By KEVIN NEVERS
Under a proposed new ordinance set to go before the Chesterton Town Council,
customers of the Utility delinquent in the payment of their sanitary sewer
bill will have the opportunity to request a hearing before the Utility
Service Board before their water is shut off.
At its meeting Monday night, the Utility Service Board voted 4-0 to endorse
the proposed ordinance and to forward it to the Town Council for review.
The system would work like this:
*Customers would receive notice of a pending water shut-off, indicating that
their sanitary sewer bill is past due and that a 10-percent penalty has been
added to that past due amount.
*In that notice, customers would be informed of the date on which
Indiana-American Water Company (IAWC) is scheduled to shut off their water,
and the date by which they must pay their past due amount in order to keep
their water service active.
*In that same notice, customers will also be informed that they have a right
to request, in writing or in person, a hearing prior to the shut-off.
Request for a hearing must be made no later
than 12 p.m. two days prior to the final due date, NOT prior to the
*Customers will then subsequently be notified of the hearing date, time, and
location. That hearing will be held before the Service Board.
*At that hearing, customers will have the right to present evidence and/or
witnesses, to be represented by counsel, and to cross-examine witnesses.
*The Service Board will then consider the evidence and
“issue a decision at the conclusion of the hearing affirming,
reversing, or modifying the shut-off.”
*Should the Service Board affirm the shut-off, water service will be
discontinued by IAWC no earlier than three days after the Service Board’s
*Extension of the shutoff date may be granted to allow the customer time to
make payment arrangements or for other good cause.
*Should a customer’s water service be shut off, there
will be a disconnection and recheck fee charged to the customer, totalling
$72. Those charges will be added to the customer’s bill. Before water
service is to be turned back on, the customer will have to pay all
delinquent service use fees plus the actual expense of turning off and
turning on the water service as well as a $10 administrative charge.
*If, after a recheck of the water shut-off, it is found that the water has
been turned back on without authorization, the customer’s
water service may be dug up and detached from the main.
The Service Board voted 4-0 on Monday to endorse the proposed ordinance and
to forward it to the Town Council for review.
March in Review
In March, Chesterton used 43.71 percent of its 3,668,000 gallon per day (gpd)
allotment at the wastewater treatment plant; Porter, 54.53 percent of its
851,000 gpd allotment; the Indian Boundary Conservancy District, 75.89
percent of its 81,000 gpd allotment; and the plant as a whole, 46.28 percent
of its capacity.
There were 1.7 inches of precipitation recorded at the wastewater plant in
March. There were no bypasses of sewage into the Little Calumet River.
The financials for March were not available.