beneficiaries of the Ind. 49 utility corridor may not be businesses or
industries at all.
They may be the
residents of Fox Chase Farms and the Whispering Sands Mobile Home Community
in Liberty Township.
At a special
meeting Tuesday evening, the Chesterton Utility Service Board agreed to
pursue a sanitary sewer extension to both Fox Chase Farms, whose septic
mound system is currently failing, and to Whispering Sands, whose package
wastewater treatment plant is also failing.
Service Board voted 3-0 to enter into a memorandum of understanding (MOU)
with the Fox Chase Farms property owners association, Whispering Sands, and
John Marshall of 1st American Management Company, the court-appointed
receiver for Fox Chase Farms’ mound system, originally operated by Centurian
Schnadenberg and Scot McCord were not in attendance.
Under the terms of
the MOU, Fox Chase Farms would abandon its existing septic mound system and
a replacement system would be built by the Utility, to which each of the 88
homes in the subdivision would connect through two-inch laterals and private
grinder pumps. Wastewater would be routed through a new “transport
system”--consisting of a submersible lift station and eight-inch force
main--north along Meridian Road, then east along C.R. 900N, under the CSX
right-of-way, and to the new lift station which is the centerpiece of the
Ind. 49 utility corridor.
would decommission the package plant and, via a new lift station and
two-inch force main, flow wastewater to the eight-inch force main on
preliminary sizing calculations, it is anticipated that an eight-inch force
main will be required to handle the flows from (Fox Chase Farms, Whispering
Sands), potentially the Liberty schools, and still have provisions for
additional future users without capacity upsizing of the force main.”
The total cost of
the project is estimated by the MOU at $2.1 million, with the transport
system costing $1.564 million and the Fox Chase Farms replacement system
The MOU also
stipulates that the Utility will seek to finance the project with a
zero-interest loan through the State Revolving Fund (SRF) amortized over 20
“There will be no
capital cost to the town,” President Larry Brandt noted, because all costs
will be paid by Fox Chase Farms and Whispering Sands and any subsequent
users who may connect.
monthly cost to a Fox Chase Farms homeowner for sanitary sewer service
provided by the Utility is $137.77.
At the moment a Fox
Chase Farms homeowner is paying $65 per month but receiver John Marshall has
petitioned the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission for an emergency
increase of that amount to $95.
By 3-0 votes the
Service Board also agreed to secure the services of its contracted financial
consultant London Witte Group (at a cost not to exceed $50,000) and its
contracted bond counsel Shanahan & Shanahan (at a cost not to exceed
$16,000) to shepherd the Utility through the SRF process.
Attorney Chuck Parkinson said that an SRF loan would require a great deal of
preliminary work on the part of London Witte Group, including possibly--if
required--the securing of a certificate of territoriality from the IURC.