Chesterton Tribune                                                                                   Adv.

May 16 hearing set on Chesterton sewer tank project

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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, May 16.

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 parking.

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

Interviews to Start

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 of April.

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.





Posted 4/20/2011




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