The developers of
Eagle Crossing--a high-end 170-unit apartment complex slated for Coffee
Creek Center--have asked the Chesterton Utility Service Board to reduce the
tap-on fees for their project, on the ground that the fee schedule is far
higher than those of other municipalities.
At the Service
Board’s meeting Monday night, project engineer Jeff Ban said that
Chesterton’s fees are based on daily water usage far in excess of what
apartment dwellers use on average.
schedule, Ban noted, is specifically based on usage of 155 gallons per day (gpd)
for a one-bedroom unit, 232 gpd for a two-bedroom, and 310 gpd for a
three-bedroom. But the developers of Eagle Crossing are seeing much lower
usage rates at some of their other projects:
* Traditions in
Burns Harbor: 68 gpd.
* The Enclave in
Chesterton: 83 gpd.
* The Preserve at
Grand Oaks in Valparaiso: 66 gpd.
As developer Mike
Sakich also noted, the Service Board previously agreed to reduce the tap-on
fees at The Enclave, when that project was developed some 15 years ago.
Brandt, however, replied that he has no memory of such a reduction, and
Sakich, for his part, was unable immediately to produce documentation of
Brandt also found
it odd that other municipalities would assess different--that is to say,
lower--tap-on fees, as it was his impression that the Indiana Department of
Environmental Management regulated the fee schedules itself in accordance
with its own calculations.
IDEM “schedules tend not to change over the years but a lot of water
conservation fixtures have been installed in more recent construction.”
In any event, the
Service Board agreed to refer the matter to staff for further review.
Eagle Crossing will
be built south of Rail Road, east of Kelle Drive, and north of Sidewalk
Deer Run Apartment
Easement in Place
In other business,
Superintendent Dave Ryan reported that an easement granting the Utility
access to the lift station serving the Deer Run Apartments on Taylor Street
has at last been finalized with the property owner and recorded.
The Utility had
been seeking the easement for months, after its previous access point--by
way of the Amtrak railroad right-of-way east of Waverly Road--was declared
off limits, even to duly trained and delegated utility workers, by the U.S.
Department of Homeland Security.
That meant, in the
absence of an easement, crews which needed to service the lift station were
technically trespassing on Deer Run property.
the easement, however, had been dragging, prompting Member John Schnadenberg,
at the Service Board’s April meeting, to express his willingness to turn the
lift station over to the owners of the Deer Run Apartments and let them
worry about servicing it.
at Monday’s meeting that he’s happy to see the matter concluded.
voted 5-0 to authorize staff to pursue a tie-in agreement with Alex Curiel,
who owns an unannexable five-acre lot on the north side of C.R. 1050N,
between Meridian Road and C.R. 50W, in unincorporated Liberty Township.
Curiel wants to
connect to a low-pressure force main originating in the 89-unit Preserve
subdivision, being developed by Paul Shinn on the south side of C.R. 1050N.
Staff had originally expressed concern that any additional connections could
possibly over-tax the low-pressure system, but calculations have since
indicated that the system could safely accept up to 39 additional tie-ins.
Any other requests
for tie-ins, however, will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, members
“I have no problem
with these people coming in now,” Member Andy Michel said. “We pick up new
customers. Down the road, who knows? We’ll see.”
Members also voted
5-0 to authorize staff to pursue a tie-in agreement with Jill Chitwood,
who’s seeking to replace a failing septic system on her late father’s
property--located at the northeast corner of C.R. 1050N and C.R. 50E--with
sanitary sewer service.
This property is
annexable, though, and in advance of any connection would need to be annexed
by the town. Chitwood’s attorney, Greg Babcock, told the Service Board on
Monday that he has duly filed an annexation petition with the Town Council.
April in Review
Chesterton used 64.99 percent of its 3,668,000 gallon per day (gpd)
allotment of the wastewater treatment plant; Porter, 56.76 percent of its
851,000 gpd allotment; the Indian Boundary Conservancy District, 81.33
percent of its 81,000 gpd allotment; and the plant as a whole, 62.96 percent
of its capacity.
A total of 4.53
inches of rain was recorded at the plant last month, but no bypasses into
the Little Calumet River. In what has proved to be so far a wet year, a
total of 13.56 inches has been recorded over the first four months of 2017,
Ryan noted, roughly four inches more than over the same period in 2016.
In April, the
Utility ran a deficit of $154,776.97 and in the year-to-date is running a a
surplus of $289,639.08.