Chesterton Tribune



Utility Board enters into sewer user pact for unincorporated land

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The Chesterton Utility Service Board has approved a sewer user agreement with the owner of 30 acres in unincorporated Liberty Township, located immediately south of the Brassie Golf Course, west of Pearson Road and north of C.R. 1050N.

The Service Board voted unanimously to approve that agreement at its meeting Monday night.

Under the terms of the agreement, the owner of the property, Janice Coker, will build a sanitary sewer system to Town Standards, capable of serving 44 single-family homes and 16 duplexes, which will be connected to a Chesterton lift station serving the Dogwood Estates subdivision.

Coker will be responsible for all costs associated with the sewer line, including construction, easement acquisition, professional and inspection fees, and ongoing maintenance and repair. And though the property is not currently annexable, at such time as it may be, Coker waives the right to remonstrate, as do any successor owners.

The Utility, in turn, will charge Coker a tap-on fee for each living unit built in the subdivision.

President Larry Brandt did have one query, noting that the agreement refers to the Coker system as “private,” as distinct from the Utility’s “public system.” Does that mean that Coker will be able to connect other properties--specifically those along the east side of Pearson Road--to the system?

No, Associate Town Attorney Chuck Parkinson said. “We’ve always determined who can and can’t connect to the town’s system.” Parkinson did, however, suggest adding language to the agreement to the effect that the Utility may one day, at its sole discretion, elect to assume responsibility for it and make it “public,” at which time it could offer sanitary sewer service to other property owners.

“As long as we would be able to add customers in the future,” Brandt said.

Re: Ind. 49 Utility Corridor

In other business, the Service Board unanimously approved an agreement with the Redevelopment Commission, under which an “additional connection fee” will be imposed on developers who build in what are commonly referred to as the Rossman and Pope properties south of the Indiana Toll Road: respectively, the 62-acre parcel located east of Ind. 49 and the 80-acre parcel located west of it.

Those properties are served by a sanitary sewer system constructed some seven years ago, as part of the Ind. 49 Utility Corridor project, intended to open development on the far side of the Toll Road. The cost of that project--$1.757,675.28--was paid with tax increment financing moneys under the administration of the Redevelopment Commission, and the agreement approved on Monday stipulates that revenues captured from the “additional connection fee” will be made over to the Redevelopment Commission to recoup its investment.

The agreement will now go to the Redevelopment Commission for its approval.

Duneland Prairie

Allocation Letter

Meanwhile, the Service Board voted unanimously to issue an allocation letter to John Nekus, the developer of a proposed “retirement village” on the property located behind the Chesterton Post Office and immediately east of Westchester South and south of Richter Street.

The Service Board previously approved an allocation letter for Nekus’ planned unit development, which was rejected by the Town Council earlier this year. The retirement village would have fewer units than the PUD, and Superintendent Dave Ryan told members that the wastewater treatment plant has adequate capacity to treat its wastewater.

Sink Holes

Ryan reported that he’s currently soliciting quotes for the repair of breached sewer lines which have caused three sinkholes in two alleys: two in the alley between Fifth and Sixth streets south of Broadway; and one in an alley behind Chestnut Blvd.

The breaches are in the Y connection--where the private service laterals run in the lines--and Ryan expects the repairs to cost around $30,000.


Ryan took a moment to thank his staff at the wastewater treatment plant for their excellent work during the rains of October. Nearly four inches alone fell during the final days of the month, and treating the flow required “extra hours by our staff.”

“Kudos to our team for their dedication,” Ryan said.

October in Review

In October, Chesterton used 60.40 percent of its 3,668,000 gallon per day (gpd) allotment of the wastewater treatment plant; Porter, 57.14 percent of its 851,000 gpd allotment; the Indian Boundary Conservancy District, 62.02 percent of its 81,000 gpd allotment; and the plant as a whole, 59.83 percent of its capacity.

There were no sewer overflows in October, which saw a total of 6.53 inches of rain.

Also last month, the Utility ran a deficit of $230,096.33 and in the year to date is running a surplus of $921,002.62.

McCord on Voting

Member Scot McCord took a moment at the end of the meeting to express his disappointment in the voter turnout during the municipal election on Nov. 5.

Last month McCord urged Chesterton residents to vote, didn’t matter for whom, just to vote. But turnout was low.

About those who stayed home, McCord said this: “As soon as something happens to them, they’re the first ones to complain. I’m not disappointed in the result, just the number of people who voted.”



Posted 11/20/2019






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