Chesterton Utility crews needing to service the lift station serving the
Deer Run Apartments on Taylor Street used to access the site by way of the
Amtrak railroad right-of-way east of Waverly Road.
But the nationwide
threat of domestic terrorism eventually prompted the U.S. Department of
Homeland Security to declare railroad rights-of-way off limits, even for
duly trained and delegated utility crews.
Which means, should
Utility workers ever be required to work on this particular lift
station--which serves only the Deer Run Apartments--they’ll have do a bit of
trespassing, since the lift station is located on private property owned by
Deer Run Apartments LLC and there’s currently no easement on that property
granted to the Utility for right of access.
As Utility Service
Board Member John Schnadenberg noted at Monday night’s meeting, negotiations
for an easement have been ongoing for months now, with little progress being
made. Perhaps it’s time, he ventured, for Deer Run Apartments LLC to assume
responsibility for maintaining the lift station itself. “I’m of a mind to
look into the procedure for giving that lift station back to them,”
Schnadenberg said. “I think we’re pretty much done waiting for them after
As it happens, Deer
Run Apartments LLC is currently petitioning the Town Council to vacate a
portion of Taylor Street which for years now apartment residents have been
using--technically illegally--for parking. Schnadenberg said that he hopes
the LLC realizes that there’s no quid pro quo at stake in the matter,
that the easement and the vacation are altogether separate issues and not a
Attorney Chuck Parkinson did say that there has been recent movement on the
LLC’s part. “We’ve been seeing more progress in the last month than we have
in the last six.”
A public hearing on
the vacation petition will be held at the Town Council’s May 8 meeting.
voted unanimously to grant a billing adjustment to Fairhaven Baptist Church,
related to a water line leak on the propety between August and October 2016.
Ryan noted that
Indiana American Water Company has already authorized an adjustment of
617,000 gallons, after Fairhaven presented itemized receipts related to the
repair of the water line. He added that the water from the leak in question
went into the ground, not into the sanitary sewer collection system.
billing adjustment totaled $3,000.
Members, on the
other hand, had occasion to view a second petition less sanguinely, this one
filed by the developers of the Eagle Crossing apartment complex, to be built
east of Kelle Drive and south of Rail Road. Specifically, the developers
have asked the Service Board to re-calculate downward the tap-on fee
schedule for Phase I--the first 90 units--of the project.
The problem, as
members see it: the tap-on fee schedule is calculated by the Indiana
Department of Environmental Management and has simply been codified by town
“Are they going to
get IDEM to change their rules and regulations?” McCord asked Ryan. “You’d
have to change our ordinance.”
“I think you
would,” Ryan replied.
It’s not really a
matter of calculating--or re-calculating--the schedule, President Larry
Brandt noted. “You look it up in the table.”
“I don’t blame the
developers for trying,” Ryan suggested.
“They can always
ask,” Brandt agreed.
Kudos to Porter
McCord took a
moment at the end of the meeting to express his appreciation to Porter
Public Works Director Brenda Brueckheimer for the outstanding job done by
the town in separating storm- and sanitary sewers and in rehabbing its lift
“It really looks
good,” McCord said. “It’s all coming together.”
March in Review
Chesterton used 58.65 percent of its 3,668,000 gallon per day (gpd)
allotment of the wastewater treatment plant; Porter, 64 percent of its
851,000 gpd allotment; the Indian Boundary Conservancy District, 81.72
percent of its 81,000 gpd allotment; and the plant as a whole, 60.04 percent
of its capacity.
March was a wet
month, with a total of 3.6 inches of precipitation recorded at the plant,
although there were no bypasses of wastewater into the Little Calumet River.
In March, the
Utility ran a surplus of $514,632.55 and in the year-to-date is running a
surplus of $438,390.91.