The Chesterton Town
Council will meet at 7 p.m. Monday, April 22.
At that meeting,
members will hold a public hearing on a proposed increase in sewer rate
hikes for several categories of customer:
proposed schedule of increases, an average Chesterton household using 10,000
gallons of water would see a hike of 3.01 percent, increasing the bimonthly
bill from $85.84 to $88.42.
hike for the Town of Porter. Based on average usage, Porterís monthly
payment to the Utility would increase from $56,598.10 to $59,552.34.
hike for the Indian Boundary Conservancy District. Based on average usage,
the IBCDís monthly payment would increase from $6,523.94 to $6,863.98.
hike for Fox Chase Farms residents, increasing their monthly payments from
$98.53 to $99.18.
Board President Larry Brandt, in requesting the public hearing at the
councilís last meeting, cited a variety of reasons for the rate hikes,
beginning with the $152,000 annual Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) which the
Utility is making over to the Town of Chestertonís General Fund in support
of the wage increases granted last year by the Town Council to municipal
employees. Porter, IBCD, and Fox Chase Farms would not be on the hook
for the PILT; only Chesterton residents would be paying for it.
Brandt also cited
general inflationary pressure, including a 2.88-percent increase in such
operating expenses as wages, benefits, and pensions, as well as purchased
power from NIPSCO; the necessity of increasing the Utilityís budget for
vehicle replacement; and a requirement under the Utilityís agreement with
the State Revolving Fund--which provided financing for the 1.2-million
gallon storage tank to reduce combined sewer bypasses during heavy rain
events--to generate net operating revenues equal to at least 125 of its
annual maximum debt service.
In other business,
the council is scheduled to authorize the appointment of two appraisers to
determine the fair market value of the house and property at the southeast
corner of South Calumet Road and East Porter Ave. Members are interested in
possibly purchasing the property, which could be used for right-of-way at
such time as the intersection of South Calumet Road and Porter Ave. is
aligned and widened. Under state law, a municipality may pay no more than
the average of two appraisals when acquiring private property.
The council will
also hold a public hearing on the petition of Kasie Carmichael for the
vacation of the platted but unimproved alley in the 200 block of South 21st
Street; will hear from Maura Durham, president of Duneland Chamber of
Commerce, who is scheduled to propose the expansion of the European Market;
and will discuss a proposed new Lamar sign at an unspecified location in