Chesterton Tribune



Porter sewer rate fix gets November 12 hearing

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The Porter Town Council introduced an ordinance Tuesday aimed at standardizing residential sewer rates. A public hearing will be conducted Nov. 12.

The change designates 1-inch water meters as residential; under the current ordinance only 5/8 and 3/4-inch meters are so classified. The shift will save homes with 1-inch meters about $25 a month on their base sewer rate; customers also pay an additional treatment rate based on water consumption.

A problem arose this fall when it was learned residential customers with 1-inch meters had not been charged the higher rate. Bills for overdue charges were sent, some approximately $1,300 per customer, and those residents asked the Town Council for relief.

Council members said collection of the back-billing temporarily would be halted while the ordinance was changed but payment plans would have to be worked out because the billing couldnít be waived.

A few commercial customers also were hit with back-billed sewer charges when the size of their water meters was confirmed. Westchester Public Libraryís Hageman Library in Porter was notified of an outstanding $3,972 balance. The Library Board took no action on the bill.

In other council business Tuesday, Public Works superintendent Brenda Brueckheimer said the new Porter Avenue lift station went on-line and the old one is shut down. The station pumps Porterís effluent to Chestertonís wastewater treatment plant located in Porter. A second Porter trunk line into the plant was part of the Porter Avenue project.

Brueckheimer said a grand opening for the lift station will be planned.

The Porter Redevelopment Commission last night approved a $246,733 contract with Woodruff & Sons to upgrade the Triangle lift station. Porter is under an agreed order with the State of Indiana to prevent sewer overflows into receiving waters.

The council discussed the cost of workers compensation insurance next year and despite a 16 percent increase voted to go with current carrier Highlands on the advice of Jim Anton of Anton Insurance. He said other quotes showed increases of 22 and 48 percent, while three companies refused to submit proposals.

Anton said the increase was due to a significant amount of claim dollars paid out in 2011/12; the policy is based on a three-year claims experience.

It was announced the Porter town hall will be closed Friday from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. for an OSHA seminar. The town hall also will be closed Nov. 6 for off-site software training.

Porter residents were reminded childrenís Halloween Trick or Treat will be Oct. 31 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., the same time throughout the tri-town Duneland area.



Posted 10/23/2013