Chesterton Tribune

 

 

West Morgan Ave relining project could be done this week

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By KEVIN NEVERS

Chesterton Utility Superintendent Dave Ryan had been hoping, really hoping, that the contractor on the sanitary sewer re-line project along West Morgan Ave. between Eighth and 13th streets would be done by Friday, Feb. 15.

Unfortunately, as Ryan reported to the Utility Service Board at its meeting Tuesday night, a “bad section” of re-lined pipe has been discovered. “The contractor will be cutting that bad section out on Wednesday and re-lining it on Thursday,” Ryan said.

Ryan acknowledged that the project has taken much longer than he’d ever expected, partially due to inclement weather. But still. “A few residents are getting upset because it’s going on and on and on,” he said. “I’ve talked to some of them about the importance of the project and I think they get it. But I understand their pain.”

The contractor, Insituform USA LLC, has been installing a liner in the sewer mains using the trenchless Cast in Place Pipe (CIPP) method. The new liner will reduce infiltration, eliminate leaking joints, restore the structural integrity of the aging pipes, and increase flow capacity, Ryan has said.

Subzero Debrief

In other business, Ryan reported that the bitterly cold temperatures in January were challenging for his staff but had a minimal impact on operations. “All town offices were closed on Jan. 30 and 31 for inclement weather,” he noted. “Plant and lab operations were not interrupted. Kudos to both the plant and collections crew for another outstanding job maintaining our system during the extreme weather conditions.”

“That there were only a few minor problems with the equipment means that we’ve been doing a good job maintaining it,” President Larry Brandt said. “If they knew about it, the people of Chesterton would appreciate the fact that they can flush and not have to worry about it.”

“Kudos to the whole plant for handling that cold weather,” Member Andy Michel added. “They kept it going. I can’t say enough about the crew.”

2018 Financials

The Utility ran a surplus last year of $588,982.96, compared to a projected surplus of $279,461, or 111 percent better than expected.

Total revenues in 2018 were $4,669,519.28, compared to projected revenues of $4,207,979, or 11 percent better than expected.

Total operating revenues last year were $3,200,260.16, compared to project operating revenues of $2,738,720, or 17 percent better than expected.

Total operating expenses in 2018 were $2,611,277, compared to project expenses of $2,459,259, or 6 percent higher than expected.

Camera Truck

Meanwhile, Ryan reported that he’s hopeful of taking delivery of the Utility’s new camera truck in late March or early April. Ryan said that the supplier, Eco Infrastructure Solutions Inc. of Whitestown, Ind., recently picked up the truck body at the dealership and drove it to the manufacturer in Kentucky for the actual build.

Cost of the camera truck: $190,943.60.

The need for a new camera truck became obvious late last year when the current vehicle became mechanically unreliable. Even so, Ryan said at the time that the entire collections system has been televised within the last several years and was on a second go-around when the old truck began developing problems, so in the short term there shouldn’t be any bad surprises.

Rate Study

The Service Board will meet at 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21, at the wastewater treatment plant, 300 League Lane in Porter, to discuss the findings of the latest biennial rate study conducted by the Utility’s contracted financial consultant, London Witte Group.

January in Review

In January, Chesterton used 49.19 percent of its 3,668,000 gallon per day (gpd) allotment at the wastewater treatment plant; Porter, 56.37 percent of its 851,000 gpd allotment; the Indian Boundary Conservancy District, 72.33 percent of its 81,000 gpd allotment; and the plant as a whole, 51.3 percent of its capacity.

There were no sewage bypasses into the Little Calumet River last month, which saw 1.16 inches of precipitation.

Also in January, the Utility ran a surplus of $305,135.61.

 

 

 

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