Chesterton Tribune



Utility to lease purchase new Vactor vacuum truck

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The Chesterton Utility is getting a new vacuum truck.

At its meeting Monday night, the Utility Service Board voted unanimously to proceed with the lease-purchase of a 2018 Vactor Plus-2112 on a 2018 Freightliner chassis.

Total cost: $380,057.

On delivery of the new model, the Utility’s current vacuum truck--10 years old--will be used as a backup.

After discussing various financing plans--including the possibility of simply purchasing the truck outright with cash on hand--members elected to go with a three-year loan from Horizon Bank, at an interest rate of 2.06 percent (the next lowest rate: 2.37 percent). The annual payment under that plan: $119,502.10, with interest of $8,506.30.

After narrowing the field to a pair of competing brands, Superintendent Dave Ryan spoke to other municipalities about their own histories with the two. What he found, Ryan told the Service Board, is that Vactor is easily the preferred choice, for ease of operation, performance, reliability, maintenance, and service.

Members thanked Ryan for the thoroughness and detail of his report.

In other business, Ryan debriefed the Service Board on the 8.5-hour discharge of approximately 494,000 gallons of wastewater in the Little Calumet River, on the heels of a 2.78-inch rain fall on Oct. 22-23.

The problem, as Ryan noted, wasn’t the 1.2-million tank built specifically to store flow during heavy rains. In fact the tank worked exactly as designed but over the course of the event filled to capacity. That’s because the treatment plant’s own capacity has been cut by about a third during the ongoing clarifier rehabilitation project. At the time of the rain, Ryan said, both Secondary Clarifier No. 1 and Primary Clarifier No. 3 were down for refurbishment, which reduced the treatment plant’s capacity by roughly 33 percent.

It was, as Ryan noted, a “perfect storm,” that much rain falling with that much capacity off line.

“It’s just something that happens,” Member John Schnadenberg said. “There’s nothing you can do about it.” He added that, generally speaking, the best time to do a project like the clarifier rehab is in the fall, not in the summer, when more and heavier rains can be anticipated.

Ryan said that the Indiana Department of Environmental Management was informed of the discharge.

On the other hand, there was no discharge on Saturday, when approximately 1.5 inches of rain fell. “We lucked out,” Ryan said. “There was 14 feet of water in the storage basin. We didn’t have to discharge but it got a little hairy.”

Ryan expects the clarifier project to be completed and the plant’s full capacity back on line by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, members agreed to hold their 2018 budget workshop at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 14, at the wastewater treatment plant.

President Larry Brandt took a moment at the end of the meeting to wish Member Scot McCord all the best in his retirement on Oct. 27. “God bless you and I hope you have a long and healthy retirement,” Brandt said.

October in Review

In October, Chesterton used 52.58 percent of its 3,668,000 gallon per day (gpd) allotment of the wastewater treatment plant; Porter, 55.51 percent of its 851,000 gpd allotment; the Indian Boundary Conservancy District, 72.61 percent of its 81,000 gpd allotment; and the plant as a whole, 53.85 percent of its capacity.

There was the single bypass of wastewater into the Little Calumet River last month, following the heavy rain event on Oct. 22-23. Total rainfall in October was 8.69 inches, the wettest month by far of the year. Next wettest: July, with 5.84 inches.

In October the Utility ran a deficit of $123,915.99 and in the year-to-date is running a surplus of $715,543.17.




Posted 11/22/2017




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