Chesterton Tribune



Val's Pizza lift station nearly done

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Progress is being made on the stormwater lift station being built behind Val’s Pizza.

At the Chesterton Stormwater Management Board’s meeting Monday night, Town Engineer Mark O’Dell reported that the pumps have been installed and the control panel delivered to the contractor.

“We’re close to being wrapped up,” O’Dell said.

When the installation has been completed, a NIPSCO crew will hook up three-phase power to the lift station as the last step, O’Dell added.

The alley behind Val’s--just west of 11th Street and south of Broadway--is the lowest point in town and tends to flood in heavy rains. The lift station is intended to pump runoff from the area to a large stormwater sewer line on Lincoln Ave., about 1,100 feet to the south.

The lift station is one of the projects being funded with the proceeds of an $880,000 bond issue late in 2011. Although the contractor, Woodruff & Sons, bid a price of $205,888--considerably higher than the original $125,000 estimate--the firm, working with O’Dell, has managed to shave that contract price down to around $178,000.

Meanwhile, Lawson-Fisher Associates continues to work on engineering a similar lift station for a flood-prone alley in the area of 11th Street and West Porter Ave. O’Dell noted that a confluence of underground utilities is limiting options in that project. Lawson-Fisher’s contract price: $10,985.

Finally, O’Dell reported that a third bond project has been completed: the emergency repair of a failed culvert--some 18 feet under ground--which runs across Taylor Street.

Woodruff finished that work in three days, O’Dell said. “We now have a 36-inch concrete pipe which will drain from north to south for the next 75 years.”


In other business, MS4 Operator Jennifer Gadzala reported on a number of outreach projects:

*A total of 120 rain barrels were sold to 116 residents at a reduced price of $50 (residents could purchase additional barrels at full price). A rain gauge was provided with each barrel, the idea of which is to capture runoff from roofs and recycle it, by watering flowers and lawns.

*On the subject of rain barrels, Gadzala noted that the Chesterton High School Art Club took first place and St. Patrick Catholic School’s seventh-grade class took second place, in the rain barrel design contest held on April 20 at the Porter County Expo Center in celebration of Earth Day.

*The Lawn to Lake initiative was launched on May 1--a complement to the Leave It on the Lawn campaign--to encourage folks to use less phosphorus in their lawn fertilizers and less pesticides in their landscaping. Gadzala noted that fertilizers reach lakes by way of stormwater runoff and are responsible for algae blooms in the Midwest and Great Lakes.

New Member Welcomed

The board also welcomed its new member, Al Pisarski, who succeeded Christine Livingston on the latter’s resignation of her seat.

“Welcome aboard,” President Tom Kopko told Pisarski. “And we hope you find it interesting.”

April in Review

The Stormwater Utility ran a surplus in April of $19,120 and in the year-to-date is running a surplus of $8,784.



Posted 5/22/2013