Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Town New floodplain map wrongly includes 15-20 homes

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By KEVIN NEVERS

Fifteen, maybe 20, homeowners who live near the banks of Coffee Creek and Sand Creek could be forced to pay expensive flood insurance, after the Indiana Department of Natural Resources incorrectly included their properties on a newly revised floodplain map, Chesterton Town Engineer Mark O’Dell says.

The Town of Chesterton is currently appealing that map, whose preparation by the DNR was actually funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The problem, O’Dell says: there are no further federal moneys available to allow the DNR to conduct an additional analysis which would show the map to be wrong.

So the Town of Chesterton is appealing on its own, on behalf of the homeowners, who have not yet been notified themselves of the change in status of their properties, O’Dell said.

The other problem: the town hasn’t the resources to appeal without the assistance of a consultant, so at O’Dell’s recommendation the Stormwater Management Board voted 3-0 at its meeting Monday night to retain the services of DLZ, at a cost not to exceed $25,000.

“If we don’t appeal, then the onus will be on residents to file their own appeal,” O’Dell told the Chesterton Tribune after the meeting. “And these people don’t know they’re now in it.”

O’Dell pointed specifically to several homes on Gossett Mill Ave., in Morgan’s Corner at Coffee Creek Center, which he says should not have been included in the new floodplain map. “The map is showing floodplain where it shouldn’t be,” O’Dell said.

Park Ave. Project

In other business, members voted 3-0 to take under advisement two quotes for the next stormwater bond project: the installation of four inlets and an eight-inch pipe to remediate a long-standing drainage problem in the area of Park Ave. and 10th Street.

That pipe will be connected, via an easement, to a stormwater sewer line on South Park Ave.

The bids: $108,198 by Woodruff & Sons; and $115,809 by R.V. Sutton. Inc.

Portable Generator

Meanwhile, O’Dell told the board that the Stormwater Utility needs to purchase a portable generator, for the purpose of operating the Val’s and 11th Street lift stations during heavy rain events accompanied by power outages.

The Val’s lift station--serving the alley behind Val’s Famous Pizza at Broadway and 11th Street, the lowest point in town--has been on line and operational for some time. The 11th Street station--serving an alley in the area of 11th Street and West Porter Ave.--is also operational but NIPSCO has not yet extended electrical service to it.

In the past the Stormwater Utility has used one of the Sanitary Utility’s three portable generators. But as O’Dell noted, during a power outage the Sanitary Utility has its own problems with lift stations and its portable generators “are usually all scarce.”

Fishing at Coffee Creek Center

President Thomas Kopko did have one question for MS4 Operator Jennifer Gadzala, who at the first annual MEWE Fest on Saturday, July 21, at Coffee Creek Watershed Preserve undertook to teach kids how to fish and the importance of keeping the water clean for the fish.

“Did you catch a lot of fish?” Kopko wanted to know?

“We did,” Gadzala said. “One girl caught five fish.”

June in Review

In June the Stormwater Utility ran a surplus of $31,356 and in the year-to-date is running a surplus of $108,743.

 

 

 

Posted 7/23/2014