currently pending in the Indiana General Assembly could cost the Chesterton
Stormwater Utility more than $25,000 in annual revenues from the stormwater
fee which it currently charges certain categories of customers.
Under Senate Bill
502--authored by State Sens. Aaron Freeman, R-32nd, and Blake Doriot,
R-12th--church, school, and agricultural property all would be exempted from
paying stormwater fees, as Associate Town Attorney Connor Nolan told the
Stormwater Management Board at its meeting Tuesday night.
As matters stand
now, the Stormwater Utility collects an annual total of $26,341.20 from the
12 churches and five Duneland School properties located in the Town of
Of the 12 churches,
St. Patrick Catholic Church pays the highest annual fee ($3,221.16); the
Duneland Community Church at 1552 Pioneer Trail pays the second highest
($1,128.36); while the Church of Christ at 219 S. 15th St. and the Crocker
Bible Baptist Church at 1050 Church St. pay the lowest fee ($81.96). The
average annual fee: $602.98.
The Duneland School
Corporation, for its part, pays an annual total of $19,105.44 among its five
properties: Chesterton High School, Chesterton Middle School, Westchester
Intermediate, Bailly Elementary, and the Brown Mansion.
stormwater utilities would be hit much harder than Chesterton’s if the
legislation is enacted, Town Engineer Mark O’Dell noted. Dyer’s stands to
lose something on the order of $100,000.
As it happens,
neither churches nor schools appear to be driving the legislation. On the
contrary, farmers are. “Farmers in unincorporated areas are opposing
stormwater fees,” Nolan said.
Management Board voted unanimously to voice its opposition to SB 502 and to
instruct its attorney to draft a letter against the legislation.
In other business,
Street Commission John Schnadenberg reported that he’s eyeing a pair of
The first would
remedy a pooling problem in the alley between Wabash Ave. and Grant Ave.,
west of North Calumet Road. After the fix has been made, Schnadenberg said,
that alley would then be paved.
The second would
address a long-standing pooling problem on South 11th Street at the
intersection of Crab Tree Lane, just north of 1100N, by piping runoff to a
stormwater sewer 300 feet to the east.
reported that, with February’s unseasonably mild weather, the Street
Department has gotten a jump on spring.
Among other things,
crews have been grading alleys, streetsweeping main roads, and replacing old
street-name signage in a number of subdivisions. Today, Schnadenberg said, a
crew was scheduled to begin removal of a couple of hazard trees.
“Things we normally
do in the spring we’re going to go ahead and get an early start on,” he
noted. “We haven’t been busy with snow but we’ve been busy doing a lot of
January in Review
In January the
Stormwater Utility ran a surplus of $16,347.