Utility finished 2013 in the red, but only a bit.
At its meeting
Monday night, Utility Service Board President Larry Brandt reported that the
Utility ran a a deficit last year of $7,194.07. “Out of a $2 million
spending budget, I think that’s outstanding.”
Total revenues in
2013 were $3,867,405.90; total operating revenues, $2,031,080.04; and total
Brandt also noted
that the Utility currently has a strong cash position of $1,741,583.08 in
the Depreciation, Plant Maintenance, and Operation Fund accounts, with debt
service earmarks for 2014 already in the bank. That cash is “available,” he
said, in case of emergency.
In 2013 the
wastewater treatment plant bypassed a total of 154,505 gallons, virtually
all of it during a single event in June, which saw 5.17 inches of rain.
“What’s nice to see is that what (the Town of) Porter’s doing with upgrading
the system and what we’re doing is making a difference,” Member Scot McCord
In 2012, by way of
contrast, the plant bypassed a total of 65,074 gallons; in 2011, 3.574
In 2013 Chesterton
used 42.19 percent of its 3,668,000 gallons per day (gpd) allotment of the
wastewater treatment plant; Porter, 48.94 percent of its 851,000 gpd
allotment; the Indian Boundary Conservancy District, 63.25 percent of its
81,000 gpd allotment; and the plant as a whole, 43.81 percent of its
The plant treated
735,557,000 million gallons in 2013, compared to 700,688,000 in 2012 and
852,400,000 in 2011.
Long Term Control
In other business,
Mark Nye of DLZ reported that work is progressing on the construction of the
1.2-million gallon storage tank, the centerpiece of the federally mandated
long term control plan to reduce sewage bypasses into the Little Calumet
The tank’s bottom
slab has been poured, Nye said, and crews are preparing to pour the walls.
“Can they work with
concrete in this weather?” Member Andy Michel asked.
“When it’s really
cold, they put additives in the concrete and cover it when it’s poured,” Nye
In any case, McCord
noted, “there was a window (in the weather) when they poured this.”
“There’s a lot of
activity at the treatment plant now,” Nye concluded. “Everything seems to be
going well so far.”
By 4-0 votes, the
Service Board re-elected Brandt to the presidency, McCord to the
vice-presidency, and Deb Schoenfelt to the secretariat. The Service Board
also voted 4-0 to retain Harris Welsh & Lukmann as its legal counsel.
Schnadenberg was not in attendance.
The Service Board
voted 4-0 as well to re-schedule next month’s meeting from 7 p.m. Monday,
Feb. 17--Presidents’ Day and a municipal holiday--to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb.
Terry Atherton had good things to say about the performance of his employees
during the Polar Vortex event. “Appreciation is expressed to the Utility
staff for going above and beyond to see that the needs of the Utility were
met during the severe cold and snow experienced over the last several
weeks,” Atherton said. “Laboratory staff, operations, maintenance, and
administrative personnel thankfully made it in to work. Thanks also goes to
those who support the staff efforts to maintain and improve our facilities.
Few problems were experienced at the plant during the cold weather, partly
due to our preparation.” Atherton noted that the collections crew logged 40
hours in two different shifts, in assistance to the Street Department,
clearing the town’s alleys of snow.
Member Jim Raffin
thanked the Utility employees who helped the Street Department plow. “I’m
speaking probably for everybody in town,” he said.
December in Review
Chesterton used 39.97 percent of its allotment; Porter, 45.3 percent; the
Indian Boundary Conservancy District, 57.15 percent; and the plant as a
whole, 40.65 percent of its capacity.
bypassed five gallons of wastewater last month.
Also in December,
the Utility ran a surplus of $6,102.25.
Both Michel and
Raffin took a moment at the end of the meeting to thank the Town Council for
re-appointing them to the Service Board. “With everything that’s going on,
it’s nice to retain the same board,” Michel said. “We’ve got a good working
board,” McCord said. “We’ve done a good job trying to get things on the