Chesterton Tribune

Utility board approves sewer agreement with developer south of Toll Road

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A developer who petitioned the Chesterton Town Council at its last meeting to annex nearly 45 acres of property south of the Indiana Toll Road and east of Ind. 49 would appear to be one step closer to securing sanitary sewer service from the Utility.

At its meeting Monday night, the Utility Service Board voted 5-0 to authorize Superintendent Steve Yagelski to execute an agreement with developer Robert Rossman, pending a review by Town Engineer Mark O’Dell, under which Rossman would receive a treatment capacity of 120,000 gallons per day.

What exactly Rossman plans to do with the property remains unclear. His attorney, Cliff Fleming, has previously advised the Service Board that the development would be of a mixed-use variety, with around 32 acres immediately adjacent to Ind. 49 devoted to commercial retail of an unknown type and around 12 acres further to the east devoted to residential, also of an unknown type.

Fleming did say that the bureaucracy involved in running a sanitary sewer line beneath the Indiana Toll Road is not nearly as onerous as one would have imagined. While a foreign consortium may have leased the Toll Road, the land still belongs to the State of Indiana, he said, and a standardized review process is in place to consider what are evidently fairly common requests for excavation.

After the meeting Fleming also attempted to clarify the matter of the proposed re-location of North Calumet Ave., which he said would remain aligned with C.R. 950N on the west side of Ind. 49 but whose slow curve on the east side would be sharpened into something like a right angle. He added that, warrants permitting, a traffic signal would be installed at the intersection of Ind. 49 and North Calumet Ave.

As a matter of policy, the Service Board reserves the right to extend sanitary sewer service to the owners of unincorporated property on a case-by-case basis and under the following conditions:

•The Service Board must determine that a sewer connection will benefit both the Utility and the town.

•The owner of the property and his or her successors in interest must waive the right to remonstrate against any future annexation.

•The wastewater treatment plant must have a sufficient reserve of capacity.

•The owner of the property must pay all rates, fees, and charges required of other Utility customers, and must pay all costs of the Service Board and town staff.

•Until such time as any additional property owner is allowed to tap into the connection, the cost of all sewer lines and necessary equipment as well as repair and maintenance will be paid by the property owner who seeks the original connection.

Bits and Pieces

•The Service Board voted 5-0 to authorize Yagelski to write the job description for a new position: Field Expediter, whose responsibilities would include establishing maintenance priorities, scheduling maintenance projects, managing information, and coordinating the Utility’s activities with the Stormwater Utility’s.

•Yagelski informed members that he expects specifications for the purchase of a new vacuum truck to be finalized soon.

•Yagelski also informed members that after a power outage on Friday which affected a lift station in the northeast corner of town, near the northern terminus of North Calumet Road, the Utility was advised by NIPSCO that the electrical line serving that lift station is actually a private line owned by the Utility. O’Dell noted that the line was apparently installed in the Seventies but that he has been unable to find any record of the Utility’s ownership. Be that as it may, Yagelski said, crews will have their work cut out for them as they clear brush and tree limbs from around the 1,000-foot line, much of which runs through a heavily wooded area.

•Member Scot McCord told his colleagues that he will soon be meeting with a representative of Indiana-American Water Company (IAWC) to discuss the terms of an agreement under which IAWC would install a second meter for outside sprinkler use.

•In June Chesterton used 37.73 percent of its 4.006 million gallon per day (gpd) allotment of the wastewater treatment plant; Porter, 90.71 percent of its 513,000 gpd allotment; the Indian Boundary Conservancy District, 63.5 percent of its 81,000 gpd allotment; and the plant as a whole, 43.72 percent of its capacity. There were no bypasses last month. In June the Utility ran a deficit of $161,516 and in the year-to-date is running a deficit of $242,064.

Last Thought

McCord took a moment at the end of the meeting to praise the Street and Parks and Recreation departments for their fine job of cleaning Dogwood Park after the Independence Day festivities there. “It’s hard to believe people would leave it in such shambles after those festivities,” he noted.


Posted 7/18/2006