Utility ended 2017 with a solid cushion.
At the Utility
Service Board’s meeting Monday night, Superintendent Dave Ryan reported a
surplus at year’s end of $1,048,223, exceeding the original projection of
$339,709 by fully 209 percent.
That’s partly the
result of higher than expected revenues: commercial sales--the revenues
generated by sewer rates--totaled $3,159,928: $175,923 or 6 percent more
than projected; tap-on fees, on the other hand, totaled $570,282: $375,282
or 192 percent more than projected.
At the same time
total operating expenses were $2,253,433: $158,444 or 7 percent less than
“It’s nice to see
we have a good surplus,” President Larry Brandt noted but added that the
cushion is needed not only in case of emergency--a collapsed main, for
instance--but also to deal with one particular issue “looming on the
horizon”: the sliplining and general rehabbing of the 48-inch monster main
which comes up South and North Eighth Street on its way to the plant.
There was only a
single bypass in 2017, the diversion of 1.8 million gallons during a heavy
rain event in October. That was the result of a significant portion of the
wastewater treatment plant’s capacity being off line during the rehabbing of
the facility’s clarifiers. The wettest month of the year: October with 8.69
inches, followed by July with 5.84 inches. Rainfall in 2017 totaled 41.33
Chesterton used on average 50.8 percent of its 3,668,000 gallon per day (gpd)
allotment at the wastewater treatment plant; Porter, 51.60 percent of its
851,000 gpd allotment; the Indian Boundary Conservancy District, 62.99
percent of its 81,000 gpd allotment; and the plant as a whole, 51.1 percent
of its capacity.
The Frigid Weather
In other business,
Ryan reported that the furnace in the headworks building has been
malfunctioning and that a technician was scheduled to work on it Tuesday.
“It only happens when it goes below zero,” he said. “It kicks out.”
“That’s when it’s
supposed to work,” Brandt suggested.
added, the crew has done a great job dealing with the cold weather, “thawing
“When it gets that
cold, everyone is working real hard to make things work,” Member Jim Raffin
agreed. “So kudos to the staff.”
unanimous vote members re-elected Brandt to the presidency and Scott McCord
to the vice-presidency, re-appointed Deb Schoenfelt secretary, and retained
again the legal services of Harris Welsh & Lukmann.
Member Andy Michel
took a moment at the end of the meeting to thank the Town Council for
re-appointing him to the Service Board. “We’ve been together for quite
awhile and it seems we have a good working relationship,” he said. “We don’t
always agree, but it means we’re making decisions with due regard.”
“Thanks for the keeping the board together,” he said.
McCord also thanked
Member--and Street Commissioner--John Schnadenberg, for his crews’ superb
job so far this winter keeping the streets clear.