Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Commissioners to make final vote on stormwater board ordinance

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The Porter County Commissioners will convene Tuesday for their regular board meeting at 1 p.m. inside the County Administration Center, 155 Indiana Ave. in Valparaiso.

The board is expected to a vote on second reading of an ordinance to create the Porter County Stormwater Management Board, which would service and impose a fee structure on most residents living in the county’s unincorporated areas.

The Commissioners voted 3-0 on first reading during their last meeting on Aug. 5, but a second reading is required since fees are involved.

Commissioner President John Evans said the fee structure would be decided at a later date and would need to be approved by the County Council before residents are charged. The fees would help equalize who pays for drainage costs in the county, he said, since the current system only assesses properties that contain or border regulated drains and ditches.

The ordinance is worded so that taxpayers in conservancy districts, which already impose a fee for flood and drainage control, are excluded. It also excludes those living in towns and cities who already pay a stormwater fee.

The public hearing for the ordinance was closed on first reading and will not be opened for a second reading. Local conservationists like Herb Read, representing the Porter County Chapter of the Izaak Walton League, asked if the Commissioners’ ordinance could also exclude properties owned by organizations like the League which collect donations and funding for the purpose of land protection and flood control.

Evans said the Commissioners will decide the make-up of the stormwater board and may choose keep the current drainage board as they weigh their options.

Also on the agenda is a second reading for an ordinance to create a fund to collect rent payments on the 63.5 acre proposed County park one mile north of Kouts on Ind. 49. The park board said it will lease the farmland and use the funds for the development of the park.

The Commissioners will also meet in closed executive session Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. to discuss matters related to personnel.

 

Posted 8/18/2014