One more piece in
the Fox Chase Farms sewer connection project is now in place.
At is meeting
Monday night, the Chesterton Utility Service Board voted unanimously to
award the contract for the grinder pumps to Barnes Pressure Systems of
Barnes’ bid of
$164,133 was the low one by a country mile. The only other bidder, Leeps
Supply Company Inc. of Merrillville, submitted a price of $393,000.
Grinder pumps are
essentially “mini lift stations” designed to force a home’s wastewater,
against gravity, into a larger collection system. Each of the 88 homes in
the Fox Chase Farms subdivision will be equipped with one.
The scope of the
project: extending sewer service--via the Utility’s brand-new lift station
located off Ind. 49 south of the Indiana Toll Road--to Fox Chase Farms,
whose septic mound system has long been failing. Piggy-backing on that
connection will be the Whispering Sands Mobile Home Park, whose package
treatment plant is operating at capacity. Both are located in Liberty
Township, west of Meridian Road and north of U.S. Highway 6.
From each home in
Fox Chase Farms, wastewater will be pumped to an on-site lift station, which
will then send it north and east, via a purpose-built sewer main, to the
Utility’s new lift station.
It’s a complicated
project with a lot of moving parts but the fact that the Indiana Department
of Environmental Management specifically wants the Fox Chase Farms mound
system replaced seems to have kept everything on track. Right now, the
Service Board is waiting to close on a State Revolving Fund (SRF) loan which
SRF has signaled its willingness to make at 0-percent interest over 20
years. In addition to the loan, SRF has pledged a $750,000.
Pending closure on
the loan, the Service Board has conditionally awarded the project’s general
contract to Gatlin Plumbing & Heating Inc. of Griffith, which submitted the
lowest of four bids: $1,672,726.
estimated cost: $2.1 million. That cost will be borne entirely by the Fox
Chase Farms and Whispering Sands residents and any other Liberty Township
residents who may wish to be connected to the infrastructure.
21st Street Sewer
In other business,
Superintendent Terry Atherton reported that the Utility is ready to go out
to bid on the replacement of the 21st Street sewer line between West Porter
Ave. and Union Ave.
Bids for that
project will be opened at the Service Board’s next meeting, June 15.
The line, installed
in 1955, is 60 years old, its corrugated metal is deteriorating, and several
of its sections have failed and collapsed over the last few years.
Long Term Control
continues to move smoothly on the most important component of the federally
mandated long term control plan (LTCP) to reduce sewage overflows into the
Little Calumet River: the construction of a 1.2-million gallon storage tank
to capture and retain stormwater-infiltrated wastewater during heavy rain
The idea is to
prevent that flow from entering and swamping the wastewater treatment plant
in the first place by diverting it to the tank and holding it there, until
the plant has had a chance to catch up.
Company of Gary is the general contractor on the job, whose contract price
of $8,471,800 is being funded through a sewer rate hike of 6 percent which
took effect on Jan. 1, 2013.
On Monday, Atherton
said that work on the tank and ancillary construction should be completed
sometime in June, “probably just in time to capture the first big rain of
Kudos to Ihler &
Members took a
moment at the end of the meeting to congratulate collections foreman Jay
Ihler and his crew, after Ihler recently made a presentation on their use of
iPad supported maintenance programs at the Indiana Geographic Information
Council’s annual GIS conference.
The Utility was
nominated for recognition by the GIS but lost out to another municipality’s.
Member Jim Raffin said.
April in Review
Chesterton used 41.95 percent of its 3,668,000 gallon per day (gpd)
allotment of the wastewater treatment plant; Porter, 46.24 percent of its
851,000 gpd allotment; the Indian Boundary Conservancy District (IBCD)--on
paper at least--35.67 percent of its 81,000 gpd allotment; and the plant as
a whole, 42.63 percent of its capacity.
Atherton did say
that the IBCD, which averaged a 58-percent usage over the first three months
of the year, was found to have a malfunctioning meter which was giving “low
readings.” The meter has been replaced and the IBCD will be sent a bill
reconciliation to recover lost revenues.
No bypasses were
recorded in April, which saw 2.47 inches of rain.
Last month the
Utility ran a deficit of $176,219 and in the year to date is running a
deficit of $113,061.20.
In fact, Atherton
said, that red ink is mostly temporary and attributable to the $96,191.59
which the Utility has so far spent on engineering services related to the
Fox Chase Farms project. That sum exceeds the amount budgeted for
engineering through the first four months of the year by fully $79,524.92
and will be reimbursed the Utility when it closes on the SRF loan.