Chesterton Tribune



Utility seeks sewer rate hike of 5.64 percent

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Beginning on Jan. 1, 2017, customers of the Chesterton Utility would see their first sanitary sewer rate hike in four years, under a proposal endorsed by the Utility Service Board.

At its meeting Monday night, the Town Council voted unanimously to hold a public hearing on the proposed hike at its Monday, Dec. 12, meeting.

Under the recommendation of the Utility’s contracted rate consultant, London Witte Group, the bimonthly bill of an average residential customer using 10,000 gallons of water would go from $81.26 to $85.85: an increase of $4.58 or 5.64 percent.

Proposed hikes for other categories of customer:

* Those using 15,000 gallons would see an increase of 0.26 percent.

* Those using 22,500 gallons would see decreases in their rates.

* The Town of Porter would be assessed an increase of 8.5 percent; the Indian Boundary Conservancy District, an increase of 8.34 percent; the residents of Fox Chase Farms in Liberty Township, an increase of 5.9 percent; and those of the Whispering Sands Mobile Home Park, also in Liberty Township, an increase of 2.38 percent.

Utility Superintendent Dave Ryan told the Chesterton Tribune that “the main driver behind the increase is capital improvements.”

The Utility last increased its rates on Jan. 1, 2013, when it bumped the average residential customer’s rate by 5.81 percent: from $76.80 to $81.26. The driver of that hike: the federally mandated long term control plan to reduce combined sewage overflows of wastewater into the Little Calumet River during heavy rain events. That rate increase financed the construction of a 1.2-million gallon storage tank to hold excess flows during rain events until the wastewater treatment plant has a chance to catch up.

In the fall of 2014, however, the Service Board elected to stand pat and maintain for the next biennial period--2015-16--essentially the same schedule of usage rates and base charges.

Villages of Sand Creek PUD

In other business on Monday, members voted unanimously to adopt an amendment to the planned unit development ordinance governing the Villages of Sand Creek, north of East Porter Ave.

That amendment will enable Von Tobel Corporation to build 14 two-unit condominium homes on a four-acre parcel in the Villages. The project area will be accessed by a single entrance off Eagles Nest Drive. Von Tobel had originally sought a second entrance, off East Porter Ave., but planners nixed that proposal for safety reasons.



Posted 11/15/2016




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