Chesterton Tribune

Landlords to pay tenants' sanitary sewer bills

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Beginning on Jan. 1, 2011, landlords in Chesterton will be responsible for paying the sanitary sewer bills of their tenants, under a new ordinance enacted at the Town Council’s meeting Monday night.

Members voted 4-0 to approve that ordinance on first reading, 4-0 to suspend the rules, then 4-0 to approve it on final reading. Member Sharon Darnell, D-4th, was not in attendance.

The ordinance is a simple one, reading only that, on New Year’s Day, “rates and charges will be billed to the owner of the real estate serviced” and that funds currently being held in the Utility’s service deposit fund and deposited there by tenants will be released to the tenants “less any sewer charges and penalties chargeable to the property for which the deposit is being held.”

Landlords already pay the bi-monthly MS4 fee, Stormwater Utility Superintendent Mark O’Dell noted. “It’s worked well with stormwater,” he said. “We know exactly who’s not paying. We can track them down.”

The new ordinance “puts the onus on the landlord,” Town Attorney Chuck Lukmann added. “The renters jump ship, the bills go uncollected, and finally written off.”

And coming soon, Clerk-Treasurer Gayle Polakowski announced: an ordinance which will similarly hold landlords responsible for the bi-monthly refuse and recycling fee.

Heavy-Truck Traffic Regulated

In other business, members voted 4-0 to approve on first reading an ordinance which regulates heavy-truck traffic on 1050N and 200W, 4-0 to suspend the rules, then 4-0 to approve that ordinance on final reading.

The ordinance, drafted on Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg’s recommendation, is the town’s response to the two-and-half-month closure to through-traffic, scheduled to go into effect later next month, of Ind. 149 between U.S. Highway 20 and U.S. Highway 6 as CSX undertakes track repairs at its grade-crossing just south of Old Porter Road in Burns Harbor.

Although the Indiana Department of Transportation will be posting a detour directing motorists around the closure via Ind. 49, Schnadenberg feared that heavy trucks, particularly steel haulers, will try to take a more direct route from U.S. 6 to U.S. 20, by way of 1050N and 200W, putting pressure on a roadway not built to sustain it.

The new ordinance specifically prohibits any vehicle with a gross weight in excess of 36,000 pounds on 1050 between Ind. 149 and 200W and on 200W, within the limits of the Town of Chesterton.

The ordinance does not apply to any vehicles making local deliveries

Offenders are subject to a fine of $250 to be paid to the Ordinance Violations Bureau.

Green Dry Cleaning Green-Lighted

Meanwhile, members also voted 4-0 to approve on first reading an ordinance permitting “green” dry-cleaning in the Galleria planned unit development at Council Drive and Indian Boundary Road, 4-0 to suspend the rules, then 4-0 to approve that ordinance on final reading.

Specifically, the new ordinance—endorsed by the Advisory Plan Commission—adds as a permitted use in the PUD the establishment of an “environmentally friendly dry cleaner.”

Among other things, the amendment mandates the use of biodegradable dry-cleaning solutions and the installation of a safety catch basin which can hold up to 100 percent by volume of the dry-cleaning solvent.

The dry cleaner will be sited in the now vacant space adjacent to El Salto.




Posted 7/27/2010