Chesterton Tribune



Utility agrees to serve subdivision in unincorporated Liberty Township

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The Chesterton Utility has agreed to treat the wastewater of a proposed subdivision eyed for development just outside of town limits.

At its meeting Monday night, the Utility Service Board voted unanimously to enter into an agreement with Red Fish Development LLC--whose principal is Paul Shinn--under which it will provide sewer service to a 93-lot subdivision, tentatively named The Preserve, at the southeast corner of C.R. 1050N and C.R. 50W in unincorporated Liberty Township.

Shinn will be responsible for constructing, at his own expense, a transport system and four-inch force main running from a point on C.R. 50W north to C.R. 1050N and then east to a manhole on Meridian Road--a total of 3,333 linear feet--where Shinn’s transport system will connect to the Utility’s collection system.

“Eventually the Utility will take over (Shinn’s) principal lines,” his attorney, Greg Babcock noted, then added that the agreement does provide Shinn with the possibility of recapturing some of his investment” in the transport system from subsequent connections. “It looks like the market is picking up,” Babcock said. “Homes are being built and sold.”

As part of the agreement, Shinn will not remonstrate against any future annexation of the property. That waiver of the right to remonstrate runs with the property and is binding on all subsequent owners.

Shinn first approached the Utility in 2008 seeking sewer service for this subdivision but the global economic meltdown later that year prompted him to mothball his plans.

Shinn has previously projected a five- to seven-year buildout, with homes likely to be priced in the neighborhood of $250,000 to $300,000.

Fox Chase Farms

In other business, Superintendent Dave Ryan reported that the Fox Chase Farms project “is moving forward well.”

The construction of the main collection system inside the 88-lot subdivision is complete and crews are now installing service laterals, Ryan said. The Utility, meanwhile, has taken delivery of approximately half of the grinder pumps: mini lift stations essentially, one per house, whose job will be to force wastewater from each property into the subdivision’s collection system

Work is also underway on the force main outside the subdivision, which will run north along Meridian Road and then east along C.R. 900N before turning north again, running beneath the CSX railroad line, and connecting to the lift station serving the Ind. 49 corridor.

Ryan’s best guess is that sometime late in January or early in February the town should officially begin treating Fox Chase Farms’ wastewater.

Long Term Control Plan

Meanwhile, Town Engineer Mark O’Dell reported that the State Revolving Fund has agreed to an extension of the Oct. 30 completion date for the storage tank project, the key feature of the federally mandated long term control plan to reduce combined sewage overflows into the Little Calumet River.

The Utility requested the extension for several reasons, O’Dell said. For one thing, the grit pump has not yet been delivered and may not be for a couple of months. For another, it was decided to install electric acuators on the influent slide gates for two aeration tanks, a quote for which the general contractor, Gariup Construction Company, is currently preparing.

The 1.2-millon gallon storage tank itself was drained on Friday and its influent flow rate and pumps tested, O’Dell said. The system “performed very well and all pumps worked as designed.”

The idea of the tank is to temporarily hold the mixed stormwater/wastewater flow from combined sewers during heavy rain events so as not to overwhelm the treatment plant and force bypasses into the Little Calumet River.

Budget Meeting

Members agreed to hold a special meeting on the 2016 budget at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 1, at the wastewater treatment plant.

October in Review

In October, Chesterton used 38.04 percent of its 3,668,000 gallon per day (gpd) allotment at the wastewater treatment plant; Porter, 43.16 percent of its 851,000 gpd allotment; the Indian Boundary Conservancy District, 49.69 percent of its 81,000 gpd allotment; and the plant as a whole, 39.2 percent of its capacity.

October was the third driest month of the year, with only 1.4 inches of precipitation, behind February (1.29 inches); and March (0.70 inches). There were no combined sewage overflows last month.

Also in October, the Utility ran a deficit of $189,895 and in the year-to-date is running a surplus of $317,817.47.



Posted 11/17/2015





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