For at least seven
years Paul Shinn has been looking to develop an 89-lot subdivision at the
southeast corner of C.R. 1050N and C.R. 50W in unincorporated Liberty
Not long after
Shinn approached the Chesterton Utility in 2008, however--seeking an
out-of-town sanitary-sewer connection--the real estate market tanked and
plans for the subdivision were mothballed.
Those plans have
since been dusted off and at the Utility Service Board’s meeting Monday
night, Shinn asked members to issue him a letter stating that the Utility
has both the capacity and the willingness to service the subdivision. He
needs that letter, Shinn said, in order to receive primary plat approval
from the Porter County Plan Commission.
Each of the
subdivision’s 89 single-family homes will be served by a privately owned
low-pressure system designed to pump wastewater to the Chesterton High
School lift station, Shinn told the Service Board.
Member Scot McCord
wondered why Shinn was seeking a tie-in via the Rose Hill Estates lift
station, a straight shot up C.R. 50W.
“It’s a half mile
either way,” Shinn noted. “There’s no difference in distance.” And in any
case the CHS lift station has a larger capacity than the Rose Hill Estates
one, he added.
When asked what
kind of time table he has in mind, Shinn said that he wants to start the
installation of infrastructure this fall and begin work on the first house
early next spring. Figure 15 to 20 homes a year and build-out in five to
seven years. The lots themselves are approximately 9,200 square feet in size
with the homes likely to priced in the neighborhood of $275,000 to $300,000.
The trend in the market right now, Shinn remarked, is down-sized square
footage but up-sized amenities.
unwilling on Monday to issue him a letter without a more careful technical
review. What they did do is vote unanimously to instruct Superintendent Dave
Ryan and Associate Town Attorney Chuck Parkinson to begin negotiating a
sewer use agreement, which if completed in a timely fashion could be
formally entered into at the Service Board’s next meeting, Sept. 21.
The Long Term
In other business,
Mark Nye of DLZ reported that work on the key element of the federally
mandated long term control plan (LTCP) to reduce sewage bypasses--the
1.2-million gallon storage tank and affiliated headworks building--should be
completed by Sept. 30, fully a year ahead of the original schedule.
general contractor, Gariup Construction Company of Gary, is leak-testing the
tank, which is designed to hold stormwater-diluted wastewater during heavy
rain events until the treatment plant has had a chance to catch up. An
initial fill of the tank revealed a number of leaks--perfectly normal for
this kind of project, Nye said. Those leaks were repaired and further
testing is now underway.
On the other hand,
Nye added, “we need to simulate a wet-weather event or actually have one in
order to test the whole system together.”
Members did vote
unanimously to approve a change order which adds $84,602 to the total
contract price of $8,471,800, an increase of less than 1 percent: for fixing
a leak in the expanded headworks building; putting a new roof on the
generator building; and outfitting the blower room with heaters, to keep
pipes which had previously been warned by the old blowers--but won’t be by
the new quieter, cooler ones--from freezing in the winter.
Brandt credited DLZ and Town Attorney Chuck Lukmann for getting a project as
complicated as the LTCP done well ahead of schedule. “I don’t think I’ve
ever seen a major job like this one done ahead of time,” he said.
“I’m just greatly
impressed by the cooperation of so many people to get this job done,” Member
Andy Michel added.
July in Review
In July, Chesterton
used 49.27 percent of its 3,668,000 gallon per day (gpd) allotment of the
wastewater treatment plant; Porter, 46.02 percent of its 851,000 gpd
allotment; the Indian Boundary Conservancy District, 61.94 percent of its
81,000 gpd allotment; and the plant as a whole, 48.89 percent of its
There were no
sewage bypasses last month, during which 3.49 inches of rain were recorded
at the plant.
Also in July, the
Utility ran a surplus of $453,022 and in the year-to-date is running a
surplus of $211,419.55.