Town Engineer Mark
O’Dell told the Chesterton Stormwater Management Board at its meeting Monday
night that he’s received a lot of calls from folks with water in their
backyards, “people who don’t normally have water in their backyards and
don’t understand why they do now.”
It’s the rainy
season, really, O’Dell said, with more than three inches of rain over four
days last week and nearly four inches so far in May: 3.69 inches to be
exact. And this May has followed the second wettest April in five years,
with 5.37 inches recorded at the wastewater treatment plant. “The ground is
saturated right now. That’s just Mother Nature. There’s not much we can do
until it stops raining. It usually takes around 72 hours for the water in
people’s backyards to recede.”
O’Dell did note
that the Easton Park subdivision on the extreme east side of Chesterton is
currently experiencing drainage issues. “Easton Park is having a lot of
water draining from the upper land to south,” he told the Chesterton
Tribune after the meeting. “That water flows northwest towards their new
roads and is causing erosion issues. They’re working on additional erosion
control measures to mitigate the water.”
The new Springdale
planned unit development, on the other hand, currently under construction at
the extreme southwest side of Chesterton--an area of town with an
historically high water table--is doing okay, O’Dell said. The developer
recently completed the stormwater system, it’s activated now, and the curbs
and gutters in place along with the stone filter dyke around the outlet
structure have been doing an adequate job of keeping the site drained.
business, O’Dell told members that he hasn’t had time since their February
meeting--given the COVID-19 pandemic--to complete an RFP for a survey of the
ditches along the north side of 1050N in Crocker, the first step in piping
and in-filling them.
Those ditches are
open and deep and many of them show signs of significant erosion to the
point that some underground utility infrastructure has been exposed.
A similar project
was completed in 2017 along the north side of West Porter Ave. between 18th
and 23rd streets, when that ditch was piped and in-filled.
reported the newly acquired flail mower has been deployed in the area east
of the headwaters of the Peterson Ditch, immediately west of South 11th
Street. “We cleaned it out with the flail mower,” he said. “It’s starting to
flow better. You can’t really tell on the west side but the water is moving
and on the east side of 11th Street it’s running into the culvert under the
Last year Bill
Laster, a resident of Oakwood Drive, complained to the board that the old
ditch was congested and its flow into the Peterson Ditch hindered by
vegetation, so much so that it was backwashing into his rear yard, located
on the east side of South 11th Street.
Trust Indiana Fund
reported that Clerk-Treasurer Courtney Udvare has moved $500,000 of
Stormwater Utility moneys into a high-yield account with the Trust Indiana
Fund, available exclusively to municipalities.
“We can take that
money out without penalty in an emergency,” O’Dell said.