Chesterton Tribune

Construction of Indiana 49 utility corridor could begin this year

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By KEVIN NEVERS

Construction could begin by the end of the year on the Ind. 49 utility corridor, which would extend—in Phase I—sanitary sewer, water, stormwater, and fiber optic services to the Town of Chesterton’s southernmost corporate limit, beyond the Indiana Toll Road and roughly to the CSX right-of-way near 900N.

That’s the word from Jeff Ban of DVG, the contracted project engineer, who told the Redevelopment Commission at its meeting Monday night that—assuming funding has been put in place this fall—work could begin late this year.

Ban estimated the cost of the project at $3.6 million. DVG’s own fee, approved by the commission in May: not to exceed $176,500.

Member Jeff Trout said on Monday that tax increment financing moneys—not residential property taxes—will be used to fund Phase I, although the precise funding mechanism has not yet been determined.

Town Attorney Chuck Lukmann suggested the possibility of a bond issue but in any case asked the commission to approve, at a cost not to exceed $20,000, an agreement with the London Witte Group of Indianapolis, the town’s contracted financial consultant, to explore “all methods of financing.”

Earlier in the meeting, members voted 3-0 to pay consultant SEH a fee of $3,278 for the preparation of an application to the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority for a grant to underwrite a portion of the project’s cost.

Trout did have one crucial question for Ban: would it be possible to complete Phase II of the project—the extension of sanitary sewer service all the way south to U.S. Highway 6—by September 2012, at which time Porter hospital is scheduled to open its new facility at the northwest intersection of U.S. 6 and Ind. 49?

“I don’t see that as a problem,” Ban replied.

At the moment Porter hospital is committed to obtaining sanitary sewer service from the Damon Run Conservancy District. But the Town of Chesterton has intervened in Damon Run’s permit application, currently pending before the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, on the ground that Damon Run would not have sufficient infrastructure to serve new development along Ind. 49 and that the Chesterton Utility could provide sanitary sewer service to the hospital more cheaply and reliably than Damon Run would.

DVG’s plan for the project:

•A main would be run south from an existing line—located on Village Point, north of Gateway Blvd., in Coffee Creek Center—under the Toll Road, to the so-called Rossman property immediately east of Ind. 49.

•The main would then be run west under Ind. 49 to the recently annexed Pope property.

•It would then jog south to a point just north of the CSX right-of-way, at the town’s extreme southern corridor.

•A lift station would be designed to pump wastewater to a point at which gravity will flow it downhill, under Ind. 49 and the Toll Road, and then north to the tie-in on Village Point.

•Two parallel mains would be installed, one to handle the initial lighter flows of wastewater, the other to handle the heavier flows following commercial build-out of the service area.

“The Ind. 49 utility corridor is moving along nicely,” Trout said later in the evening, at the end of the Town Council’s meeting. “We’re poised to do some great things for Chesterton by bringing jobs and opportunities here.

 

 

Posted 9/27/2011