Chesterton Tribune



Town Council debriefs on Saturday downpour

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It’s a fair bet that, only a few years ago, Saturday’s torrential downpour of nearly 2 inches--concentrated in two periods of around 20 minutes each--would have overwhelmed the Chesterton wastewater treatment plant and forced an overflow of untreated sewage into the Little Calumet River.

But that was before the construction of the 1.2-million gallon storage basin, designed to hold excess sewer flow until the plant has had a chance to catch up. And on Saturday the basin performed exactly to expectations, as Superintendent Dave Ryan reported to Town Council at its meeting Tuesday night.

“Our concrete swimming pool did its job again,” Ryan said. “It was filled to about half way, about half a million gallons. But we could use some dry weather.”

That basin, noted Member Jim Ton, R-1st, “is one of the best investments we’ve made in this town for our environmental security.”

What didn’t perform quite as well: the 36-inch stormwater sewer pipe beneath the sidewalk on the east side of 23rd Street, where a seam failed just north of Washington Ave. and--as dirt and sediment began washing away in vast quantities--resulted in a segment of the sidewalk’s being swallowed into a churning sinkhole of muddy water.

“We’ve been bypass-pumping,” Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg told the council. “We will continue to work on that and get it repaired.”

Town Engineer Mark O’Dell added that he and Schnadenberg are working to arrange with a contractor on an emergency basis.

“I want to thank all the departments, including Police and Fire, for their quick response,” Member Bob Allison, D-3rd, said. “I was really impressed by your service.”

Paving Bids

In other business, members voted unanimously to take under advisement a pair of bids for two paving projects being partially funded by a 50/50 Community Crossings state infrastructure grant: North Calumet Road between Indian Boundary Road and the Norfolk Southern right-of-way; and the entirety of South Park Acres, including South Park Drive, Elm Court, and Timber Court.

The bids:

-- $370,999.55, from Rieth-Riley Construction.

-- $396,605, from Walsh & Kelly Inc.

From the CFD

At Fire Chief John Jarka’s request, and on the recommendation of Member Jennifer Fisher, I-5th, liaison to the Fire Department, members voted unanimously to award a contract to replace the HVAC for the living quarters and office space of the fire station to low quoter Bloomfield Mechanical. Quote: $21,300.

The current HVAC, Fisher said, “is 10 years old and seems to be a bit of a money pit. And with the weather warming up, they want it replaced as soon as possible.”

Meanwhile, members approved in principle a proposal to donate to the Burns Harbor FD the CFD’s old mobile communication center--a 1998 bus once belonging to the Police Department--but decided to table the transaction until a formal resolution authorizing the donation was before them. The Burns Harbor Town Council must similarly adopt a resolution authorizing the receipt of the vehicle.


Posted 5/28/2020




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