Council to inspect dredge
Contamination fears drive attempt to halt sludge deposit
By Andrew Steele
Star Managing Editor
CROWN POINT - County Council President Will Smith (D-Gary) told the
Fairways subdivision resident campaigning against the Lake Dalecarlia
dredging project that council members would visit the area in order to
deliberate about whether to grant a zoning request necessary for the
project to be undertaken.
Fairways resident Suzanne Eovaldi pleaded with the
council Tuesday to oppose the project, saying it would ruin the quality
of life in her subdivision.
The basins where sludge will be deposited are too
close to Fairways homes and directly over the aquifer that supplies
Fairways' drinking water, she said.
Lake Dalecarlia representatives were there to counter
"Property Owners Association President Michael Mucha
said "we have gone through the entire process with (the Indiana
Department of Natural Resources and Indiana Department of Environmental
He pointed out that the aquifer Eovaldi fears will be
contaminated also serves Lake Dale residents.
"Any concern for damaging the aquifer would be
shared by all the residents of the community," Mucha said.
Concerns that E. coli contaminated water would leach
down into the aquifer were rejected by Lake Dale's engineer, and he said
Eovaldi's concern that the sludge pond would reach heights of 120 feet
and be there five years are unfounded.
Mucha said 17 different sites were considered, but
the land that Lake Dale plans to use was the best logistically.
And now, "the other sites have been
developed," he said.
The matter will be reviewed and voted upon by the
county Plan Commission before the council takes it up.
In other business, the council approved an ordinance
to establish a day care center for county employees.
The center would be funded by fees charged to
employees who use it, according to the ordinance.
Councilmen Larry Blanchard (R-Crown Point),
Bernadette Costa (D-Hammond), and Donald Potrebic (D-Hobart) opposed the
Crown Point considers Willowdale
Septic concerns lead to
speculation over sewers, water connection options
By Andrew Steele
Star Managing Editor
CROWN POINT - The City Council's Annexation Committee plans to meet
within a month to discuss annexing the Willowdale subdivision, an
unincorporated island of about 50 homes between Timothy Ball Elementary
School and Whitehawk subdivision.
Other "islands" of unincorporated land
within the city limits, such as Liberty Park, may also be
Annexation of Willowdale was originally considered
three years ago, but homeowners withdrew their support when they were
told they would have to pay about $2,400 per year for 10 years to fund
utility extension and street and sidewalk upgrades.
This time, though, City Engineer Jeff Ban will
prepare a report on the costs of annexation if residents are only
required to hook up to city water and sewer utilities, and not make the
street and sidewalk upgrades.
Mayor James Metros had expressed opposition to that
option at the June 28 Board of Public Works meeting, when Willowdale
resident Dennis Hazi was given permission to hook up to city sewers. But
at the July 5 City Council meeting Metros said that if the issue is
"failing septics and people's health, we've got to take a look at
Hazi was given permission to hook up to city sewers
because his septic system has failed. The fear that more septic systems
may have problems, now or in the future, prompted the renewed interest
Officials have expressed objection to allowing a
substantial number of residents in an unincorporated area to connect to
Basically, "if you want sewer and water, you
come into the city," Metros said.
Metros noted that Liberty Park was allowed to connect
to sewer and water without being annexed, and whenever the city has
expressed interest in annexing the neighborhood, residents have objected
vehemently, even though they agreed not to remonstrate against
annexation when they were granted access to the utilities.
Councilman James Wirtz (R-at large), who has long
objected to unincorporated "islands" in the city, suggested
taking up the subject of annexing Liberty Park.
"It really is a thorn for us to sit here as a
city and have 100, 150 homes right out there in the middle of our city
and it's not part of the city," Wirtz said. He said because of
Liberty Park property owners' agreement not to remonstrate, "we
have the right to annex tomorrow."
But he wondered whether "it's worthwhile to