Chesterton Tribune



Chesterton Council OKs regulated sewer territory ordinance as part of Valpo settlement

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The Chesterton Town Council has approved a “regulated territory” ordinance as part of the settlement of the Utility’s territorial dispute with Valparaiso City Utilities.

At their meeting Tuesday night, members voted unanimously to enact the ordinance, previously endorsed by the Utility Service Board.

That ordinance grants the Utility “the exclusive power, control, and jurisdiction to furnish, regulate, and provide sanitary sewer service to new customers” located in the regulated territory.

That regulated territory has been previously stipulated and demarcated as follows: the Chesterton Utility will continue to serve Fox Chase Farms and the Whispering Sands Mobile Home Park and has exclusive rights within the whole of the so-called “Porter County Recapture Area,” bordered roughly by the Indiana Toll Road to the north, North Calumet Ave. to the east, a portion of unincorporated Liberty Township south of U.S. Highway 6, and a portion of unincorporated Jackson Township east of C.R. 350E.

The territorial dispute was prompted last year by Valparaiso City Utilities’ acquisition of the Damon Run Conservancy District’s sanitary sewer infrastructure and the Valparaiso City Counci’s concomitant declaration of an exclusive sewer territory which extended well into a similar territory in unincorporated Liberty Township formally declared by the Chesterton Town Council six years earlier.

Public Hearing Set on Easement

In other business, members voted unanimously to hold a public hearing at their next meeting, Monday, June 8, on the petition of Mike and Melissa Topor for the reduction of a utility and drainage easement on their property at 3525 Drivers Lane.

The Topors are hoping to install a swimming pool in their yard but it would encroach on the 7.5-foot easement running along their property line. The Topors are seeking to reduce the easement by 3.5 feet.

Town Engineer Mark O’Dell told the council that a comparable easement runs along the next door neighbor’s property line, which would still leave nearly 12 feet of total easement should it be needed.

Should the council be of a mind to grant the easement reduction, the Topors will still need to obtain at least one variance from the Board of Zoning Appeals.


Meanwhile, O’Dell reported that the Building Department has been receiving a lot of calls from folks interested in the Aldi being developed on the site of the old Kmart on Indian Boundary Road.

Unfortunately, O’Dell told members, the Building Department hasn’t yet received a formal submission from Aldi and at this point he has no information on the actual specs of the project.

Last Thoughts

Member Jennifer Fisher, I-5th, took a moment at the end of the meeting to say that she’s eager to begin meeting again in person. “I am looking forward to meeting in person starting very soon,” she said. “I’m thankful for Zoom but I’m looking forward to seeing you all very soon.”

“Just tell me where the meeting is and I’ll be there with my mask on,” agreed Member Jim Ton, R-1st.

Member Bob Allison, D-3rd, for his part, wanted to make clear that the delayed re-opening of the Chesterton playgrounds was his doing and not Park Superintendent’s Shane Griffin.  The playgrounds were originally slated for opening on May 24, per Gov. Eric Holcomb’s phased-in re-opening plan, but the Town of Chesterton has adopted a more conservative schedule, based on CDC guidances, and under those guidances Chesterton’s playgrounds, tennis and basketball courts, restrooms, and splash pad will remain closed to the public at least until July 4.

“I’ll take the hit for that,” Allison said.



Posted 5/27/2020




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