The Town of
Porter’s Stormwater management board voted unanimously its approval of
increasing the Town’s monthly stormwater fee from $4 to $6, following a
brief public hearing on Tuesday.
Jennifer Klug, spoke in favor of the increase saying she knows no one likes
to pay higher fees but understands the Town must take on the costs of the
Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) program created under the
“This is something
like an unfunded mandate,” Klug said. “You can’t get around that.”
The Town Council
opted in September to draft a resolution to increase the fee, the first time
it would do so since the fee was created about a decade ago.
Discussion to raise
the fee began in May with the Stormwater Board looking at an estimated price
tag of $970,000 to $1.3 million for infrastructure upgrades and repairs in
its latest master plan.
Director Brenda Brueckheimer mentioned too that the Stormwater Board is
responsible for the MS4 program which is calling for stricter standards on
monitoring pollution and waste entering ditches, streams and lakes.
The $4 fee
currently generates about $200,000 per year, meaning a 50 percent increase
will see about $300,000 going forward. The fee is to go into effect in
January, according to the resolution, if it is approved by the Town Council.
Voting in favor of
the new fee was Board President Daniel Colbert and members Jim Erikkson and
Lopez, a Town
Council member, echoed Klug’s comments that “nobody wants to see fees go up
but it’s necessary to continue with the projects we have.”
“I don’t think we
have a choice,” Erikkson commented.
In other business,
the board voted 3-0 to reimburse Brueckheimer $30 to attend a workshop on
the MS4 program at the Lake County Fairgrounds on Nov. 3. The event will be
hosted by the International Erosion Control Association’s Great Lakes
Chapter and will provide a lot of helpful information, Brueckheimer said.
announced that she, Parks Director Brian Bugajski and Town Director of
Development Michael Barry were successful in obtaining a LOIT grant from
NIPSCO to plant 15 sugar maple trees. The trees will be planted around
Franklin St. and Waverly Rd. and the Town will maintain them.
Barry told the
board that as of Monday, the drainage work in Wagner Hills is complete. The
Town dedicated $100,000 in its county economic development income tax funds
this April to upsize drainage pipes in Town right of ways and dredging
The project was one
of the top priorities listed on the board’s master plan.
news,” Colbert told Barry.