Chesterton Tribune



Town to clean out dry well on South Fifth Street

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A South Fifth Street resident has asked the Town of Chesterton to clean a dry well installed near his driveway 13 years ago.

At the Stormwater Management Board’s meeting Tuesday night, Jeff Wozniak, who resides in the 900 block of South Fifth Street, reported that the dry well “isn’t working at all.” Wozniak added that he notified the Street Department last summer about the problem but nothing yet has been done.

Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg agreed with Wozniak that “dry wells from time to time do need to be cleaned out” but for his part reminded Wozniak that the Street Department gets whipsawed a lot over the course of the year and has “many duties.”

“It did work when we installed it, right?” Schnadenberg said.

“It did work,” Wozniak replied, but it’s been draining at less than peak efficiency over the last five years.

The town originally installed the dry well to drain the bottom of Wozniak’s driveway, which when first installed years ago was some four inches higher than the road surface of South Fifth Street. But repeated re-surfacings have increased the height of the street until now it towers over his driveway and precludes runoff flow.

NIRPC MS4 Contract

In other business, members voted 3-0 to endorse the “Northwest Indiana Clean Water 2014 Memorandum of Understanding” with the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission.

In exchange for a payment to NIRPC of $3,974--an increase of $52 over last years contract price--NIRPC will provide a regional media and advertising program aimed at educating residents about the MS4, or Municipal Separate Storm Water System program. NIRPC will also hold three annual training workshops, host a regional program website, and maintain and store program materials.

The purpose of the MS4 program--mandated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and enforced in the state by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management--is to monitor and regulate every aspect of stormwater runoff in a community, including the amount of sand or salt used on icy streets, to the quantity of debris swept from those streets, to the identification and elimination of illicit drains, to the control of sediment at construction sites, to the installation of detention ponds in new developments.

Among the mandated components of MS4 is “Public Education/Outreach,” which the Town of Chesterton--like many other regional municipalities--contracts out to NIRPC. All MS4 activities are funded through the $6.10 monthly fee paid by residents and included on their bimonthly sanitary sewer bills.

The Town Council is scheduled to consider the 2014 NIRPC contract at its meeting Monday night.

January in Review

In January the Stormwater Utility ran a surplus of $787.


Posted 2/21/2014