Chesterton Tribune

Chesterton Utility hopes to purchase Street’s front-end loader for $50,000

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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 old one.

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 next meeting.

New Conveyor System

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.

Line Cleaning

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 debris.

A bucket mechanism will be used for the clean-out.

“When your main line is half full of debris, that’s a concern,” Schnadenberg said.

Ind. 49 Corridor Agreement

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 line.

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.

Part-time to Full-time

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 plant.

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.

In Gratitude

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 professional.

“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.”


Posted 6/21/2012