Chesterton Utility Service Board President Larry Brandt believes that 2013
will be remembered as a watershed year.
At the Service Board’s meeting Monday night, Brandt, reading a prepared
statement, called 2013 “one of the most important years in recent history.”
*The “most significant event” was, at long last, the fruition of the
federally mandated long term control plan (LTCP) to reduce sewage bypasses
into the Little Calumet River. “The process started in 2004 and our final
plan was approved by (the Indiana Department of Environmental Management)
earlier this year,” Brandt said. “The engineering was completed, invitations
to bid sent out, contracts awarded, and construction begun.”
*The first two phases of the LTCP have been financed through the State
Revolving Fund, Brandt noted, a strategy which will “yield a savings of $2.7
million” in interest payments over the life of the bonds. And, he added,
“included in the financing of the LTCP was a 6-percent rate increase
implemented in 2013,” what he characterized as a “very favorable rate impact
for a project of this magnitude.”
*Also in 2013, the Utility was “extremely fortunate” in hiring Terry
Atherton as its superintendent. Atherton previously served as director of
operations for the Northwest Indiana district of Indiana-American Water
Company and accrued utility experience as well working for the City of Fort
Wayne. That background is “already reaping significant benefits” for the
Utility, Brandt said.
*Brandt also cited the substantial completion of the Ind. 49 utility
corridor project, “another stepping stone in the strategic economic
development of Chesterton and the county.” Brandt offered “kudos to the Town
Council for making it happen” and to the Porter County Council for its
In related business, Mark Nye of DLZ reported on progress made on the lynch
pin of the LTCP--a 1.2-million gallon tank in which wastewater will be
temporarily stored during heavy rain events--since the groundbreaking of
Phase II in November.
Nye said that the general contractor, Gariup Construction Company of Gary,
is setting rebar right now and that the bottom of the tank could be poured
as soon as this week.
“Things are coming along quite nicely,” Nye said.
Found in the Sewer
Meanwhile, Atherton said that a crew jetting the sewer line along Broadway
between 19th Street and Jackson Blvd. found “two large pieces of clay tile”
in the line.
A follow-up will be conducted to determine whether “there are any problems
with the pipe further upstream,” he told the Service Board but added that
the town’s sanitary sewer system is more than 80 years old and in places is
still comprised of old clay tile pipe, with a life expectancy of 50 to 60
“We’re on borrowed time in a great deal of our system,” Atherton warned the
Service Board. “It’s one of those things we have to get used to living with
and dealing with.”
November in Review
In November, Chesterton used 38.30 percent of its 3,668,000 gallon per day (gpd)
allotment at the wastewater treatment plant; Porter, 46.35 percent of its
851,000 gpd allotment; the Indian Boundary Conservancy District, 58.41
percent of its 81,000 gpd allotment; and the plant as a whole, 40.78 percent
of its capacity.
November was a wet month, with 4.27 inches of rain, but there were no
bypasses. Brandt took a moment to praise the Town of Porter for its ongoing
sewer projects, which have gone far in increasing the system’s integrity
against the infiltration of groundwater and stormwater.
Also in November, the Utility ran a surplus of $221,826.40 and in the
year-to-date is running a surplus of $160,639.27.
Utility Helps the Street Depart