Stormwater Utility is going to take a crack at an old drainage ditch,
located east of the headwaters of Peterson Ditch, whose normal flow westward
into Peterson Ditch may be disrupted by brush and vegetation.
To that end, the
Stormwater Management Board voted unanimously at its meeting Monday night to
purchase, at a cost not to exceed $10,000, a brush flail mower, mountable to
a mini-excavator which the Stormwater Utility would rent.
“This product does
take some expertise,” Town Engineer Mark O’Dell told members. “We’ll have to
train an individual how to use it. But it works unbelievable. Four to six
inch trees, it just takes them down. It’s got a drum rotor with very sharp
teeth. Basically knives, very sharp knives.”
Utility specifically is interested in exposing the ditch, likely an
agricultural artifact from years ago, to determine to what extent its flow
into Peterson Ditch is being hindered and by what.
Bill Laster, a
resident of Oakwood Drive--located well east of the old ditch, on the far
side of South 11th Street--has twice appeared before the Stormwater
Management Board this year to complain that the ditch’s congestion has
caused runoff to backwash into his rear yard.
O’Dell did say
that, at the same time, he’s communicating with the U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers “to make sure there are no permit issues” involved in working on
Attorney Chuck Parkinson did want something like an assurance from O’Dell
that the ditch is not actually a stretch of the Peterson Ditch, a
county-regulated drain, work on which might constitute an admission by the
town that it has responsibility for maintaining it. Jurisdiction of Peterson
Ditch is currently a matter of dispute between the town and Porter County.
that, so far as he’s been able to tell, Peterson Ditch actually begins well
west of the ditch, very near South 14th Street at Portage Ave. The ditch in
question, on the other hand, “is in a no-man’s land” east of Peterson Ditch.
August in Review
In August the
Stormwater Utility ran a surplus of $15,648 and in the year-to-date is
running a surplus of $114,195.
Later in the
evening, the Utility Service Board held its own regularly scheduled monthly
meeting, at which there was little in the way of business to transact.
Ryan did provide a review of August:
Chesterton used 49.89 percent of its 3,668,000 gallon per day (gpd)
allotment of the wastewater treatment plant; Porter, 42 percent of its
851,000 gpd allotment; the Indian Boundary Conservancy District, 50.40
percent of its 81,000 gpd allotment; and the plant as a whole, 49.89 percent
of its capacity.
There were no
bypasses of wastewater into the Little Calumet River in August, which saw
total rainfall recorded at the plant of 1.4 inches.
In August the
Utility ran a deficit of $164,017.32 and in the year-to-date is running a
surplus of $769,766.01.
Member Scot McCord
did take a moment at the end of the meeting to congratulate O’Dell, MS4
Operator Jennifer Gadzala, the Park Department, and the volunteers for the
excellent job they all did in landscaping the new boxcar restroom in Thomas
Centennial Park. “It really turned out nice,” McCord said. “I think it
really looks good.”