Chesterton Tribune



Dump truck spews gravel across Indian Boundary Road

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At 8 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 14, the rear gate of a dump truck hauling gravel opened as the truck was eastbound on Indian Boundary Road, spreading gravel across all three lanes from Council Drive to Sand Creek Drive North--and from yellow center lane to curb--to a depth of two inches.

So Chesterton Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg reported to the Stormwater Management Board at its meeting Monday night.

No problem. Schnadenberg ordered the Street Department’s two street sweepers out of winter storage and pointed them in the right direction. “We just had to pick up the gravel a couple of feet at a time,” he said. “Took about an hour and a half. And now the Street Department has some stone.”

It’s unclear whether the dump’s driver realized what had happened, Schnadenberg told the board. Either he didn’t and was in for a big surprise when he reached his destination. Or he did, and just figured he had better places to be than chatting with a police officer.

As long as the sweepers were out, Schnadenberg added, he put one of them into the service in the Downtown last week. “It was a little unusual but the weather was nice and we cleaned a lot of debris out of the gutters,” he said.


In other business, Schnadenberg reported that the 2.73 inches of rain which fell on Duneland Jan. 10-11 presented no major problems for the town.

Personnel were out in the days before the rain uncovering storm drains, he noted, but in general the stormwater projects which the board has been pursuing--for example, the two lift stations installed in the alley behind Val’s and in the one off South 11th Street--have gone a long way to keep Chesterton dry during rain events. “All in all, the projects we’ve done over the last 20 years have really paid off,” Schnadenberg said. “All our stormsewers were able to keep up with it.”

Schnadenberg did say that a backyard drain in Duneland Cove was clogged and had to be cleared.

Senate Bill 46

Meanwhile, MS4 Operator Jennifer Gadzala reported that a bill has once again been introduced during the current legislative session which would prohibit stormwater utilities from collecting user fees from properties used for religious services and from school corporations: S.B. 46.

A similar bill was introduced last year in the Senate, and at the time Town Engineer Mark O’Dell said that--if enacted--it would result in the loss of approximately $27,800 in annual revenues: $4,300 from churches in town and another $23,000 from the Duneland School Corporation, the latter of which is the Stormwater Utility’s largest single customer.

“I’m just keeping an eye on (S.B. 46),” Gadzala said. “I don’t know if this will go anywhere. Last year’s didn’t.”


in Review

In December the Stormwater Utility ran a deficit of $109,327, chiefly the result of a debt-service payment on the 2015 bond in the amount of $99,363.

In 2019 the Stormwater Utility ran a surplus of $20,855, compared to a projected deficit of $53,880.

“We managed the budget reasonably tight,” O’Dell said.

Election of Officers

Members unanimously elected Tom Kopko as president and Paul Stofko as vice-president.

Kopko took a moment at the end of the meeting to welcome newly appointed Member Victoria Wittig. “I just want to welcome Victoria to the board,” he said. “Thank you for volunteering.”



Posted 1/21/2020




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