Two weeks before the Porter County Council is scheduled to consider
releasing CEDIT funds to upsize the sanitary sewer line being constructed
south of the Indiana Toll Road by the Town of Chesterton, Town Council
Members Jeff Trout, R-2nd, is taking issue with misconceptions about the
project which he says Liberty Township residents are laboring under.
At the council’s meeting Monday night, Trout noted that, in testimony before
the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission in 2011, Damon Run Conservancy
District engineer Charlie Ray specifically stated that the sanitary system
installed to serve the new Porter hospital at U.S. Highway 6 and Ind. 49 is
of sufficient capacity to serve only the area immediately around the
It is not of sufficient capacity, however—for example—to serve
development east of Ind. 49, Trout quoted Ray as saying.
More: at a minimum the Damon Run’s lift stations would have to be upsized to
give it sufficient capacity to go beyond the hospital service area,
Trout also quoted Ray as saying.
“There is some confusion on what an eight-inch line can and cannot handle,”
Trout said on Monday.
Another misconception: some Liberty folks believe that there is an 18-inch
sanitary line running along U.S. 6. There is not, Trout said. The Damon Run
eight-inch line serving Porter hospital does not run along
On the contrary, the line which those Liberty folks are thinking of is a
water line, Trout said.
The bottom line, according to Trout: “We are in essence complementary to
what’s there. The capacity (Damon Run) can’t handle, we’re proposing to
handle. . . . We’re not going to annex anything. We’re trying to help the
county create some jobs and grow the economy.”
Meanwhile, the Redevelopment Commission is still taking under advisement the
five quotes received for the Ind. 49 Utility Corridor Project, under which
the town is installing sanitary sewer, stormwater, water, and fiber optic
infrastructure under the Toll Road, across Ind. 49, and up to Chesterton’s
southernmost corporate limit.
The lowest bid for installing that infrastructure: $2,128,059, submitted by
LGS Plumbing Inc. of Crown Point.
LGS Plumbing also submitted the lowest alternate bid—$742,409—for the upsize
of the sanitary line sufficient to serve development along the Ind. 49
corridor outside of the town. That figure would be the county’s
share, if the Porter County Council opts to partner with the town and
release the CEDIT funds.
The original estimate for the county’s share had been $900,000.
Trout has already said that, should the county not opt to partner with the
town now, it could cost millions at some point in the future to rip up the
existing sanitary line and upsize it to serve unincorporated development.
In other business, members voted 5-0 to waive Town Standards and permit Good
Oil Company—owner of the B.P. Amoco fronting Indian Boundary Road—to build a
third road cut on the property, this one giving onto Plaza Drive East.
Attorney Greg Babcock, representing Good Oil, has said that the two existing
road cuts on Indian Boundary Road would be preserved but that the new one, a
dedicated right-only exit, would ease some traffic congestion on Indian
Boundary Road itself by funneling customers onto Plaza Drive East, with its
The road cut will be installed back far enough from the intersection to
allow some stacking at the traffic signal.
The council did attach some conditions to the waiver:
•Additional driveway must be installed. It must be 12 feet in width and have
a six-inch tall concrete curb on each side.
•A “No Left Turn” sign must be installed at the exit and two “Do Not Enter”
signs outside the exit, meeting the Street Commissioner’s approval.
•Good Oil may not damage the newly re-paved Plaza Drive.
•Good Oil must stake the locations and edges of the proposed driveway at
least five days prior to construction, so that the Street Commissioner and
Town Engineer may verify the location.
Meanwhile, Member Sharon Darnell, D-4th, had some bad news for municipal
employees. After crunching the numbers—with Anton Insurance Agency and the
Clerk-Treasurer’s Office—she has determined that the new health-care plan
implemented last year has not resulted in enough savings to permit raises.
Darnell did say that, late in the year, the numbers can be reassessed.
Trout took a moment at the end of the meeting to laud the fireworks
extravaganza last week at Indiana Dunes State Park. “It’s pretty exciting to
see that many local people packed onto the beach,” he said. “It’s really an
outstanding show. A bit of the headache with the traffic, but it’s worth
“It wouldn’t be a good fireworks show if it weren’t a little crowded,” added
Member Nick Walding, R-3rd.