Mapping sets drain
Flood simulations to make up next phase of Beasor Valley
By Andrew Steele
Star Managing Editor
CROWN POINT - City officials last week told residents of the Beasor
Valley drainage area that planning for a project to alleviate flooding
is taking longer than they thought, but is still on the front
City Engineer Jeff Ban said the city has spent the
months since the project's kickoff in September mapping the sewer system
in the drainage basin, a 440-acre area concentrated on South Street
between Cardinal Drive and Main Street.
"We had a lot of spaghetti and (our maps) didn't
show what all the ends of the spaghetti connected to," Ban
All the data is collected now, though, he said, and
is being entered into a computer program that will allow engineers to
simulate flood conditions and various solutions.
The simulation work is being done by engineers from
Woolpert LLP of Cincinnati.
"We are trying to recreate an actual storm
event," said Woolpert engineer Bob Serenko. The simulation will
then be used to test possible solutions.
Among those are using wetlands at Sauerman Woods or using
Lake Seven to retain storm water, Serenko said.
The city will likely have to install larger drainage
pipes around the intersection of South and Court streets, Serenko said,
and probably have to rely on a pumping system, rather than gravity, to
get water out of the low-lying areas.
Ban said a solution will likely include additional
sewer inlets, and possibly some 'low profile' stormwater ponds in
backyards and other open areas. He also mentioned the old water plant on
North East Street as a possible location for larger detention
Ban said the results of the computer modeling will be
done in 30-60 days. Officials have estimated the project cost at around
$4 million and expect it to take two or three years, partly because the
city has to save money to pay for it.
"This is the largest, most expensive, most
exclusive stormwater project in the history of this city," Mayor
James Metros said. "We are looking at acres and acres and acres of
water that come right through your neighborhood."
He said the tedious mapping of the sewer system, and
the computer modeling are necessary "because of the expense of the
"We get one shot at it," Metros said.
McIntosh meets assessors
Republican candidate swings
By Andrew Steele
Star Managing Editor
WINFIELD - Republican candidate for
governor David McIntosh spent time Friday with local assessors talking
about property taxes and his plan to reduce them by 25 percent.
McIntosh said his tax plan would be implemented in
conjunction with a reassessment based on standards that meet court
requirements. The plan includes expansion of the homestead credit to as
much as 50 percent; a property tax freeze for homeowners 65 and older;
an agricultural property tax cut; elimination of the business inventory
tax; and other business tax breaks.
"“My goal in the end is for the average taxpayer to
see an average 25 percent cut," McIntosh said.
To pay for this, McIntosh said he would put half of
projected increases in sales and income taxes into a "property tax
replacement fund." Some of the state's budget surplus would also
have to be used to make up for the cuts, he said.
Democrats say the plan does not provide sufficient
details. Among other things, they say the tax cuts threaten funding for
McIntosh maintains schools won't lose any money,
though he does say the law that allows local governments to increase
their tax levies five percent each year will have to be modified.
The two assessors in attendance, Winfield Township
Trustee-Assessor John Curley and Porter Township Assessor Catherine
Hall, relayed some of their concerns to McIntosh.
Curley told McIntosh that the state shouldn't
penalize homeowners with higher taxes when they make basic upgrades to
their houses and land.
Also, Curley said, many Lake County residents in
older houses benefit from depreciation. They may have a high-priced
house - like residents of "Stuffed" Shirt Hill in Crown Point,
Curley said - but pay relatively low property taxes because the houses
are so old.
Curley also recommended that the state, if it wants
to reduce local property tax burdens, investigate absorbing some of the
costs of running schools.
Hall told McIntosh she does not want the responsibility for
funding welfare removed from county government responsibility, and she
told McIntosh she opposed any proposal that would eliminate township
Fugitives get their day in Lake County
Convicted thief Roy Harper will be
formally arraigned Friday morning June 23
By Sean McNab
Star Staff Writer
Crown Point - Brought in shackles and handcuffs and surrounded by
four fully armored Lake County Corrections Officers with bulletproof
vests and face shields, felon John Woolard had his day in court Tuesday
after placing Southern Lake County in three days of terror last
Escaping from the Mississippi State Penitentiary in
Parchman on May 28, Wollard and his comrade Roy Harper led authorities
on a nationwide chase.
Woolard, sentenced to life in prison for the shooting
of National Park Service Ranger during a previous prison break, has five
new charges pending. Included are two counts of attempted murder on
police officers, two counts of attempted battery, and resisting law
Representing Woolard before Lake Superior Court Judge
Richard Maroc was public defender Richard Wolter.
Having concerns over his client's privacy because of
the publicized media surrounding the case, Wolter commented on the
possibility of speaking with his client in a more secluded
"Presently I have been speaking with my client
in the attorney's booth that separates us by a piece of glass. I am
worried that are conversations are being overheard. It would be more
beneficial to spend time in a solitary conference room where we would
have more privacy."
Moreover, Wolter explained that Woolard has not been
receiving different meals throughout the day like the other incarcerated
"My client is getting two bologna sandwiches and
a carton of milk three times a day and is not receiving a breakfast,
lunch, and dinner like the rest of the inmates. I am sure that Mr.
Woolard is not on any dietary constraints and we were wondering if we
could discuss this situation with Warden Piskoty."
Judge Maroc took both of the requests under
advisement. Discovery information for Woolard's charges are slated for
The prosecutor for this case is Barbara Mc
The next court date will take place Friday, June 23
at 8:30 a.m. in which convicted thief Roy Harper will make his formal