Chesterton Tribune



Schnadenberg Storm sewers just not designed to handle deluges

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Chesterton Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg was out of town last week but--“thanks to modern technology,” as he put it at Monday night’s Town Council meeting--he still managed to keep abreast of the temporary flooding which befell parts of the town on Thursday, Aug. 18, following a 1.41-inch, 90-minute deluge.

“I was getting email, pictures, videos,” Schnadenberg said.

Not that he could do much where he was. Not--more to the point--that anyone could do much, except wait for the storm sewers to catch up and the “limited” flood waters to recede.

“No storm sewers are made that are capable of handling that much water,” Schnadenberg noted, at least none of the 12-inch sewers installed in Chesterton.

Despite the new stormwater lift station installed in the alley behind Val’s Famous Pizzas, at Broadway and 11th Street, the pizzeria’s restaurant flooded anyway, Schnadenberg added. It wasn’t the lift station’s fault. “It worked perfectly” and was busily pumping 400 gallons of stormwater per minute, but it still couldn’t keep up. “There was so much water, so fast,” he said.

Schnadenberg did thank the Chesterton Fire Department for sending a piece of apparatus to Val’s to pump out water.

NIPSCO and the Treatment Plant

In other business, Town Manager Bernie Doyle reported that he, Utility Superintendent Dave Ryan, and NIPSCO’s public affairs manager, Rick Calinski, have a meeting scheduled to discuss power reliability and in particular the occasional interruption of electric service to the wastewater treatment plant.

An outage during a storm on July 24 led to the release into the Little Calumet River of some 128,000 gallons of untreated wastewater, after the plant’s backup generator failed. Staff subsequently determined that a previous--and undiscovered--lightning strike had probably damaged a key part of the generator.

But Ryan has expressed concern over other interruptions of electric service not evidently connected to storms.

Redevelopment Meeting

Earlier in the evening, at the Redevelopment Commission’s regularly scheduled monthly meeting, Schnadenberg reported that Lawson-Fisher Associates is continuing to develop specifications for the asphalting of the currently brick-pavered roadways in Coffee Creek Center.

The Lake Erie Land Company (LEL) has not yet determined whether it will, in fact, replace the pavers with asphalt or simply replace the missing pavers.

But if LEL does elect to rip out the pavers and put in asphalt, it’s not certain that any of the work will be done this year, Schnadenberg said. The project could potentially go out to bid this fall, but there may be no contractors interested in taking the job this late in the season.

Remember Those Yellow Recycling Bins?

Member Jim Ton, R-1st, took a moment at the end of the meeting to observe the 25th anniversary of the beginning of the town’s recycling program.

The town-issued yellow bins which inaugurated the program now seem awfully small compared to the 95-gallon wheeled garbage cans now dedicated to recycling. But that’s a good thing, Ton said, as the town’s ultimate goal should be for recycling to be collected every week and garbage every other week.






Posted 8/24/2016




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