By KEVIN NEVERS
Exactly 1,048 or nearly 19 percent of the Chesterton Utility’s 5,630
customers received past-due notices in the last billing period.
Of those 1,048, 214 received shut-off notices.
And of those 214, 118 had their water shut off for failure to pay their bill.
Of those 118, 12 customers remain without water service.
So Utility Superintendent Steve Yagelski told the Town Council at its meeting
Yagelski practically pleaded with customers to pay their bill before
Indiana-American Water Company turns off the tap, because once it is off
customers must pay, in addition to the outstanding balance, a $43
reconnection fee plus a penalty of 10 percent of the unpaid amount. All in
If you received a past-due notice—if you receive a second past-due notice—but
you simply don’t have the cash on hand, the Utility will be happy to make an
arrangement, Yagelski said. “We always work with customers, whatever they can
afford, but they must commit to the plan or they go back to shutoff.”
“Its tough economic times,” noted President Jim Ton, R-1st. “I urge people,
if they can’t pay the bill, at least get in before shutoff and make a plan
and stick to it.”
“People need to understand that their sewer bill isn’t just for sanitary,”
Yagelski added. “It’s also for trash and MS4.”
The Hopkins Donation
In other business, members voted to use the donation of $2,500 made by Mark
and Michelle Hopkins of Hopkins Ace Hardware to purchase three new six-foot
benches for the Downtown.
The total cost of three benches, including delivery, will be $3,106, Street
Commissioner John Schnadenberg said, and members agreed to an expenditure of
CEDIT funds to cover the balance.
Two of the benches will be located west of the fountain in Thomas Centennial
Park. The third will replace the old one in front of Main Street, where
Broadway intersects with South Calumet Road. All three will match benches
already on site in the Downtown, Schnadenberg said.
“We especially thank Mr. Hopkins for his offer,” Ton remarked.
Later in the meeting Member Emerson DeLaney, R-5th, thanked the department
heads for taking the time to consider the best use of Hopkins’ donation. And,
he said, “I would like to see other businesses or organizations step up to
the plate and join in and help make our Downtown and our parks more
Members also voted 5-0 to grant a utility and drainage easement to Don
Hurlburt on a strip of municipal property located in the park in the Westwood
Hurlburt owns property south of Westwood Manor and in the event of his
developing that property wants the opportunity to connect to the town’s
sanitary and stormwater systems.
At its meeting earlier this month, the Utility Service Board unanimously
endorsed the granting of the easement.
Members voted 5-0 as well to establish a Riverboat Wagering Tax Revenue
Sharing Fund into which the town’s annual share of the tax—usually around
$60,000—will be deposited. Up to now that share has gone into the General
By consensus members agreed to earmark 50 percent of this year’s share for
sidewalk projects, to be pursued later in 2008 or in 2009 should the Street
Department be unable to find the time this fall.
The council may use its share of the Riverboat Wagering Tax “to carry out any
governmental purpose” which it “deems appropriate,” according to the enabling
resolution. Traditionally it has used half of its annual share for sidewalk
In addition, members voted 5-0 to approve on first reading an ordinance which
amends current Town Code governing the sorts of emergency calls in which the
Chesterton Fire Department may seek reimbursement from responsible parties,
5-0 to suspend the rules, then 5-0 to approve the ordinance on final reading.
Deputy Fire Chief Mike Orlich told the council that Indiana Code has recently
been revised, fire departments may seek to recoup their costs for a broader
range of services rendered on public highways, and that the proposed
ordinance simply reflects the revisions of Indiana Code.
Orlich noted that fire departments may now bill for services related to
certain kinds of vehicle fires and accidents, in addition to those related to
hazardous materials incidents.