defers contract pass additional week
By Andrew Steele
Star Managing Editor
CROWN POINT - The County Council deferred action Tuesday on contracts
between the county and the unions representing police officers and
County and union negotiators agreed to several minor
changes in the agreement while Tuesday's council meeting was proceeding,
and councilmen decided not to act on the contracts until final documents
containing those revisions could be created.
"I know some people here want us to (approve the
contracts) right now," Council President Will Smith (D-Gary) said,
but "this is a new process" and "everyone should be on
the same wavelength."
Councilman Joel Markovich (D-East Chicago) agreed,
noting the council's regular December meeting is next Tuesday.
"If you could bring us finished products with
all the i's dotted and t's crossed ... I don't know what the problem
would be (waiting until Tuesday)."
The police and correctional officers only organized
as bargaining units this year. This year's contract is the first between
the two unions and the county.
County Commissioners also have to approve the
contracts. They approved the original drafts, and Smith said
Commissioner Rudy Clay (D-Gary), president of the Board of
Commissioners, had said commissioners would approve the revisions.
The revisions, which the county's attorney, Bob
Lewis, called "mostly clerical" were a result of reviews by
individual council members and county staff.
Union leaders agreed to the one-week delay without
Point addresses Beasor Valley flooding
Plan to fix problem could cost city $6 million to implement
By Andrew Steele
Star Managing Editor
CROWN POINT - Engineers have proposed a solution for the decades -
old problem of flooding in central Crown Point - now all the city has to
do is come up with $6 million and acres of land to implement it.
The plan, created by Woolpert Associates of Cincinnati,
calls for the creation of two storm-water detention ponds, construction
of a pump station and stormwater main on East South Street, and
installation of a sewer line from South Street to the wastewater plant
on Merrillville Road.
The effect, engineers say, will be to alleviate the
backyard and basement flooding that have plagued homeowners in the
Beasor Valley drainage basin for years.
Mayor James Metros and City Engineer Jeff Ban
presented the plan to about 20 residents at City Hall on Nov. 28.
"This plan is even more expensive than we
originally thought," Metros said. "There are acres and acres
and acres of water. In order to redirect that, many things have to
The plan calls for two stormwater retention ponds -
one between East Street and Henderlong Parkway northwest of Wells Street
Park; the other between Fairview Avenue and Court Street off the
southeast edge of the Birdland subdivision.
The first pond will need to hold 40 acre-feet of
water; the second 20 acre-feet. An acre-foot is a quantity of volume one
acre in area and one foot in depth.
The pump station - a small building that will house
two large and one small pump, along with a backup diesel generator -
will be located at the intersection of South and West streets, according
to the plan.
The three items will require the purchase of
property, either outright or in the form of easements, from a variety of
"How we go about doing that is the next
step," Ban said. He said that the coverage area and depth of the
ponds can be adjusted based on property owners" wishes, so long as
the meet the volume requirements, and that the ponds, which only need to
be filled during rains, can be sodded and remain parts of people's
"It won't be one of these ugly overflow
ponds," Metros said. "They can look decent."
The plan calls for the two ponds to
"collect" storm water, then bleed it out slowly to the pumping
station at West and South streets.
The pumping station will force the water through a
30-inch main heading east on South Street and emptying into a drainage
ditch at U.S. 231 near the old Wolohan Lumber.
The fourth part of the project is a sewer line that
will run from the area of South and Main streets north on Main, turning
east just south of downtown, then north again along East Street, and
eventually working its way to the wastewater treatment plant on
The new sewer will relieve backups in existing sewers
that flood basements, Ban said. Because the storm and sanitary sewers
are combined in much of Crown Point, that backflow often includes some
The pipe will be 36 inches in diameter, and run for
about 9,000 feet.
The two ponds will cost about $1.2 million, according
to estimates; the pump station and accompanying force main about $3
million; and the new sewer line about $2 million.
Ban said plans now call for the larger pond and pump
station to be done first, then the smaller pond and sewer line.
Metros mentioned that the sewer line could be done
first if it, by itself, would eliminate sewage back-ups in
Metros said he will lobby state and federal officials
for funding, and will dedicate some sewer and capital improvement funds
from the city budget to the project.