A resident of
Oakwood Drive, off South Fifth Street, brought his concerns about high water
in the wetlands east and west of South 11th Street to the Chesterton
Stormwater Management Board at its meeting Monday night.
Laster is concerned that, following the May rains, the wetlands just east of
the Peterson Ditch headwaters near 14th Street and Portage Ave.--clogged, he
said, with vegetation and beaver debris--are backing up well to the east,
trapping water behind South 11th Street and leaving his backyard and those
of his neighbors on Oakwood Drive wet.
How wet? “We’ve got
wetland plants growing in our backyards now,” Laster said. It’s gotten so
bad, he added, that some of the residents along Oakwood Drive and Shannon
Drive to the south have re-directed the outfall from their sump pumps into
the street, to flow the water away from their yards.
culvert under South 11th Street is completely underwater, Laster said, and
should the property immediately north of Westchester Intermediate School,
between South Fifth and South 11th streets, ever be developed, stormwater
runoff “is going to get dumped into the same flowage.”
“I just dread the
idea of more water going there,” Laster urged the board.
John Schnadenberg acknowledged that he hasn’t himself walked the wetlands
west of South 11th Street--as Laster did, in waders--but did say that the
Street Department doesn’t have the equipment necessary to clear that wetland
of congestion. He did say that he and Town Engineer Mark O’Dell can discuss
the feasibility of hiring a contractor.
On the other hand,
Schnadenberg said, in 30 years he’s never known the culvert west of South
11th Street not to be underwater.
Laster’s comments under advisement.
In other business,
members by consensus authorized Schnadenberg and Town Engineer Mark O’Dell
to scope preliminarily the cost of piping and in-filling the ditches along
1050N from approximately Westwood Lane to Ind. 149.
the board that a similar project two years ago--in which the ditches on the
north side of West Porter Ave. between 18th and 23rd streets were piped and
in-filled--went very well, and that the ditches along 1050N could benefit
from a similar improvement.
that in places, especially further west along 1050N, the ditches are three
feet or more in depth, deep enough to expose underground utility
infrastructure. “If you go off the road, you don’t have a lot of leeway,” he
suggested that the project could be phased and in any case wouldn’t be
shovel-ready until at least next year.
May in Review
In May the
Stormwater Utility ran a surplus of $7,666 and in the year-to-date is
running a surplus of $67,231.