Chesterton Tribune

Porter buys more sewage treatment capacity from Chesterton

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By PAULENE POPARAD

The Porter Redevelopment Commission voted 4-0 Tuesday to exercise its last contractual option with Chesterton to purchase additional sewage capacity at the latter’s treatment plant for a fixed $197,400.

The 2011 deadline to do so is Sept. 1. Future purchases will have to be negotiated separately.

But what about retroactive ones?

Porter didn’t make an allowable purchase in 2009 and now wants to explore its options. To that end town attorney Greg Sobkowski was authorized to open discussions with Chesterton town attorney Charles Lukmann.

Porter director of engineering Matt Keiser said Chesterton officials never replied to Porter’s recent letter about the matter so commission member Bruce Snyder suggested a more direct approach.

Although Porter is interested in the 2009 capacity buy, commission member Trevin Fowler said, “To pull another 200k out of our account is a concern.”

Member LeAnn McCrum said maybe permission can be gained to defer the 2009 purchase until a later date; Fowler suggested a possible negotiated payment plan.

Keiser submitted a revised Porter sewer-needs analysis Tuesday showing Porter now has 809,000 gallons per day capacity allocated by Chesterton and is using 560,580 gpd currently. An additional 183,392 gpd above the paid allocation is the future shortage projected.

IDEM gets study first

Keiser said consultant Weaver Boos is giving final in-house review to the results of additional environmental testing at the 32-acre Brickyard site on Beam Street the Redevelopment Commission purchased for $350,000.

Voting 4-0 with member Al Raffin absent, the commission agreed to have Weaver Boos submit its completed report directly to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, which ordered additional groundwater testing after the town’s initial sampling was done.

The commission will await IDEM’s sign-off before receiving the report itself. Snyder said doing so will eliminate questions about the commission’s interpretation of the data, and member Michele Bollinger said IDEM will validate Weaver Boos’ findings.

After the meeting Sobkowski said, once submitted to it, the report will become a public document available through IDEM. Keiser said it could take 15-60 days for the agency to review the test results.

Currently under construction is the separate Brickyard hike/bike trail, a portion of which is being built on the southbound travel lane of Sexton Avenue on the east perimeter of the Brickyard parcel.

Keiser said found buried under Sexton was a rusted 7-foot by 42-inch empty storage tank. Weaver Boos sent an inspector but there was no evidence of what had been in the tank. Testing was done with results pending.

The discovery did not halt trail construction, reported Keiser, but the Indiana Department of Transportation, which administers the grant project, is having trouble establishing legal right-of-way in the area of U.S. 20 where a trail bridge will be built near Howe Road to cross into the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.

The bridge is important, stressed Keiser after the meeting, because trail users can’t cross four-lane U.S. 20 at-grade.

Ind. 49 bridges almost done

Construction on the new Indiana 49 bridge over U.S. 20 is 100 percent complete, according to Keiser, save for minor regrading and NIPSCO’s installation of electric service to stylized sconces and illumination of signage on the bridge.

A similar Indiana 49 bridge over U.S. 12 is 91 percent complete.

 

 

Posted 8/24/2011