Chesterton Tribune



Utility Board mulling sewer extension to out-of-town lots at 1050N and 50W

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At its February meeting, the Chesterton Utility Service Board made it clear that it would never extend sanitary sewer service to developer Don Coker’s proposed Prairie Park subdivision, just north of C.R. 1050N and west of C.R. 125W, on an unincorporated and un-annexable 30-acre parcel in Liberty Township.

Among the reasons for the veto: “several technical challenges,” according to President Larry Brandt, combined with the Service Board’s consensus view that the project itself would not be in the town’s or in the Utility’s best interests.

Three months later--and only three-quarters of a mile to the east--a different proposed subdivision is now receiving more favorable, or at least less adamant, attention from the Service Board.

It’s developer Paul Shinn’s proposed Redfish subdivision of approximately 80 homes, in the area of C.R. 1050N and C.R. 50W, on a similarly unincorporated and un-annexable parcel.

In fact, Shinn approached the Service Board in 2008, back when Steve Yagelski was still superintendent, and at that time the Utility approved the concept--but only the concept--of extending sanitary sewer service to Redfish.

At the Service Board’s meeting Monday night, Superintendent Terry Atherton said that he’s recently been approached by Shinn, who would now like an extension commitment from the Service Board, which he must have in hand before the Porter County Plan Commission will greenlight his project.

The Service Board, for its part, was perfectly willing to confirm its conceptual approval of extending service to Redfish. But Brandt said that no commitment of any kind will be issued until staff and Shinn have had detailed discussions about the project.

Brandt did say that one thing which separates Redfish from Prairie View is that each home in Redfish would have its own mini lift station--a grinder pump--which would flow wastewater to a central line and then to the Chesterton High School lift station.

Fox Chase Farms,

Whispering Sands

In other business, members voted 5-0 to approve a contract with McMahon Associates Inc. of Valparaiso to engineer the extension of sanitary sewer services to Fox Chase Farms and the Whispering Sands Mobile Home Community.

Under the terms of that contract, the Utility will pay McMahon no more than $40,000 for Phase I of the project; no more than $135,000 for Phase II, if Phase II is necessary; no more than $20,000 for Phase III, if Phase III is necessary; and no more than $95,000 for Phase IV, if Phase IV is necessary.

Fox Chase Farms, located off Meridian Road in Liberty Township, is currently being served by a failing septic mound system; Whispering Sands, by a failing package wastewater treatment plant. The Service Board entered into a memorandum of understanding late in April under which it would extend service to both, by means of a “transport system” which will hook up to the new lift station just completed south of the Indiana Toll Road as part of the Ind. 49 utility service corridor.

The total cost of the project is estimated at $2.1 million, which would be financed through a zero-interest loan from the State Revolving Fund. There will be no actual cost to the town, as all expenses associated with the project will be paid by Fox Chase Farms and Whispering Sands.

April in Review

In April, Chesterton used 50.68 percent of its 3,668,000 gallon per day (gpd) allotment of the wastewater treatment plant; Porter, 49.67 percent of its 851,000 gpd allotment; the Indian Boundary Conservancy District, 73.34 percent of its 81,000 gpd allotment; and the plant as whole, 50.89 percent of its capacity.

There were no sewage bypasses last month, with 2.26 inches of rain recorded at the plant.

Also in April, the Utility ran a deficit of $314,373.08 and in the year-to-date is running a deficit of $200,866.74.

Good Luck,

Mike Orlich

Member Scot McCord took a moment at the end of the meeting to wish all luck in his new endeavors to former fire chief Mike Orlich, who retired on Friday, May 16, after 31 years of service to the Town of Chesterton.

“He gave a lot to this town,” McCord said.


Posted 5/23/2014