Chesterton Tribune



Chesterton Utility to invest $1.3 million

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The rough difference is between annual interest earnings of $2,000 and $30,000.

The Chesterton Utility Management Board accordingly voted unanimously at its meeting Monday night to transfer $1.3 million from an account at 1st Source Bank, earning around 0.02 percent, into a new account at Trust Indiana, earning around 2.3 percent.

Trust Indiana is a local government investment pool exclusively serving municipalities. Under its rules, all or a portion of an account may be liquidated in one business day, with no penalty and only a wire transfer fee.

The vote followed an energetic discussion opened by Member Andy Michel, who initially opposed any transfer until it was determined that Trust Indiana is offering the best rate. “How deep has this been researched?” he asked. “Is this the best we can get?”

“Right now we’re getting pretty much zero,” President Larry Brandt replied.

Clerk-Treasurer Stephanie Kuziela, for her part, said that she will soon be preparing a request for quotes for 1st Source, as well as from Centier Bank and Horizon Bank, to see if they can offer a better rate. 1st Source “might be willing to come to the table if they realize they’re losing $1.3 million.”

Brandt agreed. “If you transfer the $1.3 million from 1st Source to Trust Indiana, now you have a bargaining chip,” he said. “And we’d pick up a month’s interest or more.”

“If we find a better deal,” added Member Scot McCord, “we can pull the money out without a fee or penalty.”

Kuziela noted that Trust Indiana comes highly recommended by Highland and Beverly Shores. She also emphasized that her preference is always to work with local banking institutions, as 1st Source, Centier, and Horizon are highly responsive to their clients’ needs. “I’ve been very happy with the service from these banks,” she said.

Associate Town Attorney Chuck Parkinson did say that, given the timetable involved, it would be unlikely to get any quotes for the RFQ--once it’s been issued--until September.

Wabash Ave. Fix

In other business, Superintendent Dave Ryan reported that last month the Utility installed a new manhole and short sewer main in the 600 block of Wabash Ave., following the failure of a resident’s sewer lateral.

Connecting a new lateral to the main running under Wabash Ave., at a depth of 17 feet, would have necessitated excavating the roadway--re-paved only last year--and so instead, Ryan told the board, the decision was made to install a new manhole in the easement in the resident’s front yard, connected to a municipal lateral running north from Grant Ave., and then run under the sidewalk a new, short main from that manhole to serve the residence.

The Utility contributed $5,500 to the project and the resident $8,500.

Ryan said that the new main will be capable of serving other homes in the neighborhood should the need arise.

June in Review

In June, Chesterton used 67.67 percent of its 3,668,000 gallon per day (gpd) allotment of the wastewater treatment plant; Porter, 51.92 percent of its 851,000 gpd allotment; the Indian Boundary Conservancy District, 81.48 percent of its 81,000 gpd allotment; and the treatment plant as a whole, 64.26 percent of its capacity.

A total of 3.71 inches of rain was recorded at the plant last month. There were no bypasses of wastewater into the Little Calumet River.

Also in June, the Utility ran a loss of $138,721.78 and in the year-to-date is running a surplus of $546,148.73.


Posted 7/17/2019






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