bouyant for lake water
By Kathie Godfrey
LOWELL - Thanks to the recent passage of new
guidelines for exporting Lake Michigan water beyond the Great Lakes
watershed and the advocacy of Gary Mayor Scott King, officials here say
Lowell might still get lake water, if the price is right.
Rick Dal Corobbo, Lowell's Director of
Administration, said the new criteria for lake water export approved
June 18 by the Council of Great Lakes Governors should make it easier
for Lowell to get Lake Michigan drinking water.
The passage of new guidelines by the Governors
Council follows the June 8 meeting of the International Association of
Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Mayors, of which
King is past president, at which the group offered its unanimous
endorsement of Lowell's need for lake water when King presented the
Dal Corobbo said King's actions followed the May 29
meeting of the Northwest Indiana Coalition of Cities and Towns at which
he and council members Karen Brooker, R-2nd, and Ray Talarek, R-1st,
discussed the town's water predicament in detail.
In support of Lowell's proposed request for lake
water, the association of mayors presented a list of special
circumstances that qualify the town to export lake water including its
establishment nearly 150 years ago; the town's continued pursuit of
alternative water sources; the high flouride and sulfide concentrations
in the town's deep well water and its location just five miles outside
the Great Lakes basin.
Although a formal request for lake water has yet to
be made, the council on May 14 authorized geologist Robert Blattert of
Indianapolis to study the feasibility and costs associated with lake
water export to Lowell.
The results of Blattert's study are expected next
month. Council members say they'll weigh the town's future water options
when the figures are in.
"We need a plentiful water source so that Lowell
can continue to grow," said Brooker during a recent discussion of
the town's water woes. "We'll go over the pros and cons and
especially the cost."
Talarek said the town was forced
to switch from deep to shallow wells to avoid high fluoride
concentrations that were discoloring the teeth of residents.
"But the shallow wells don't produce water at a
high enough rate," he explained, adding that a free-filter program
to mitigate the rust-making effects of the town's well water was
established for residents this spring.
But Dal Corobbo said while the town is also
considering the costs of piping surface water from Critser Co. limestone
quarry offered by the Lowell Group, it still owes $5.5 million on its
current wellfield south of town.
"All those costs will have to be
evaluated," he said.
Dal Corobbo said the town lost its bid for lake water
in 1992 when Michigan Gov. John Engler vetoed its request without
But under the new proposal which makes allowances for
Lowell's unique water situation, the town could stand a better chance of
getting lake water, if they want it.
"I think the new guidelines will help our case
significantly," said Brooker.
By Andrew Steele
Star Managing Editor
CROWN POINT - The School Board on Monday accepted the
resignation of an elementary school principal and approved the hiring of
a new assistant principal for the high school.
The board also approved the purchase of new school
Superintendent H. Steve Sprunger announced the
resignation of Solon Robinson Principal Bob Harris and said the
administration is actively engaged in securing a successor.
Harris is returning to the Warsaw school system,
Sprunger said. The resignation was effective Monday.
The new high school assistant is Ryan Pitcock, who will begin Aug. 1.
He replaces Larry Shrader, a long-time assistant
principal at Taft and the high school, who has retired.
Also Monday, the board spent $320,192 on school
buses. The purchases include four 72-passenger buses, one 35-passenger
bus, and one special-needs wheelchair bus.
Transportation Director Pat Gregory said the purchases were made
according to the school corporation's bus replacement plan.
The five regular buses come with Cummins diesel
engines. That sparked the concern of the school corporation's mechanic,
Gregory said, because all its other engines are International.
The mechanic was concerned the schools' existing
diagnostic equipment would not work on the new engines, but Gregory said
the school corporation will be given the necessary equipment.
Gregory also said the buses are equipped with "child reminder"
switches. If drivers do not go to the back of the bus and flip the
switch at the end of their routes, the bus horn will start honking.
This forces them to walk through the bus to make sure
no children have been left on board.
"We may have some horns blowing the first couple
days once we get the new buses, but I think it's worth it," Gregory
In other business, the board gave the administration
the go-ahead to apply for and accept a $314,050.32 Title I grant and to
pursue membership for Taft Middle School in the North Central
Association, an accreditation program for schools.
The board also commended student Ethan Sumner for
being chosen a Dole "5-A-Day" student ambassador.