fee increase moves forward
By Sean McNab
Star Staff Writer
CEDAR LAKE - After several remonstrators voiced
opposition to the possible increase in the town's sewer tap-in fees,
members of the Town Council on a 6-1 vote moved to continue the
ordinance until its next meeting to research the increase.
The new fee would be $1,655 per tap-in, up from
Charles Dalton, a representative of town
consultant H.J. Umbaugh & Associates, explained, "The rates per
tap-in are based on the equity that each customer has with the sewer
utility. It has always been this way. We are not doing anything
Attorney Mike Muenich, representing developers
Timothy Henderlong, Gregory Burke and Jack Kovich, filed a grievance
against the increase.
Kovich, developer of the Havenwood subdivision,
stated, "All of members of the council need to take a closer look
at this price increase because if it is passed it will have a definite
effect on future building in the town."
Others had concern that the school system would
suffer if this rate were passed.
"If this is passed it will have an effect
on construction within the town with a good possibility that school
enrollment will decrease," said Hanover teacher Louise Roys.
Others were concerned that Cedar Lake isn't
operating its sewage system efficiently.
"I really would like to know what other
surrounding communities are paying to tap-in to sewer utilities because
we really need to be on the same level as them. I think if this
ordinance is passed it will have a effect on our future growth,"
said Chris Kelleher, a representative from DeMotte State Bank.
Town Attorney David Austgen stated at the June
12 council meeting that the new rate was comparable to other entities
within the state.
will mark drains
By Andrew Steele
Star Managing Editor
CROWN POINT - The Board of Public Works last week
authorized the Lake County Soil and Water Conservation District to
organize a program to stencil the city's stormwater drains in an effort
to raise awareness of the link between neighborhoods and the areas
natural water system.
The stenciling project is motivated by new laws
that require the cleanup of lakes, rivers, streams, and creeks. The
painted messages will remind people that many neighborhood drainage
systems go directly to those bodies of water.
"You can't believe how people don't know
what's going on (with stormwater drainage), said the district's Phyllis
Reeder at the board's June 28 meeting.
She said groups like Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts,
and 4-H will do the stenciling, and will pass out literature explaining
According to the conservation district, the
dumping of antifreeze, oil, and other wastes in storm sewers is common.
Also, rainwater picks up litter, yard waste, excess fertilizers, and
The district urges people to "dump nothing
down the storm drain you wouldn't swim in or drink."
The stenciling project is part of the public
education aspect of the new environmental guidelines.
In addition, Mayor James Metros said the city
will hire Commonwealth Engineers to create a stormwater plan. City
Engineer Jeff Ban said the city needs to identify all the points at
which stormwater enters local streams.
Ban said the stenciling will begin in newer
subdivisions, where officials know storm and sanitary sewers are
separate. In those areas, sanitary sewage goes to the wastewater
treatment plant where it is cleaned before being released into Beaver
Dam Ditch. Storm sewage, though, goes directly into open streams.
In many older parts of the city, the storm and
sanitary sewers are combined, meaning all of it is routed to the
wastewater treatment plant.
In another stormwater matter, Ban said he will
bring a proposal for the first phase of the Besor Valley relief project
to the board this month.
The first phase is a new sewer interceptor line
down East Street.
Future phases are expected to include a pumping
station at West and South streets, and detention basins located within
the Besor drainage basin in the center of the city.
Also at the June 28 meeting, Ban said work on
the water tower at the old water plant on East Street was expected to be
completed by the fourth of July.
"We should have water in it by the end of the
week," Ban said.