Chesterton Tribune                                                                                   Adv.

New Town Utility Superintendent hired

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The Chesterton Utility has a new superintendent, at last.

At the Town Council’s meeting Monday night, Interim Utility Superintendent Mark O’Dell announced the hire last week of Patrick Geisendorfer.

Geisendorfer, currently a resident of Wisconsin, is a 25-year veteran of wastewater management and holds a Wisconsin Class IV permit, O’Dell told the Chesterton Tribune after the meeting.

His first official day on the job will be March 1.

Geisendorfer will be formally introduced at the Utility Service Board’s next monthly meeting, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 16.

Four persons were interviewed for the position, O’Dell noted.

Geisendorfer’s hire concludes a process which began early last year, when long-time superintendent Steve Yagelski abruptly resigned. O’Dell was named interim superintendent while the Service Board undertook a search process which lasted for months and did not end until late summer, when James Chris Shank was given the nod. But Shank had been on the job only a week when he also resigned abruptly for personal reasons. O’Dell was again named interim superintendent and the Service Board started from scratch, this time contracting with a professional recruitment firm.

Federal Funds Sought

In other business, members voted 4-0 to authorize O’Dell, wearing his town engineer’s hat, to submit six projects to U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-1st, for possible funding in Fiscal Year 2011 appropriations bill. President Jeff Trout, R-2nd, was not in attendance.

The projects:

•A utility corridor down Ind. 49, which could conceivably dovetail with the construction of Porter hospital’s new facility in unincorporated Liberty Township at the intersection of Ind. 49 and U.S. Highway 6. “This is a real chance to put something together,” noted Member Sharon Darnell, D-4th. “This is the start of a very interesting time in the development of our area.” The Town of Chesterton has formally invited Porter hospital to take advantage of the Utility’s wastewater treatment plant as a more convenient and less expensive alternative to the City of Portage’s.

•The Dunes-Kankakee Trail, which is projected to cut through Downtown Chesterton on its way from Indiana Dunes State Park to Kouts and Hebron.

•The engineering study for the Dickinson Road extension, which would link Indian Boundary Road to the north with Sidewalk Road to the south.

•A stormwater lift station for the flood-prone alley behind Val’s Famous Pizza and Grinders at Broadway and 11th Street.

•Phase II of the Westchester-Liberty Trail, from Rose Hill Estates east through a wetland to 11th Street.

•A sanitary sewer re-lining.

Later in the meeting, members voted 4-0 to authorize Town Manager Bernie Doyle to submit the same list of projects to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration.

Meanwhile, O’Dell said that he will be seeking federal stimulus funding in the second round of awards and is right now compiling a possible list of projects, including traffic signal upgrades and battery backups for those signals.

O’Dell also said that he is still waiting for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources to approve a permit which would permit the town, using funds made available through the Federal Emergency Management Administration, to repair the boardwalk and bridge in Coffee Creek Park damaged by the floods of September 2008. The town can do nothing until DNR has issued the permit, O’Dell said, so he has asked FEMA for an extension of the deadline by which to use the funds.

Posted 2/9/2010




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