Chesterton Tribune



Utility considers providing service to 30 acres south of the Brassie

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The Chesterton Utility Services Board is amenable to considering an outside user agreement with the potential purchaser of 30 acres located in unincorporated Liberty Township: directly south of the Brassie Golf Course, west of Pearson Road and north of C.R. 1050N.

At their meeting Monday night, members voted unanimously to authorize staff and legal to discuss a sanitary sewer user agreement with the potential buyer’s attorney, Greg Babcock. “The development would be driven by sanitary,” Babcock told the Service Board. “You can’t build as many units with septic.”

Any such agreement, Babcock noted, would include a no-remonstration clause, at such time as the 30 acres become annexable. They currently are not. And the developers would agree to pay to build all infrastructure--sanitary, roads, and sidewalks--to Town Standards, so that when the property does become annexable there would be no issues about the town’s accepting it.

As Member Andy Michel observed, it’s long been the Service Board’s policy to provide sanitary sewer service to outside and unannexable users when it’s to the Utility’s advantage. Thus the Utility right now provides service to Fox Chase Farms and Whispering Sands, both located well south of the town’s corporate limits in unincorporated Liberty Township.

Superintendent Dave Ryan hasn’t yet checked the numbers, but suggested that the Utility’s serving the 30 acres in question would not overtax the wastewater treatment plant’s capacity. “I’m anticipating that there’s probably no problem,” he said.

Member John Schnadenberg did strike a note of caution. “I’m concerned about taking on so many outside users,” he said at the end of the meeting. “My concern is retaining sufficient capacity for future in-town growth. I’d hate to see us get to the point where we have to do another plant expansion.”


In other business, Ryan reported that the overflow of sewage into the Little Calumet River--from 8:53 to 11:57 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27, totaling 53,000 gallons--is still being investigated.

What is known is that 989,400 gallons of flow were diverted into the wastewater treatment plant’s 1.2-million storage basin that night--well short of its capacity. “It wasn’t because of the basin,” Ryan emphasized.

Instead, there appears to have been a problem with a gate or bar screen. “We don’t have a definitive answer yet.” Ryan said. “We’re talking to outside engineers. We’re still working through it.”

The Utility did notify the Indiana Department of Environmental Management of the overflow, Ryan added.

Through the first nine months of the year, Ryan told members, about 15 percent more rain has been recorded at the wastewater treatment plant than was in the year-ago period.

September in Review

In September, Chesterton used 56.06 percent of its 3,668,000 gallon per day (gpd) allotment of the wastewater treatment plant; Porter, 48.26 percent of its 851,000 gpd allotment; the Indian Boundary Conservancy District, 57.64 percent of its 81,000 gpd allotment; and the plant as a whole, 54.98 percent of its capacity.

A single overflow event occurred last month at the plant: the 53,000 gallons on Sept. 27. A total of 8.19 inches of rain was recorded in September at the plant, the year’s wettest month, followed by 8.12 inches in May.

In September the Utility ran a surplus of $365,447.29 and in the year-to-date is running a surplus of $1,155,306.81.


Member Scot McCord took a moment at the end of the meeting to urge all Chesterton residents to vote in the municipal election on Tuesday, Nov. 5. “As somebody who kind of got nailed with voter apathy”--four years ago, McCord lost his race for the 4th District Town Council seat after tying Nate Cobbs; the incumbent Town Council then voted for Cobbs, per Indiana Code--“I think it’s crucial for people in Chesterton to get out and vote. Not just let the 1,000 people who do vote decide who’s elected.”

“We don’t need any special interest groups to take over the town,” McCord added. “I don’t care who you vote for. Just take the time to vote.”


Michel, for his part, asked motorists to use extra care when driving through town during trick-or-treat: from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 31.

“Give them any leeway you can,” Michel sad. “They’re just kids.”




Posted 10/22/2019




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