EAST CHICAGO | In the last month or so, contractors performing street excavations have accidentally ruptured gas lines three times.
The last time was bad enough a neighborhood had to be evacuated.
That's why Councilman Adrian Santos is considering introducing a measure that would seek monetary compensation for the city when contractors hit lines.
Santos said on Nov. 18, a contractor struck a gas main near 145th Street and Baring Avenue. It was the second time the same line had been hit.
"It just seems that these contractors are being negligent on when they're doing these dig-outs," he said.
"They're taking our police officers off the street, our Fire Department, and they're keeping them in that confined area."
Santos wants to see the city hold contractors liable for the cost of providing police, fire and city buses in these circumstances.
"I want to be sure that we send a clear message to the contractors that that's not going to be tolerated in East Chicago," he said.
"I think that the best way to go after a contractor, hit him in the pocket."
Santos said an ordinance aimed at contractors could be presented before the City Council in the near future.