could have had the effect of stripping an MS4 department of much of its
authority to address inadequate sediment and erosion control measures on
construction sites has been toughened somewhat on amendment.
As Associate Town
Attorney Chuck Parkinson reported at the Chesterton Stormwater Management
Board’s meeting Tuesday night, the amended version of H.B. 1266--authored by
State Rep. Dough Miller, R-Elkhart--was passed by the House on Feb. 5., 68
votes to 27, and referred to the Senate.
written by Miller, H.B. 1266 would have required MS4 departments to complete
a preliminary review of a builder’s Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP)
within 48 hours of its being submitted, a significantly accelerated time
frame than the maximum 28-day window used by the Indiana Department of
As amended, MS4
departments must complete their review of a SWPPP “before the end of the
fifth working day after the day” on which the SWPPP was submitted.
More: under the
older version of the bill, once an MS4 department had conclusively approved
a builder’s SWPPP, it could not stop work on the grounds that the
erosion and sediment control measures detailed in the SWPPP are inadequate.
As amended, an MS4
department may stop work after approving a builder’s SWPPP, but only
after notifying the builder in writing of inadequacies in the erosion
and sediment control measures, and only after the builder fails to
resolve those inadequacies within 72 hours of receiving written
For the record,
State Rep. Miller is--according to his official website--managing partner of
Tailor Made Homes LLL and owner of Creekside Realty LLC and White Pines
Properties LLC, is seated on the Board of Directors of the Builders
Association of Elkhart County, and holds a life membership in the Indiana
directed the board’s attention to legislation which would, if enacted, have
a hefty impact on the revenues of the town’s MS4 Utility: S.B. 477, authored
by State Sen. Jack Sandlin, R-Indianapolis.
477 would prohibit stormwater utilities from collecting user fees from
properties used for religious services and from school corporations.
Enactment of S.B.
477, as Stormwater Utility Superintendent Mark O’Dell noted, would result in
the loss of approximately $27,800 in annual revenues: $4,300 from churches,
according to his calculations, and another $23,000 from the Duneland School
Corporation, the latter of which is the Stormwater Utility’s largest
the board that before the stormwater user fee was first enacted in
Chesterton, in 2005, the board did discuss the possibility of exempting
churches and schools but opted not to do so.
Should the S.B. 477
pass, O’Dell said, “We’ll probably have to do a rate study for 2020-21.”
Parkinson did tell
the board that it’s not time to panic yet. The bill was referred to the
Senate Utilities Committee on Jan. 15 and appears to be languishing there.
January in Review
In January the
Stormwater Utility ran a surplus of $3,832.