Chesterton Tribune



Utility board nixes sewer service for Coker development

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The Chesterton Utility Service Board has no intention of extending sanitary sewer service to Don Coker’s proposed Prairie Park subdivision just north of C.R. 1050N and south of the Brassie Golf Course in unincorporated Liberty Township, on a 30-acre parcel not contiguous with the Town of Chesterton and therefore not annexable.

At the Service Board’s meeting Tuesday night, President Larry Brandt minced no words. “We see several technical challenges for sewer service to the property in question,” he told Coker and Coker’s attorney, Greg Babcock. “And we have several important projects in the works right now and no resources at this time to go into it.”

In any case, Brandt added, “we’re not convinced this project is in the best interests of the town.”

Babcock opened his comments on the petition by noting that the Porter County Commissioners are currently considering a re-zone of the parcel from Light Industrial to Medium Density Single Family. In January the County Plan Commission unanimously endorsed that re-zone.

However, as Commissioner John Evans, R-North, noted at a meeting earlier this month, there will be no re-zone unless and until the Commissioners have evidence that the Chesterton Utility has agreed to extend sanitary sewer service to the parcel. At that same meeting, the Chesterton Tribune reported at the time, Coker indicated that he’s “had conversations” with the Utility about extended service.

It was unclear on Tuesday whom those conversations had been with, though.

Babcock, for his part, cast doubts on the accuracy of the press coverage and suggested that Coker was misquoted or misunderstood.

Brandt seemed surprised and amused by that possibility and Babcock in response offered to invite Coker himself to set the record straight. Brandt promptly declined to hear from Coker on the matter.

Brandt did make this concession. Coker is welcome to approach the Town Council with his proposal and should its members determine the project to be in the Town of Chesterton’s best interests, then the Service Board will take its direction from the council.

“Otherwise, we’re sorry,” Brandt said. “We’re not interested in extending service.”

Brandt concluded by reminding Babcock of the Service Board’s policy about extending service to unincorporated--and unannexable--property. The first test: is extended service in the town’s best interests? The second: is it in the Utility’s?

Stone Meadows

In other business, members gave the developers of the proposed Stone Meadows subdivision--on the south side of 1100N, roughly across the street from Bethlehem Lutheran Church, at the old Victory Park--the go-ahead to discuss with staff a treatment gallonage allocation.

Attorney Babcock--this time representing Bill Stone, the owner of the property--told the Service Board that an authorized usage allocation is necessary in order to get primary plat approval from the Advisory Plan Commission.

Stone Meadows would be a 25-lot single family subdivison. “The first one (the town has) done in quite a while,” Babcock noted.



Posted 2/19/2014




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