Chesterton Tribune



Utility endorses revised regulated territory ordinance as part of settlement with Valpo

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At its Zoom meeting on Monday night, the Chesterton Utility Service Board voted unanimously to endorse a “Revised Regulated Territory” ordinance as part of the settlement of its territorial dispute with Valparaiso City Utilities.

That ordinance--which must be approved by the Town Council--gives the Chesterton Utility “the exclusive power, control, and jurisdiction to furnish, regulate, and provide sanitary sewer service to new customers” located in the regulated territory.

More: “all other utilities, municipalities, or special taxing districts whether public or private are expressly prohibited from furnishing sanitary sewer service within this” territory; and that “nothing in this ordinance shall be construed as limiting the choice of any customer (within this territory) currently receiving sanitary sewer service from another provider to receive sanitary sewer service from the town.”

That regulated territory has been previously stipulated and demarcated as follows: the Chesterton Utility will continue to serve Fox Chase Farms and the Whispering Sands Mobile Home Park and has exclusive rights inside the whole of the so-called “Porter County Recapture Area,” bordered roughly by the Indiana Toll Road to the north, North Calumet Ave. to the east, a portion of unincorporated Liberty Township south of U.S. Highway 6, and a portion of unincorporated Jackson Township east to C.R. 350E.

The territorial dispute was prompted last year by Valparaiso City Utilities’ acquisition of the Damon Run Conservancy District’s santiary sewer infrastructure and the Valparaiso City Council’s concomitant declaration of an exclusive sewer territory which extended well into a similar territory in unincorporated Liberty Township formally declared by the Chesterton Town Council six years earlier.

At the same time on Monday, members voted unanimously to adopt a Sanitary Sewer Master Plan posted for public comment on the town’s municipal website for 30 days. That master plan demonstrates--for the consideration of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission--"both the ways and means to provide waste treatment services” to various areas within the regulated territory.

The master plan makes it clear that it is merely a “guide” to serving those various areas, and that any implementation of it--that is, any installation of the necessary infrastructure--"will be driven by proposed developments.”

Rainfall and the Basin

In other business, Superintendent Dave Ryan reported that the 1.2-million gallon storage basin built to reduce combined sewer overflows into the Little Calumet River was once again pressed into service last week, on Thursday and Friday, following a total rainfall of 2.36 inches on those days. “We only put a couple of feet in it both times, so it wasn’t a big deal,” Ryan said.

It’s a big enough deal, Member Scot McCord replied, because every gallon of waste- and stormwater flowed into the basin for safekeeping until the plant can catch up is a gallon that doesn’t go into the Little Cal. “We’ve finally got something in place where we don’t have a problem with bypasses, at least at this point,” said.

Member Andy Michael agreed. “Every time we get that heavy rain, it does its job,” he said.

April in Review

In April, Chesterton used 65.02 percent of its 3,668,000 gallon per day (gpd) allotment of the wastewater treatment plant; Porter, 58.07 percent of its 851,000 gpd allotment; the Indian Boundary Conservancy District, 86.53 percent of its 81,000 gpd allotment; and the plant as a whole, 64.11 percent of its capacity.

There were no combined sewer overflows in April but a total of 5.48 inches of rain was recorded at the plant, making it the second wettest April in five years (wettest: April 2019).

Also in April, the Utility ran a deficit of $158,281.13 and in the year-to-date is running a surplus of $196,631.15.


Posted 5/21/2020




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