Chesterton Tribune

Utility outlines additional sewer tapon fee for some new homes east of 49

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By KEVIN NEVERS

Folks who build new single-family homes in the area served by the newly upgraded Dickinson Road lift station—which includes pretty much all of the Town of Chesterton east of Ind. 49—will be paying more than just the $2,602 tap-on fee to connect to the sanitary sewer system.

They’ll also be paying an extra $729.15 fee as part of a “re-capture” agreement with the Lake Erie Land Company, which footed the $2.1 million bill to upgrade the lift station.

Under that agreement—approved by unanimous vote at Monday’s meeting of the Utility Service Board—the Utility will collect the extra tap-on fee on behalf Lake Erie Land.

Indiana Code permits private developers who pay to install or improve certain utility infrastructure to re-capture the cost of the work, Associate Town Attorney Chuck Parkinson told the Chesterton Tribune after the meeting.

The re-capture agreement approved on Monday also provides for an extra $520.82 tap-on fee per unit of duplex and multi-family, and an extra $3,127.85 tap-on fee per acre for office, retail, and light industrial.

The official Dickinson Road lift station district includes the area bordered on the north by Indian Boundary Road, including parcels on the north side of the road; on the south by the Indiana Toll Road; on the east by Friday Road; and on the west by Ind. 49. There are also several smaller areas west of Ind. 49 as well, including the Tamarack subdivision, Town Engineer Mark O’Dell said.

Re: North Calumet Road

Sewer Collapse

In other business, members voted 4-0 to authorize Town Attorney Chuck Lukmann to “seek reimbursement from whatever responsible party for the costs incurred” by the Utility to repair a collapsed sanitary sewer main along North Calumet Road.

President Larry Brandt was not in attendance.

That main collapsed in April and resulted in severe backups in at least two residences.

A 225-foot section of 12-inch concrete pipe, probably installed in the 1950s or 60s, was removed and replaced with PVC pipe between Brown Ave. and River Ave., as part of the repair.

Downtown Project Completed

Meanwhile, O’Dell reported that—despite the strike of Operating Engineers Local 150 and a bucketful of bad weather—the replacement of an old sanitary main along South Calumet Road between West Indiana Ave. and the Norfolk-Southern grade-crossing came in under budget.

The contract price for that project: around $518,000. The actual price: $500,000. Right now, he said, the Utility is covering claims for the asphalting, done by Rock Solid Paving and Excavating of St. John after the Service Board determined that Local 150’s strike was jeopardizing the safety and the economic health of the Downtown.

The total cost of the two-year project, which began with a sewer separation last summer along South Calumet Road between Morgan Ave. and Porter Ave.: around $800,000.

“I think the Downtown project went very quickly, once the board declared an emergency,” Member Scot McCord said. “And I think the business owners are just tickled to death.”

Member Jim Raffin thanked all employees involved in the project for their work, and noted that Local 150’s strike wouldn’t have had any impact at all had it not been for all the rain which delayed completion. “We had a very, very wet—a very wet—spring,” he said.

Morningside Complaint

Earlier in the meeting, members promised Morningside subdivision resident Alan Nelson that a Utility crew would see to restoring an area of his property in the 1200 block of Chalemel Drive, after manhole repairs were done nearby last September.

June in Review

In June, Chesterton used 52.28 percent of its 40,544,674 gallon per day (gpd) allotment of the wastewater treatment plant; Porter, 69.64 percent of its 809,000 gpd allotment; the Indian Boundary Conservancy District, 63.69 percent of its 81,000 gpd allotment; and the plant as a whole, 55.98 percent of its capacity.

There were no bypasses last month, with 3.95 inches of rain recorded at the plant.

In June, the Utility ran a deficit of $225,703 and in the year-to-date is running a deficit of $138,381.

 

 

Posted 7/21/2011