Folks who build new single-family homes in the area served by the newly
upgraded Dickinson Road lift station—which includes pretty much all of the
Town of Chesterton east of Ind. 49—will be paying more than just the $2,602
tap-on fee to connect to the sanitary sewer system.
They’ll also be paying an extra $729.15 fee as part of a “re-capture”
agreement with the Lake Erie Land Company, which footed the $2.1 million
bill to upgrade the lift station.
Under that agreement—approved by unanimous vote at Monday’s meeting of the
Utility Service Board—the Utility will collect the extra tap-on fee on
behalf Lake Erie Land.
Indiana Code permits private developers who pay to install or improve
certain utility infrastructure to re-capture the cost of the work, Associate
Town Attorney Chuck Parkinson told the Chesterton Tribune after the
The re-capture agreement approved on Monday also provides for an extra
$520.82 tap-on fee per unit of duplex and multi-family, and an extra
$3,127.85 tap-on fee per acre for office, retail, and light industrial.
The official Dickinson Road lift station district includes the area bordered
on the north by Indian Boundary Road, including parcels on the north side of
the road; on the south by the Indiana Toll Road; on the east by Friday Road;
and on the west by Ind. 49. There are also several smaller areas west of
Ind. 49 as well, including the Tamarack subdivision, Town Engineer Mark
In other business, members voted 4-0 to authorize Town Attorney Chuck
Lukmann to “seek reimbursement from whatever responsible party for the costs
incurred” by the Utility to repair a collapsed sanitary sewer main along
North Calumet Road.
President Larry Brandt was not in attendance.
That main collapsed in April and resulted in severe backups in at least two
A 225-foot section of 12-inch concrete pipe, probably installed in the 1950s
or 60s, was removed and replaced with PVC pipe between Brown Ave. and River
Ave., as part of the repair.
Meanwhile, O’Dell reported that—despite the strike of Operating Engineers
Local 150 and a bucketful of bad weather—the replacement of an old sanitary
main along South Calumet Road between West Indiana Ave. and the
Norfolk-Southern grade-crossing came in under budget.
The contract price for that project: around $518,000. The actual price:
$500,000. Right now, he said, the Utility is covering claims for the
asphalting, done by Rock Solid Paving and Excavating of St. John after the
Service Board determined that Local 150’s strike was jeopardizing the safety
and the economic health of the Downtown.
The total cost of the two-year project, which began with a sewer separation
last summer along South Calumet Road between Morgan Ave. and Porter Ave.:
“I think the Downtown project went very quickly, once the board declared an
emergency,” Member Scot McCord said. “And I think the business owners are
just tickled to death.”
Member Jim Raffin thanked all employees involved in the project for their
work, and noted that Local 150’s strike wouldn’t have had any impact at all
had it not been for all the rain which delayed completion. “We had a very,
very wet—a very wet—spring,” he said.
Earlier in the meeting, members promised Morningside subdivision resident
Alan Nelson that a Utility crew would see to restoring an area of his
property in the 1200 block of Chalemel Drive, after manhole repairs were
done nearby last September.
June in Review
In June, Chesterton used 52.28 percent of its 40,544,674 gallon per day (gpd)
allotment of the wastewater treatment plant; Porter, 69.64 percent of its
809,000 gpd allotment; the Indian Boundary Conservancy District, 63.69
percent of its 81,000 gpd allotment; and the plant as a whole, 55.98 percent
of its capacity.
There were no bypasses last month, with 3.95 inches of rain recorded at the
In June, the Utility ran a deficit of $225,703 and in the year-to-date is
running a deficit of $138,381.