A very preliminary list of possible bond projects is now in the hands of the
Chesterton Stormwater Management Board’s hands.
Town Engineer Mark O’Dell and Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg
presented that list to the board at Monday’s meeting.
At this point the list is comprised of 15 projects, in no particular order,
and depending on how those projects cost-out more could be added—or some
could be deleted—when the board pursues the $835,000 bond issue later this
•A stormwater lift station in the flood-prone alley behind Val’s Famous
Pizza & Grinders just west of 11th Street. That lift station will pump
runoff to a stormwater sewer in the area of Lincoln Ave.
•A similar lift station in an alley in the area of 11th Street and West
•The cleaning of a basin on Lincoln Ave. off 23rd Street.
•The cleaning of a ditch north of Wabash Ave. in the area of the CSX
•The remediation of the flood-prone roadways in the Western Acres
subdivision, chiefly Idaho Street between 23rd Street and 24th Place.
•The remediation of a flood-prone roadway in the 1000 block of Park Ave.
•Piping the open ditch along the north side of West Porter Ave. between 19th
and 23rd streets.
•Piping the open ditch along 1100N east of the CVS Pharmacy.
•Cleaning a ditch and culverts in the Morningside subdivision.
•The remediation of the flood-prone roadway on 11th Street in front of the
CHS football stadium.
•Cleaning the Pope O’Connor ditch along 1100N, possibly in partnership with
the Porter County Drainage Board.
•Cleaning the Pope O’Connor ditch along Fifth Street, also in partnership
with the Drainage Board.
•The remediation of a long-standing water problem on Gladys Lane in the
Westchester South subdivision.
•The installation of best management practices at the town’s compost site in
O’Dell told members that he hopes to prioritize the projects and provide
evaluations of each one in time for the next meeting, May 16.
In other business, MS4 Operator Jennifer Gadzala informed the board that the
Indiana Department of Environmental Management has issued a discharge
permit—without notifying the town—to Good Oil BP at 525 Indian Boundary
Road, based on an inaccurate application submitted by Good Oil.
That application indicated that the business would be discharging
wastewater, associated with a Groundwater Petroleum Remediation System, into
the Little Calumet River, Gadzala said, when in fact the Stormwater Utility
has determined that the wastewater would be discharged into Coffee Creek.
Gadzala has asked IDEM to modify Good Oil’s permit, which will “probably
cause Good Oil BP to stop or delay the discharge until corrections are made
to their permit,” she said. “We’re a little concerned that permits are being
issued carte blanche without the town’s being notified,” Gadzala added.
Meanwhile, Gadzala has notified both the Chesterton/Duneland Chamber of
Commerce and the Duneland Business Initiative Group of the town’s ordinance
banning the dumping of grey water and wastewater into storm drains during
and after events in the Downtown.
Gadzala noted that last year a vendor was observed pouring soapy water into
a storm drain in clear contravention of Town Code. Vendors will have to find
some other way to dispose of their grey water, she said, by storing it and
transporting it off-site to a sanctioned sanitary sewer access point.
Gadzala also continues to keep busy in her outreach efforts. A sampling:
•On April 5 she spoke to the Chesterton/Porter Rotary Club on the Stormwater
Utility’s education initiatives.
•In May she will be speaking at the annual Indiana MS4 meeting on ‘Unique
Elements from Successful MS4 Programs’ and more specifically on the use of
Facebook and Twitter in educating the public on water quality.
•The principal of Liberty Intermediate School has thanked the Stormwater
Utility for its sixth-grade water-quality program in March.
•Several teachers at Chesterton Middle School, a biology teacher at
Chesterton High School, and the Duneland Charter School have all asked
Gadzala to develop water-quality programs for their students.
•The annual CMS field day, conducted as part of the watersheds and non-point
source pollution unit, is scheduled for May 5. Around 165 students will be
participating with stormwater drain stenciling, litter pickup, and a tour of
the wastewater treatment plant on the agenda.
Members voted 3-0 to authorize the re-hiring of one of last year’s summer
interns at a rate of $10 per hour. She will be available to work on GIS
inputting from June 13 through Aug. 5, O’Dell said.
March in Review
The Stormwater Utility ran a deficit of $11,243 in March and in the
year-to-date is running a deficit of $10,524.