Effective April 1, Chesterton residents will be paying 2 percent more on
their bimonthly sanitary sewer service bills.
At its meeting Monday night, the Town Council voted 5-0 to approve the rate
hike on first reading, 5-0 to suspend the rules, then 5-0 to approve it on
Currently the average Chesterton household pays a bimonthly bill of $75.25
for sanitary service. Under the 2-percent hike, that amount will increase by
around $1.55, to $76.80.
Out-of-town customers—chiefly the Town of Porter and the Indian Boundary
Conservancy District—will see no rate hike, because the increase as endorsed
by the Utility Service Board is intended solely to offset the costs of
maintaining the town’s collection system.
Service Board President Larry Brandt has said that a rate hike this year
will probably negate the need for one next year.
No one spoke in opposition to the hike at a public meaning prior to the
vote. One person spoke in favor of it, Paul Tharp, who said that the
“2-percent request will only amount to $10, maybe $12, per year for a
ratepayer and will give some working capital to the Utility.”
“Ordinarily when someone’s asking for more money, I’m on the other side of
the fence,” Tharp remarked. “I feel this is a reasonable request.”
Member Emerson DeLaney, R-5th, noted that the 2-percent figure was the
recommendation of a biennial rate study conducted by the Utility’s
contracted rate consultant, H.J. Umbaugh & Associates. “This was the rate
felt conducive to meet the needs of the Utility,” he said.
In other business, members voted 5-0 to approve on first reading only an
ordinance which would ban smoking within inside enclosed municipal buildings
and within 15 feet of them.
Member Jim Ton, R-1st, said that he wants to give department heads time to
make their dispositions before enacting the ordinance on final reading.
•Smoking will be prohibited inside all enclosed municipal buildings.
•It will be prohibited within 15 of those buildings, “to insure that tobacco
smoke does not enter the designated smoke-free facility through entrances,
windows, ventilation systems, or other means.”
•It will also be prohibited in all vehicles owned, leased, or operated by
•The Parks and Recreation Department will be required to formulate rules
governing non-smoking areas in the park system.
As its last meeting, the council agreed by consensus to make a first,
partial move on smoke-free, given the very real possibility that the Indiana
General Assembly—with Democrats still hunkering down in Illinois—will fail
to enact a statewide smoke-free statute during this session.
Hospital Sale Proceeds
Meanwhile, members voted 5-0 to instruct Town Attorney Chuck Lukmann to
draft a letter to the Porter County Council expressing their support of a
proposal made by County Council Member Jim Biggs, R-1st, namely, that
interest on the proceeds from the county’s sale of Porter hospital to
Community Health Systems Inc. be disbursed to the municipalities on a pro
rata basis: either by population or by assessed valuation.