Chesterton Tribune



Stormwater board mulls proposed 2019 budget

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The Chesterton Stormwater Management Board has taken under advisement the Stormwater Utility’s proposed 2019 budget.

That budget projects total revenues of $520,850; and revenues for operation of $508,850.

Projected expenses: $281,335 for salaries and wages; $139,813 for employee pensions and benefits; $9,550 for materials and supplies; $15,500 for contractual services; $7,500 for transportation; $1,500 for MS4 public education; $13,250 for miscellaneous expenses; and $99,362 for total debt service.

Total expenses: $567,810, with a projected net deficit of $58,960.

Stormwater Utility Superintendent Mark O’Dell noted a couple of things about the budget. First, the Health, Dental, Vision, Life, Health Savings Account line item--$86,406--“took a hit on the budget,” inasmuch as the Town Council asked the Utility to “pay 100 percent of it.”

Second, the budget does not currently include 2-percent raises for Utility employees, as the Town Council has not yet formally adopted the townwide 2019 budget.

Third, O’Dell included $10,000 in the Contractual Services line item in the event the board wants to pursue a rate study next year.

Finally, the relatively small $1,500 earmark for MS4 Public Education reflects the fact that the Stormwater Utility several years invested in a variety of outreach materials which MS4 Operator Jennifer Gadzala is still using. “Outreach is winding down,” O’Dell said.

East Porter Ave. Culvert Project

In other business, O’Dell reported that work on the box culvert over Sand Creek is all but completed and that East Porter Ave. between Dickinson Road and 250E has been re-opened to traffic.

The “bridge is open, the stripes are down, and the speed limit sign is up,” O’Dell said.

The total approximate cost of the project: $619,000, some $253,000 of which was funded through a Community Crossings state infrastructure grant.

Several years ago the town discovered two things about the old bridge: that it was crumbling and in need of replacement; and that responsibility for the project was not in fact the Porter County Highway Department’s but the town’s own, because the bridge’s length fell just short of the span which would have put it in the Highway Department’s inventory.

September in Review

In September the Stormwater Utility ran a surplus of $8,033 and in the year-to-date is running a surplus of $148,347.



Posted 10/17/2018




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