Work could begin as
early as this year on the piping and in-filling of the drainage ditches on
the north side of 1050N in Crocker.
Mark O’Dell told the Stormwater Management Board at its meeting Tuesday
night that he’s in the process of obtaining quotes for a preliminary survey
of the ditches.
“We need to do a
survey first, some potholing, to see what we’d have to do to close the
ditch,” he said. “There’s a lot of utilities out there, natural gas, fiber
O’Dell and Street
Commissioner John Schnadenberg originally pitched the project to the
Stormwater Management Board in June 2019, after noting that the ditches are
deep and in places a natural-gas line running both parallel and
perpendicular to the ditches has been exposed by erosion. As O’Dell noted,
“If a car goes into that ditch, you’re not getting out.”
infrastructure installation on the south side of 1050N, however--on the site
of the new Springdale planned unit development--made the piping project
infeasible last summer.
Then, at the Town
Council’s last meeting, on Feb. 10, President Sharon Darnell, D-4th,
suggested that the time might at last have come to pursue it.
O’Dell told the
Chesterton Tribune after the meeting that, at a minimum, the project
could be designed and engineered this year and the possible acquisition for
right-of-way or easements begun.
A similar project
was completed in 2017 along the north side of West Porter Ave. between 18th
and 23rd streets, when that ditch was piped and in-filled.
In other business,
O’Dell reported that the Stormwater Utility’s new flail mower--acquired with
an eye to exposing the old agricultural ditch east of the headwaters of
Peterson Ditch--is currently being used by a Street Department crew on the
vegetation bordering the pond at Coffee Creek Park.
on it,” O’Dell said. “They’ll probably be out there for a week or two,
working around the lake.”
Stormwater Utility purchased the flail mower last year at a cost of around
$10,000, the mower itself must be mounted on a mini-excavator, which the
Stormwater Utility is opting to rent, at a price of $3,700 per month, as it
would cost nearly $60,000 to buy outright.
Later this year the
flail mower will be used to expose the old agricultural ditch east of the
Peterson Ditch headwaters, to determine to what extent its flow into
Peterson Ditch is being hindered and by what. Last year Bill Laster, a
resident of Oakwood Drive, appeared twice before the Stormwater Management
Board to complain that the ditch’s congestion has caused runoff to backwash
into his rear yard, located on the east side of South 11th Street.
January in Review
In January the
Stormwater Utility ran a surplus of $9,283.