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.
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.”
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.
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
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
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
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.