The Chesterton Utility has a new superintendent, at last.
At the Town Council’s meeting Monday night, Interim Utility Superintendent
Mark O’Dell announced the hire last week of Patrick Geisendorfer.
Geisendorfer, currently a resident of Wisconsin, is a 25-year veteran of
wastewater management and holds a Wisconsin Class IV permit, O’Dell told the
Chesterton Tribune after the meeting.
His first official day on the job will be March 1.
Geisendorfer will be formally introduced at the Utility Service Board’s next
monthly meeting, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 16.
Four persons were interviewed for the position, O’Dell noted.
Geisendorfer’s hire concludes a process which began early last year, when
long-time superintendent Steve Yagelski abruptly resigned. O’Dell was named
interim superintendent while the Service Board undertook a search process
which lasted for months and did not end until late summer, when James Chris
Shank was given the nod. But Shank had been on the job only a week when he
also resigned abruptly for personal reasons. O’Dell was again named interim
superintendent and the Service Board started from scratch, this time
contracting with a professional recruitment firm.
In other business, members voted 4-0 to authorize O’Dell, wearing his town
engineer’s hat, to submit six projects to U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-1st,
for possible funding in Fiscal Year 2011 appropriations bill. President Jeff
Trout, R-2nd, was not in attendance.
•A utility corridor down Ind. 49, which could conceivably dovetail with the
construction of Porter hospital’s new facility in unincorporated Liberty
Township at the intersection of Ind. 49 and U.S. Highway 6. “This is a real
chance to put something together,” noted Member Sharon Darnell, D-4th. “This
is the start of a very interesting time in the development of our area.” The
Town of Chesterton has formally invited Porter hospital to take advantage of
the Utility’s wastewater treatment plant as a more convenient and less
expensive alternative to the City of Portage’s.
•The Dunes-Kankakee Trail, which is projected to cut through Downtown
Chesterton on its way from Indiana Dunes State Park to Kouts and Hebron.
•The engineering study for the Dickinson Road extension, which would link
Indian Boundary Road to the north with Sidewalk Road to the south.
•A stormwater lift station for the flood-prone alley behind Val’s Famous
Pizza and Grinders at Broadway and 11th Street.
•Phase II of the Westchester-Liberty Trail, from Rose Hill Estates east
through a wetland to 11th Street.
•A sanitary sewer re-lining.
Later in the meeting, members voted 4-0 to authorize Town Manager Bernie
Doyle to submit the same list of projects to the U.S. Department of
Commerce’s Economic Development Administration.
Meanwhile, O’Dell said that he will be seeking federal stimulus funding in
the second round of awards and is right now compiling a possible list of
projects, including traffic signal upgrades and battery backups for those
O’Dell also said that he is still waiting for the Indiana Department of
Natural Resources to approve a permit which would permit the town, using
funds made available through the Federal Emergency Management
Administration, to repair the boardwalk and bridge in Coffee Creek Park
damaged by the floods of September 2008. The town can do nothing until DNR
has issued the permit, O’Dell said, so he has asked FEMA for an extension of
the deadline by which to use the funds.