Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Enough stormwater bond revenues left to do most of Porter Avenue ditch project

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By KEVIN NEVERS

Exactly three years ago, the Chesterton Stormwater Management Board floated a bond issue to finance approximately $800,000 in infrastructure projects.

Three years later, half a dozen stormwater projects have been completed, at a cost of around $662,000, and a balance of $119,165.11 remains.

So Stormwater Engineer Chris Nesper reported at Monday’s board meeting.

As Nesper noted, the cost of most of the bond projects, for one reason or another, exceeded the original cost estimates, and a number of the projects on the list simply won’t get funded, at least not through the bond issue: work, for instance, on the open ditch along 1100N east of the CVS Pharmacy, and the installation of best management practices at the Crocker compost site.

The last project which will get done, at least partially done: piping and closing the ditches on the north side of West Porter Ave. between 19th Street and 23rd Street. Estimated cost: $150,000. Town Engineer Mark O’Dell told the Chesterton Tribune after the meeting that this project will be undertaken next year in the spring or summer, and that as much of it will be done as funding allows, unless, that is, the board should authorize an additional expenditure of cash on hand to finish the work.

The completed bond projects:

* The clearing of the detention basin immediately west of 23rd Street and south of the Prairie Duneland Trail.

* Repairs on the 23rd Street storm sewer.

* Replacement of a stormwater sewer on Taylor Street.

* The installation of two stormwater lift stations: one in the alley behind Val’s Famous Pizza & Grinders; and the other in an alley off 11th Street just north of West Porter Ave.

* Work on ditches and culverts in the Morningside subdivision.

* Drainage work in the 1000 block of Park Ave.

More on the 23rd Street Storm Sewer

However, as Nesper made clear later in the meeting, the repairs made to approximately 110 feet of the 23rd Street storm sewer and funded by the bond issue have in no way brought the whole of that line up to snuff.

In fact, Nesper said, something like 1,100 feet of the 23rd Street storm sewer remain in dire need of work. A recent videotaping of the line--which Nesper showed to members on Monday--reveals numerous joint failures, the infiltration of large amounts of sand and sediment, and the “egging” of the line in places, threatening collapse.

The board took no action on the issue at Monday’s meeting but is likely to front-burner it in 2015.

2015 Budget

Meanwhile, the board voted 3-0 to approve the Stormwater Utility’s 2015 budget, submitted by O’Dell.

That budget projects total revenues of $405,300, less $54,000 for the Capital Improvement Fund, leaving revenue for operations of $405,300; total expenses of $404,500; and a surplus of $1,250.

Salaries and wages account for $235,000 of expenses; pensions and benefits for $95,050; materials and supplies for $14,000; contractual services for $19,000; transportation for $10,000; MS4 public education for $15,000; and miscellaneous items for $16,000.

Write-Offs

Members also voted 3-0 to write-off $1,847.37 in uncollectible bad debt from customers who’ve moved out of town and can’t be located and a further $161.82 in uncollectible penalties.

November in Review

In November the Stormwater Utility ran a deficit of $153 and in the year-to-date is running a surplus of $80,155.

 

Posted 12/16/2014

 
 
 
 

 

 

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