The Chesterton Utility wants to buy the Street Department’s front-end
loader, and Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg—who sits on the Utility
Service Board—thinks the idea’s a good one.
At the Service Board’s meeting Monday night, Schnadenberg noted that the
Utility makes frequent use of the front-end loader—when it’s available—but
that lately he’s been forced to deny requests to borrow it due to the Street
Department’s own heavy usage of the machine.
The solution: the Utility would make two annual payments of $25,000 to the
Street Department, enough to cover the first two lease-purchase payments for
a new front-end loader. In return, the Utility would take possession of the
Schnadenberg’s colleagues on the Service Board thought the arrangement has
merit as well and voted 3-0 to authorize him to pursue it. Members Scot
McCord and Jim Raffin were not in attendance.
Schnadenberg said that he will broach the idea to the Town Council at its
In other business, members voted 3-0 to authorize Superintendent Rob Lovell
to retain an engineering firm to develop bid specifications for a new
conveyor for the sludge system.
Lovell reported that his research indicates that the purchase and
installation of a new conveyor will cost in the neighborhood of $300,000 and
that the bid package promises to be a fairly complicated one.
Members also voted 3-0 to authorize the expenditure of $7,500 to remove
debris from the 48-inch concrete sanitary sewer line on Eighth Street, after
recent camera work indicates that, in places, the line is half choked with
A bucket mechanism will be used for the clean-out.
“When your main line is half full of debris, that’s a concern,” Schnadenberg
Ind. 49 Corridor
Meanwhile, the Service Board voted 3-0 to approve an agreement with the
Redevelopment Commission to establish a schedule of special connection fees,
to be paid by all new users of the sanitary sewer line to be built south of
the Indiana Toll Road as part of the Ind. 49 Utility Corridor Project.
Revenues from those fees will be made over to the Redevelopment Commission
in repayment for the cost of engineering and constructing the sanitary sewer
That project—which also includes the construction of stormwater, water, and
fiber optic infrastructure as far south as the town’ southernmost corporate
limit—is currently out to bid. A bond will be issued to finance the project,
to be repaid with tax increment financing moneys. The Utility is not
assuming any of the cost of the other infrastructure.
Billing Clerk Donna Simmers, for her part, reported that a total of 43 liens
have been filed to collect outstanding balances from customers and a
whopping $22,695.47 collected.
Eight of the customers in question—seven of them Crocker residents—had owed
among them $9,455.13. Normally, customers delinquent in their sanitary sewer
bills face shut-off of their water service, but most Crocker properties are
on well water.
The Service Board voted 3-0 to make the currently part-time position of
administrative assistant full-time, after Lovell said that there’s enough
work for a full-timer to do and that he’s been losing his part-timers just
as soon as they find full-time employment elsewhere.
No change in the 2012 Salary Ordinance is necessary, because the position of
administrative assistant was originally codified as a full-time one.
That position, by the way, is currently open, Lovell said.
May in Review
In May, Chesterton used 41.42 percent of its 3,668,000 gallon per day (gpd)
allotment of the wastewater treatment plant; Porter, 43.97 percent of its
851,000 gpd allotment; the Indian Boundary Conservancy District, 57.52
percent of its 81,000 gpd allotment; and the plant as a whole, 42.17 percent
of its capacity.
There were no bypasses last month, with 2.73 inches of rain recorded at the
In May the Utility ran a surplus of $159,497.06 and in the year-to-date is
running a surplus of $110,658.46.
President Larry Brandt took a moment at the end of the meeting to read a
letter from Robert Welsh, thanking the Utility and its employees for their
prompt response on May 14 to a sewer backup in his residence.
They were “very efficient and helpful in every way,” Welsh wrote. “Very
“I’ve been saying this for many years,” Member Andy Michel remarked. “We
have great employees. They not only do a good job, they have a wonderful
attitude that goes with it.”