Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Town reserves right to provide sewer service within four miles of boundaries

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By KEVIN NEVERS

The Chesterton Town Council has officially reserved the right to provide wastewater treatment service to any areas in Duneland located within four miles of the town’s corporate boundaries and not currently being served by any other sanitary sewer provider.

Or--another way of putting it--the Town Council has explicitly excluded and preempted all other sanitary sewer providers from treating the wastewater of any new customers in areas within four miles of Chesterton’s corporate boundaries.

The council did so at a special meeting Thursday afternoon, when members voted 4-0 to approve the ordinance on first reading, 4-0 to suspend the rules, then 4-0 to approve the ordinance on final reading. Member Sharon Darnell, D-4th, was not in attendance.

Town Attorney Chuck Lukmann told the Chesterton Tribune after the meeting that Indiana Code 36-9-2 specifically grants certain “extraterritorial powers” to municipalities within four miles of their corporate boundaries. Those powers includes those related to public transportation, waterworks, and sewage treatment.

Thus reads the ordinance in question: the “Chesterton Town Council believes that the exclusive regulation of sanitary sewer service inside and within four miles of the town’s corporate boundaries promotes the logical growth of both the town and its sanitary sewage utility, represents the most efficient means for providing sanitary sewer service to new customers within the regulated territory, and protects the town’s investment in infrastructure improvements, particularly those infrastructure investments in the town’s sanitary sewer utility.”

Accordingly, under the new ordinance, the Town of Chesterton “has the exclusive power, control, and jurisdiction to furnish, regulate, and provide sanitary sewer service to new customers who are located within the regulated territory.”

The ordinance does not apply to any entity which is currently providing sanitary sewer service to property owners within four miles of the town’s corporate boundaries. Under the ordinance, however, that entity is excluded from expanding that service to any new customers within the so-called regulated territory.

At the moment, and practically speaking, the ordinance reserves the town’s right--and excludes any other entity’s right--to provide sewer service to newly developed property in unincorporated Liberty Township along the Ind. 49 utility corridor. The ordinance also enforces the town’s right to provide sewer service to the Fox Chase Farms subdivision off Meridian Road and the Whispering Sands Mobile Home Community.

Settlement Agreement

In other business, the council voted 4-0 to approve a settlement agreement with ADS Logistics of 116E 1100N, which--it turns out--has been overbilled by the Utility for a number of years, by the amount of $41,000.

The settlement agreement, which treated other unspecified issues as well, requires the town to refund ADS Logistics a total of $15,000 and to credit the business a further $15,000 on future bills.

 

Posted 7/7/2014