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
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.
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,
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
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
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.