Chesterton Tribune



Chesterton Utility ready to take delivery of new vacuum truck

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The Chesterton Utility could take delivery of its new vacuum truck later this month.

So Superintendent Dave Ryan reported at the Utility Service Board’s meeting Monday night.

The cost of the unit, manufactured by Vactor and purchased from Doheny Equipment of Illinois: $380,000.

The Utility is paying $30,000 of that amount upfront in cash and has secured from Centier Bank a three-year, 2.98-percent loan of $350,000 to pay for the balance. To that end the Service Board voted unanimously on Monday to approve its financing agreement with Centier.

The new vacuum truck will replace a 1990 model which the Utility long ago put into reserve service. At Ryan’s recommendation, members voted unanimously to declare the old vacuum truck surplus, then unanimously again to authorize Ryan to advertise for sealed bids on it.

“It’s still in working order,” Ryan noted of the 28-year-old model.

The new vacuum truck will join a 2007 model, which has been doing the lion’s share of duties since acquired 10 years ago.

Payment in Lieu of Taxes

In other business, President Larry Brandt took a moment to apprise his colleagues of the annual “payment in lieu of taxes” which the Utility has agreed to make to the Town of Chesterton, its contribution to the sustainable funding package assembled by the Town Council to pay for raises for all municipal employees.

Although, as a public utility, the Chesterton Utility does not pay property taxes, under state law a municipality may collect from a utility an annual amount equivalent to what the utility would pay in property taxes were it a private entity. That amountÑfor that portion of the Utility actually located in the Town of ChestertonÑis roughly $157,000 per year, Brandt said.

Brandt’s question to Associate Town Attorney Chuck Parkinson: does the Service Board need to take any immediate action on that payment?

Parkinson said that it does not. “Not yet. Some determination needs to be made as to the value” of that part of the Utility located in Chesterton. When that determination is made, a resolution will go to the Town Council for action, Parkinson added.

Under an amendment to the 2018 Salary Ordinance approved by the Town Council at its last meeting, all municipal employeesÑincluding Utility employeesÑreceived a 4-percent raise retroactive to April 1. Police officers and firefighters received variable wages, depending on their position, intended to bring their take-home more in line with that paid by comparable municipalities in the area.

“It’s good that we keep competitive,” Brandt said.

Superintendent’s Report

Meanwhile, Ryan made note of the following March highlights in his report to the Service Board:

* The Utility completed 336 locates last March. Ryan said that most of those were related to the ongoing construction of the town’s fiber-optic network.

* The Utility paid contractor Woodruff & Sons just over $40,000 for its work on two emergency repairs: the first of a broken 12-inch clay sewer in the alley south of West Morgan street between 11th and 12th streets; the second of a broken 10-inch concrete sewer in the alley between West Morgan Ave. and West Indiana Ave. and Fifth and Sixth street.

* Ryan congratulated Lab Chief Leah Leimbacher for passing her examination with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, certifying her as a Class II Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator; and he congratulated employee Trevor Hudson for passing his CDL test.

* And Ryan reported that he has posted a position for wastewater operator/maintainer in advance of an anticipated vacancy.

March in Review

In March, Chesterton used 53.55 percent of its 3,668,000 gallon per day (gpd) allotment of the wastewater treatment plant; Porter, 54.67 percent of its 851,000 gpd allotment; and the Indian Boundary Conservancy District, 61.31 percent of its 81,000 gpd allotment. Total plant capacity used in March was not available.

There were no bypasses of wastewater into the Little Calumet River last month, which saw a total of 1.3 inches of rain recorded at the plant.

Also in March, the Utility ran a surplus of $318,832.10 and in the year-to-date is running a surplus of $433,112.74

Stormwater Management Board

Earlier in the evening, at a short meeting of the Stormwater Management Board, Stormwater Utility Superintendent Mark O’Dell reported that in March the utility ran a surplus of $18,446 and in the year-to-date is running a surplus of $45,648.



Posted 4/18/2018




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