary
sewer rate hike in support of that issue will need to be enacted. What kind
of a rate hike? Brandt has guessed—and at this point it’s anybody’s guess at
the rate hike could be in the neighborhood of 20 to 25 percent.
The proposed tank will not eliminate all combined sewage overflows into the
Little Calumet River. Nye has said that a tank of this size would have
alleviated the need to bypass sewage in all but four of the 27 bypass events
recorded in the last four years. Only a tank with a 12-million gallon
capacity—which even the Indiana Department of Environmental Management
recognizes would be prohibitively expensive—would have precluded bypassing
in all 27 events.
A copy of the LTCP will be available for public inspection at least 10 days
before the public hearing at the town hall at 726 Broadway. Nye also said
that he will endeavor to prepare an electronic copy of all documentation for
posting to the town’s municipal website at www.chestertonin.org
In other business, Superintendent Rob Lovell told the Service Board that
interviews for all open positions at the Utility will begin in the last week
March in Review
Chesterton used 47.95 percent of its 3,710,000 gallon per day (gpd)
allotment of the wastewater treatment plant; Porter, 67.43 percent of its
809,000 gpd allotment; the Indian Boundary Conservancy District, 77.28
percent of its 81,000 gpd allotment; and the plant as a whole, 51.89 percent
of its capacity.
There were no bypasses recorded in March, with 1.85 inches of rain.
Last month the Utility ran a surplus of $115,751 and in the year to date is
running a surplus of $122,902.