By KEVIN NEVERS
Progress is being made on the stormwater lift station being built behind
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
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
In other business, MS4 Operator Jennifer Gadzala reported on a number of
*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
*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
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.