Chesterton Tribune



Study accepted for Wagner Hills subdivision in Porter; costs are an obstacle

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The Porter Storm Water Board has a plan to implement drainage solutions for Wagner Hills but not enough money to fund all the projects involved.

The board agreed 3-0 to accept the final assessment study from Haas & Associates which recommends phasing for swale and detention basin improvements that would likely require easement acquisitions.

Warren Theide from Haas proposed for work to move forward with an engineering study to replace two storm drainage pipes in the right-of-way along Dune Meadows Drive and a third pipe between the private residences in the 1300 block that would empty into a retention area.

The two residences would see relief but the project will not be a fix for all the eight acres Wagner Hills that are draining into two different directions, said Theide.

Construction costs would be roughly $56,500, Theide estimated, not including the costs for the engineering.

Before that can happen, however, the Town would need to have access to the easements on private lands. Michael Barry, the Town’s director of development, said he would speak with the property owners and also check with Town attorney Greg Sobkowski.

Board member John Erikkson made a motion to proceed with the engineering, which died due to lack of a second by fellow board member Dan Colbert, who said more discussion is needed in regards to funding.

With solutions costing over $500,000, “this will kill our budget for three years,” Colbert said. “There’s a lot of questions that need to be answered on this.”

The subdivision has been plagued with drainage problems for years at the fault of the developer. Haas’ study said only six of the 20 catch basins are operating correctly.

Wagner Hill resident Heather Gonzalez and her neighbor Christina Lee implored the board to make some effort as they have put a lot of time and money into their properties and problems still persist.

“What can we do to fix this?” Gonzalez asked. “Even when it rains just two inches over a few hours, there is literally a river running through my yard.”

Board President Greg Stinson said he understands the concerns and said he would take the time to look at the Town’s budget and see where other moneys might be available to allocate. “We need to get a better picture of the overall budget.”

Summer Tree pond improvements

Also, Public Works Director Brenda Brueckheimer gave a proverbial pat on the back to the homeowners in Summer Tree subdivision who came through in the effort to get the situation corrected with the overflowing retention pond on the southwest corner.

Brueckheimer said a bypass pump was used this past weekend to drain the pond, trees and nearly three feet of silt were removed, effectively stopping the overflow.

“Wow! What an improvement. They did a great job. I’m really happy with them,” Brueckheimer said. She brought up the troubles seen last week during the plan commission meeting and Summer Tree residents said they would look into working with the town on getting the matter resolved.

Next, a standpipe will need to be put in to “get the pond to continue draining properly,” she said.

In her report, Brueckheimer said that Seven Peaks Waterpark has submitted its stormwater plan for best management practices which she said “they did a good job” on.

The board approved $16,500 for a project north of the waterpark and Summer Tree subdivision on Waverly Rd. involving catch basins that will be put in to catch water before it makes its way to Burwell Drive.


Posted 8/27/2015




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