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South Bend's Quest for Water & Sewage Supremacy

Mishawaka, Osceola, Elkhart, Plymouth, etc.

South Bend's Quest for Water & Sewage Supremacy

Postby John Q Public » Sun Feb 09, 2014 3:36 pm

I read this and thought it doesn't even seem legal. South Bend is striving to be in control of water and sewage for Granger, Mishawaka (future developments and annexations), and the County parcels located within four miles of the South Bend border. I'm thinking the boy mayor should concentrate on those areas of South Bend that need attention and leave the thriving areas of the county alone. Can you imagine Mishawaka planning for new development along the Capital Ave corridor and having to include SB in the negotiations for water and sewage? I can hear it now...build on this side of town and we'll give you a break on your utilities. Hmmm. :naughty: :naughty: :naughty: :naughty: :naughty: :naughty: I see a fight coming.


A race to provide water and sewer?

By Erin Blasko South Bend Tribune | Posted: Sunday, February 9, 2014 7:00 am

SOUTH BEND

The city is moving to become the exclusive provider of water and sewer service to areas within four miles of its borders -- including large parts of Granger and the entire Capital Avenue corridor -- after a recent court ruling.

The move has officials in neighboring Mishawaka worried about what it means for development in their city, with the mayor saying he is "concerned and disappointed" with South Bend.

An Indiana Court of Appeals decision granted the town of Newburgh, in southern Indiana, the right to provide sewer and water service to an overlapping area between it and the adjacent town of Chandler.

That ruling could touch off races throughout the state among cities looking to expand their water and sewer service areas.

South Bend is not waiting. An ordinance before the Common Council, and scheduled for a first reading Monday, would give the city the right to provide service to an area stretching as far north as the state line, as far south as Lakeville, as far west as Tulip Road and as far east as Bittersweet Road.

Included would be all of Clay Township, most of Granger north of Mishawaka, most of Penn Township south of Mishawaka and the entire Capital Avenue corridor, from Indiana 23 on the north to the St. Joseph Valley Parkway on the south.

The service area would not include areas within the city limits of Mishawaka, nor would it include customers "now connected to and receiving service" from other providers.

"The action of the Indiana Court of Appeals created an opportunity, and the city is simply taking reasonable action to position itself for future growth and opportunity, " said South Bend Public Works Director Eric Horvath.

Though the ordinance would not preclude other cities from providing sewer or water service in the proscribed area, it would require that they first seek permission from South Bend.

As such, it would make it harder for Mishawaka to provide water and sewer service to areas north, east and south of the city, and maybe even to annex those areas, since one depends on the other.

That has Mishawaka Mayor Dave Wood concerned.

"Mishawaka has hundreds of millions of dollars invested in infrastructure in areas that South Bend has unilaterally identified in their service area with this ordinance," Wood said in a statement.

"If passed," Wood added, "this bill has the potential to limit economic development, add undue burden and bureaucracy to growth and gives South Bend leverage over any development that occurs far outside their city limits whether they can reasonably provide utilities there or not."

For example, he said, Mishawaka recently annexed 45 acres north of the city as part of a proposed $50 million development project. Had the South Bend ordinance been in place, Mishawaka would have had to seek permission from South Bend to do so, even though South Bend has no ability to provide services to the area.

But what's most troubling, Wood said, is the fact Mishawaka officials "were not even given the courtesy of a simple conversation or any advance warning from anyone in the South Bend administration."

Horvath, however, said South Bend is committed to working with Mishawaka "to promote regional development" because "we know that's good for everyone."

"But at the same time," Horvath added, "it's action we feel is reasonable action that gives us the ability to provide future growth and opportunities."

And that could be important as South Bend figures out how to pay for an ongoing, EPA-mandated sewer project without overburdening ratepayers. Current estimates put the cost of the 20-year project at about $667 million.

A vote on the ordinance could come as soon as Feb. 24, if not sooner.

Mishawaka could decide to introduce its own ordinance, in which case both cities would be racing to the finish line. At the same time, state lawmakers are considering a bill that would void the type of ordinance South Bend is trying to pass if it is adopted after Dec. 31, 2013.

In the court case from southern Indiana, both Newburgh and Chandler staked a claim to a service area under a state law that grants cities and towns the right to provide sewer and water to areas within four miles of their borders. The court granted the claim to Newburgh.

The reasoning was that Newburgh acted first, passing an ordinance claiming those rights before Chandler.

EBlasko@SBTinfo.com

http://www.southbendtribune.com/news/a- ... b2370.html


574-235-6187


Twitter: @ErinBlasko
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Re: South Bend's Quest for Water & Sewage Supremacy

Postby bdcbbq » Sun Feb 09, 2014 4:54 pm

Imagine the revenue if people who aren't hooked up to sewer and water have to pay to be. I seem to recall that is the norm, if so that won't be easy for many people to come up with.
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Re: South Bend's Quest for Water & Sewage Supremacy

Postby BobbyBeetleMishawaka » Sun Feb 09, 2014 10:06 pm

Some folks in Granger looked into connecting to the Edwardsburg system.
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Re: South Bend's Quest for Water & Sewage Supremacy

Postby OldFud » Mon Feb 10, 2014 7:41 pm

Some folks in Granger looked into connecting to the Edwardsburg system.

Only partially true. It wasn’t “folks” -- it was actually the county government. Mishawaka either could not, or would not accept Granger effluent. So the engineering plan included sending Granger flow to Edwardsburg, which merely acts as a node. Because the flow is then sent over to the Elkhart wastewater treatment plant. That is the system as it was presented in public meetings.

In furtherance of Low-Information Journalism for a Low-Information Community, posted under South Bend, on December 16 :

The unfortunate folks in the areas surrounding South Bend are in for a real hosing !

Moneys for wastewater systems have largely been spent on above-ground infrastructure because that is what the public sees, and duped citizens therefore get the impression that the system is actually being maintained. The concrete pipes comprising underground collection systems are attacked by corrosion thusly:
• When dissolved oxygen falls below 0.1 mg/l, wastewater turns septic and anaerobic
• Bacteria reduce sulfate to sulfide, producing the rotten-egg smell
• Hydrogen sulfide gas is the principal source of odor and corrosion
• In the underground piping, H2S gas is biologically converted to strong sulfuric acid by Thiobacillus bacteria
• Once rebar in the concrete pipes is exposed, the sewer is structurally compromised

Due to both age and low maintenance by South Bend, portions of their collection system are approaching failure and repairs could be in the tens of millions of dollars. Being driven into poverty through declining tax base consequential from crappy governance, South Bend is ill-prepared to fund required sewer system upgrades, as well as repairs to failing infrastructure.

The Socialist-led South Bend will take from the surrounding areas which are not corruptly governed, and give to the corrupt inner city. In the post-1960s, people fled from a city that was dying due to waste and unfettered corruption. That city will now chase down most of those in self-exile and envelop them in the same dirty city that they hoped so much to flee.

The sewer system is a metaphor. People will smell like that sewer which refused an escape for those who hoped for better quality of life. For its stench will follow them. In the end, that sewer literally and figuratively seeks to envelop most of the county, resulting in no sanctuary from its rotten, stinking odor.
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Re: South Bend's Quest for Water & Sewage Supremacy

Postby BobbyBeetleMishawaka » Mon Feb 10, 2014 9:36 pm

Wonder if the Democratic majority on the Mishawaka Common Council is going to step aside and let South Bend go ahead with this.

Is Debbie Lydga-Block going to side with Mishawaka or with the revived, South Bend focused, Democratic machine?
THE ONLY REASON
TO BE AGAINST VOTER ID
IS IF YOU SUPPORT VOTER FRAUD.

-- Bill Adams
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Re: South Bend's Quest for Water & Sewage Supremacy

Postby Happy Mom » Tue Feb 11, 2014 7:19 am

South Bend council approves sewer rate increases
Updated: Tue 12:24 AM, Feb 11, 2014
By: Tricia Harte - Email

The South Bend Common Council met Monday night to discuss a controversial sewer rate hike that would incrementally increase rates five-percent every year for the next three years.

Prior to the council’s full meeting, the city’s Utilities Committee discussed an amended the proposed nine percent increase for four years to five percent over three years.

In a 7-1 vote the council passed the bill, with Councilman Henry Davis Jr. as the only dissenting vote.

Talk of rate increases came about after South Bend was mandated by the EPA to undertake a $660 million sewer separation project. The initial proposal was tabled in November, 2013 when council members raised concerns of covering the cost.

Several residents also spoke out against the rate hike last fall, arguing that their rates were already high.

The bill discussed Monday amended various sections of chapter 17, article 2 of the South Bend Municipal Code to adjust sewer rates and charges incrementally through 2016.

The average homeowner can expect rate hikes of a few dollars per month in the short term. Director of Public Works, Eric Horvath, said the new rates will appear on utility bills. He added that in three years the department will have a better grasp on where the project‘s expenses will be and if rates need to be increased even more.

The Common Council approved other rate increases in past years and still wants to pursue cost-cutting measures.

The Utilities Committee’s meeting talked about cutting costs of the multi-million dollar project through technology and “greener” water treatment practices.

Councilman Dave Varner told the committee this could be a “defining financial moment” for the city.
http://www.wndu.com/home/headlines/Sout ... 23441.html
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Re: South Bend's Quest for Water & Sewage Supremacy

Postby OldFud » Tue Feb 11, 2014 8:39 am

.
NOTE to SBF readers:
. . . South Bend was mandated by the EPA to undertake a $660 million sewer separation project . . .

The EPA is after municipalities to separate their "storm sewers" from their sanitary sewers -- which, by the way, includes industrial wastewater. The goal is to reduce combined-sewer overflows (CSO). CSO events result in sewage being dumped into our waterways.

Since the Federal government backed away from carte blanche funding of municipal environmental projects, the prepondernace of financial burdent has fallen on local governments. Skyrocketing utility rates experienced in many locales is an overriding reason why South Bend wants to include all of SJC's outlying towns and villages in funding SB liability. Granger and other communities MUST be railroaded into public sewer systems in order to add tens of thousands of households on to liability rolls.

In a variation of "too big to fail", Chicago and other ultra-large popilation centers will be exempted from EPA-mandated separation because "the sewer system is just too large to reasonably separate with any economic feasibility". Large metropolitan areas are going to deep-tunnel storage and mega-reservoirs.

Due to the enormous paved surface area of Chicago, each 1 inch of rainfall translates to about 16 billion gallons of run-off, and much of that gets captured by MWRD’s massive collection system. In the 1960s, the concept of Deep Tunnel was studied and recommended as a solution to continuing flooding issues. The Tunnel and Reservoir Plan (TARP) was developed to handle extraordinary events by retaining unusual flows to prevent CSO contamination of the area’s waterways. TARP’s function is containment & storage.

MWRD’s Deep Tunnel, 109 miles of 33-feet diameter tunnel, 300 to 350 feet below ground, that can store 1,600 million gallons of combined sewer overflow (CSO).
The McCook Reservoir, a “bathtub” having a storage capacity of 10 billion gallons.
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Re: South Bend's Quest for Water & Sewage Supremacy

Postby BobbyBeetleMishawaka » Tue Feb 11, 2014 8:47 am

Old Fud,
Hope you are not hinting that South Bend follow Chicago's lead. Even with all the dilapidated houses and neighborhoods, there's probably not enough space for a local McCook Reservoir. Anyway, what would we name it? McCheese Lake?
THE ONLY REASON
TO BE AGAINST VOTER ID
IS IF YOU SUPPORT VOTER FRAUD.

-- Bill Adams
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Re: South Bend's Quest for Water & Sewage Supremacy

Postby bdcbbq » Tue Feb 11, 2014 12:30 pm

Luecke Lagoonie

Petie's Pissivior
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Re: South Bend's Quest for Water & Sewage Supremacy

Postby OldFud » Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:37 am

NOTE to SBF Readers (yup, a 2nd one):

Unfunded Liability -- where government requires you to have something that YOU must pay for (think ObamaCare)

While protecting our environment is a worthy endeavor, lost in any discussion is wasteful duplication of the environmental function. Each state has several hundred employees engaged in protecting our environment. For example, Indiana has IDEM - Indiana Department of Environmental Management. Michigan has MDEQ. But yet the Feds need to stick their nose in where it does not belong.

Having separate storm and sanitary sewers is costly -- very !! Consider that achieving separation requires two, mutually exclusive systems. Adding storm sewers requires laying very large "collection" lines throughout a city. And with suburbanism, most cities have spread out. Getting to where the feds dictate requires that many miles of costly sewer piping be laid.

The Federal government can print money; local governments cannot.
The Federal government can operate at insolvency; local governments cannot.

As an earlier SBF posting indicated, government officials have had to engage in systematic lying to hide skyrocketing costs -- which must be spread out to surrounding areas under some trumped-up reason. Since the populace is either sleeping or walking dead, we are all screwed, blued, and tatooed.

And, we have not even discussed the growing need to replace under-maintained collection systems in most municipalities . . .
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