Chesterton Tribune



Porter moving to correct drainage issues in Wagner Hills

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The Porter Stormwater Management Board received the results from last fall’s drainage assessment study on Wagner Hills during its meeting Tuesday with recommendations for improvements.

The subdivision located off of U.S. 20 and Wagner Rd. has had a large number of flooding complaints from its residents over the years. The problems are thought to be from faulty engineering work by the original developer.

Warren Thiede of Haas & Associates which conducted the study told the board that the original documentation submitted “wasn’t very accurate” and contained incorrect elevations.

Only 6 of the 20 pipe segments are able to handle the capacity of a 10-year storm, he said, and the town may want to put in larger pipes that can carry more water.

The existing detention basin is undersized, is two feet shallower than it was two years ago due to siltation, and can only handle 29 percent of the needed capacity.

Thiede suggested that another detention area be built south of the property that can hold about .6 acre foot or roughly 27,000 cubic feet of water to hold water coming from offsite properties.

The major obstacle, however, is the area is located on two properties belonging to private homeowners so the town will need to work with them to get access.

Town Director of Development Michael Barry said one of the homeowners is Paul Childress who he said would likely be on board with the improvements. Barry said he will contact the homeowners Wednesday to discuss the project.

“It doesn’t hurt to ask. The worst they could say is no,” said board member Jim Ericksson

Board President Greg Stinson said the town dedicated no easements when Wagner Hills was approved, so any project will depend on the cooperation of the residents.

The estimated cost to build the basin is $180,000, according to the study. Thiede said the total costs of suggested improvements throughout Wagner Hills would be $334,800.

The board could decide to phase in the projects working within its budget, Thiede said.

Stinson said of residents’ concerns that the he understands their frustrations and that the town will continue working on solutions. He advised however that “this shouldn’t be a town-only project.”

Water water everywhere.

Meanwhile, Public Works Director Brenda Brueckheimer said eight inches of rain fell in Porter during the month of June, the wettest in recent memory, and “every drainage issue there is has shown its face.”

Brueckheimer said her crew has been busy cleaning culverts and ditches all over town in places such as North and South Baily Drive, Mineral Springs Rd., Vine St., and Washington St., to name a few.

“There is a lot of debris in these ditches. A lot of debris,” Brueckhemier said. “We’re out there daily trying to open these things back up.”

Brueckheimer asks that residents help out by making sure litter and compost are removed properly from their yards to keep the drains clear. Compost should be bagged and taken to the public works department or to the Porter County compost sites.


Posted 6/2/2015