Chesterton Tribune

High speed Amtrak security measures to cost Chesterton Utility nearly $7,000

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The Department of Homeland Security’s security measures for the Amtrak railroad line are going to cost the Chesterton Utility more than $6,000.

So Superintendent Rob Lovell reported at Monday’s meeting of the Utility Service Board.

Here’s the story.

To access a lift station servicing the Morningside subdivision and located about a quarter of a mile east of the wastewater treatment plant, Utility collection crews have been using the Amtrak right-of-way—with Amtrak’s knowledge—by following the tracks east from Waverly Road.

But Homeland Security, in advance of plans to run a high-speed Amtrak service to Chicago, has chained and locked the entry to that access route off Waverly Road.

Which leaves the Utility two options, Lovell told the Service Board: either build, at enormous expense, a new access road off Taylor Street; or re-gate the fence on the north edge of the wastewater treatment plant, to allow the vacuum truck out and onto the Amtrak right-of-way at that point.

The cost of re-gating the fence: around $6,700, Lovell said. “Without gate access, we’ll have a hard time getting our equipment back there.”

Members voted 5-0 to authorize that expenditure.

Sixth Street Collapse

In other business, Lovell reported that a collapsed sanitary sewer main in the area of Sixth Street was discovered during routine cleaning and televising and repaired—on an emergency basis—before any backups in the system could occur.

The repair did cost in excess of $7,000, largely due to the depth of the line—around 14 feet—which is deeper than the Utility’s own equipment can go, Lovell said.

1100N Main Re-locate

In other business, members voted 5-0 to authorize Town Engineer Mark O’Dell to obtain quotes on the cost of re-locating a sanitary sewer main currently fixed to the 1100N bridge over Coffee Creek.

The Porter County Highway Department is planning to replace that bridge, forcing the re-location of the main.

O’Dell said that the new main will be bored under Coffee Creek.

Quotes will be opened at a special meeting at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 29.

Ind. 49 Utility Corridor

O’Dell reported that specs for the Ind. 49 utility corridor project will soon be ready to go out for bid. Tentative timeline: publication on June 4 and June 11; bid opening—by the Redevelopment Commission, which is administering the project—on June 25; groundbreaking, in late July or early August.

The Service Board voted 5-0 to authorize the Redevelopment Commission to advertise for bids, with the understanding that the Utility would repay that body the cost of installing the new sanitary sewer line, probably under some variety of special re-capture connection fee. Stormwater, water, and fiber optic infrastructure will also be installed but not on the Utility’s dime.

DVG Inc., the project engineer, has estimated the cost of extending utility infrastructure beneath the Indiana Toll Road, across Ind., 49, and to the town’s southernmost corporate limit at $3.6 million.

April in Review

In April Chesterton used 40.96 percent of its 3,688,000 gallon per day (gpd) allotment at the wastewater treatment plant; Porter, 43.95 percent of its 851,000 gpd allotment; the Indian Boundary Conservancy District, 56.47 percent of its 81,000 gpd allotment; and the plant as a whole, 42.09 percent of its capacity.

With 1.61 inches of precipitation last month, there were no sewage bypasses.

In April the Utility ran a deficit of $210,297.67 and in the year-to-date is running a deficit of $48,838.60.


Posted 5/22/2012