Chesterton Tribune



Val's stormwater lift station now on line

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The Val’s lift station is--at last--up and running.

So Chesterton Stormwater Engineer Chris Nesper announced at Monday night’s meeting of the Stormwater Management Board.

“Now all we need is rain,” joked Street Commissioner John Schnadenberg.

The alley behind Val’s Famous Pizza and Grinders, located at Broadway and 11th Street, is the lowest point in town and has been flooding with regularity during heavy rains for 50 years, often flooding as well the basement of whatever business has been operating on the site.

For six years at least the Stormwater Management Board has eyed the construction of a lift station in the alley to pump runoff to a stormwater line on Lincoln Ave. but the project--until an $880,000 stormwater bond issue in late 2011--has always proved prohibitively expensive.

In fact the lift station went way over the estimated $125,000 cost anyway, after the lowest bid for the project came in at $205,888. Town Engineer Mark O’Dell, working with the bidder, Woodruff & Sons, later managed to shave that cost to $178,000 by modifying the specs, but the figure still accounts for 20 percent of the bond issue’s proceeds.

Now a sister lift station is being engineered for another flood-prone alley on 11th Street, this one off West Porter Ave. That project was also originally estimated to cost $125,000 and it too will be funded by the bond issue.

Other bond-issue projects now in the works:

* New upsized concrete culverts in the Morningside subdivision. Members voted 3-0 to go out for quotes, to be opened at a special meeting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5, and awarded at the board’s next meeting, Sept. 16.

* A long-standing pooling problem in the 1000 block of Park Ave. There are no ditches in that neighborhood and neighbors have complained about standing water after rains for years. That project will be done in-house, with some surveying assistance by Bill Rensberger, O’Dell said.

* Covering the open ditches along the north side of West Porter Ave. between 19th Street and 23rd Street. This project will also be done in-house, with help from Rensberger.

Urschel Laboratories Inc.

In other news, O’Dell reported that Urschel Laboratories Inc. has broken ground for its new manufacturing facility and corporate headquarters at Coffee Creek Center and that a stormwater pollution prevention permit has been duly issued for the job.

O’Dell noted that he inspects the site about once a week and MS4 Operator Jennifer Gadzala twice a week, that silt fencing and a buffer have been installed, and that “We don’t see any issues out there.”


Meanwhile, O’Dell said that the Water and Me Day held Aug. 2 during the Chesterton Summer Parks Program was a huge success, with 19 kids in attendance.

“The day was filled with games and activities geared toward water quality education,” he added.

Hopkins Ace Hardware donated buckets for the event and George’s Gyros Spot hot dogs for lunch.

The event was coordinated in conjunction with the Recycling and Waste Reduction District of Porter County.

July in Review

In July the Stormwater Utility ran a deficit of $3,982 and in the year to date is running a surplus of $3,778.


Posted 8/20/2013