Chesterton Tribune



Chesterton Utility Board approves 2018 budget

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The Chesterton Utility Service Board has okayed 2018 budget which projects total operating revenues to drop slightly and total operating expenses to increase slightly.

Members voted unanimously to approve that budget at its meeting Monday night.

The budget projects the following:

* Total revenues of $4,135,291, compared to total annualized revenues in 2017 of $4,230,648. That figure includes commercial sales--revenues from the monthly rate paid by households and businesses--of $2,984,005, down slightly from annualized sales in 2017 of $3,096,396. It also includes an increase in tap-on fees--paid by new newly constructed residences and businesses--to $195,000, compared to annualized tap-on fees in 2016 of $160,485.

* Total operating revenues--revenues less debt service--of $2,751,587, compared to annualized operating revenues in 2017 of $2,846,944. Debt service is expected to increase by around 6.2 percent in 2018 due to the Utility’s purchase of a new vacuum truck.

* Total operating expenses of $2,411,878, compared to annualized operating expenses in 2017 of $2,335,092, a 3.3-percent increase. Of that figure, total wages, pensions, and benefits are projected to total $1,560,937, compared to annualized wages, pensions, and benefits of $1,555,059 in 2016, an increase of 0.4 percent.

* A total surplus at the end of 2018 of $339,709, compared to an annualized surplus of $511,852 in 2016, a decrease of 34 percent.

Clarifier Rehab Completed

In other business, Superintendent David Ryan reported that the rehab of the wastewater treatment plant’s clarifiers has been completed, with the exception of site restoration.

That’s good news, because at any given time this fall roughly a third of the plant’s clarifier capacity was out of service. Which is why, late in October, the plant was unable to process the flow from a 2.78-inch rainfall--after its 1.2-million gallon storage tank filled--and was forced to discharge untreated wastewater into the Little Calumet River.

The clarifiers are the large circular basins, located just north of the Utility offices on League Lane, which remove solids from wastewater.


Meanwhile, members voted unanimously to approve this year’s write-offs of unpaid and uncollectable outstanding balance, owed--generally speaking--by former residents who’ve moved out of town.

This year the write-offs totaled $1,828.46, compared to $3,693.02 in 2016.

November in Review

In November, Chesterton used 50.67 percent of its 3,668,000 gallon per day (gpd) allotment of the wastewater treatment plant; Porter, 52.99 percent of its 851,000 gpd allotment; the Indian Boundary Conservancy District, 63.56 percent of its 81,000 gpd allotment; and the plant as a whole, 51.33 percent of its capacity.

There were no bypasses recorded at the plant in November, which saw 3.09 inches of rain.

Also in November, the Utility ran a surplus of $504,575.80 and in the year-to-date is running a surplus of $1,220,119.97.

Great Job!

Member John Schnadenberg took a moment at the end of the meeting to extend his gratitude to the Utility employees for their continued dedication and professionalism in 2018.

“I’d just like to thank the Utility employees for their hard work,” he said. “I see them out there every day. And thank you (Superintendent) Dave (Ryan), for doing such a great job.”



Posted 12/22/2017




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