The Porter County
Commissioners, acting as the County’s Stormwater Management Board, on
Tuesday said they hope to issue a bond for $20 million to tackle the ongoing
drainage woes around South Haven and Salt Creek Commons in the Twin Creeks
The bond will be
paid off with the user fees collected for the County’s Stormwater System
established about two years ago, said Commissioner President Jeff Good,
R-Center, and won’t be a hit to the County’s general fund. Even with the
bond, the Stormwater Management Department will still have roughly $1.5
million to continue projects through the year, he said.
“That is still a
lot of money,” said Good, who said that prior to the implementation of the
stormwater fee, the County had budgeted $200,000 annually for drainage.
The South Haven
area was identified in a countywide drainage study done in 2010 as one of
the top troubled spots. Sinkholes have occurred every year and the issue has
become a threat to safety, Good said.
“It’s not a good
situation out there and the system is failing,” he said.
The County has been
unable to make repairs because of the areas being in the jurisdiction of the
conservancy district. The Commissioners have made progress talking to the
heads of the district and they are in agreement now to join the County’s
stormwater system, said Good.
“This is something
when I came into office somebody told me you could never do it. Well, we did
it,” said Good, commending the work of the Stormwater Management Board.
“This is another milestone achieved.”
The South Haven
project will cost around $17 million and the other $3 million from the bond
will be used for other stormwater projects undertaken.
Biggs, R-North, said when it was apparent the stormwater system was failing,
it was the “tipping point” for the conservancy district to join up with the
“The waiting is
over in South Haven. We can’t wait. It shouldn’t wait. It’s gotten to be a
public safety issue. They’re going to see a lot of work going on in the next
two to three years on their infrastructure, but it’s all going to occur
quick,” Biggs said.
Shurr Blaney, D-South, also agreed on the bond. “The whole county should be
raised up to the level of quality of life we come to expect.”
A public hearing
for the bond will be held by the Stormwater Management Board at its next
meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 19, at 9 a.m., said County Attorney Scott McClure.
The meeting will be in the Commissioners Chambers inside the Porter County
Good said because
of the Porter County Government Nonprofit Charitable Foundation endowment
fund, the board will be able “to get some pretty decent interest rates on
Commissioners received one bid from their request for proposals to redesign
the front plaza of the Administration Center.
The bid came in
from Garriup Construction at $793,000, which Biggs pointed out as being much
less than the $1 million the Commissioners were estimating.
Good said they will
review the bid and make a decision on the bid at a special meeting or at the
Sept. 19 meeting.