Councilman wants financial review of Merrillville Stormwater Utility

2013-08-20T19:30:00Z Councilman wants financial review of Merrillville Stormwater UtilityChas Reilly chas.reilly@nwi.com, (219) 662-5324 nwitimes.com
August 20, 2013 7:30 pm  • 

MERRILLVILLE | Two Merrillville councilmen have conflicting views about a request to develop a report showing how much money the town's stormwater utility spends in each ward.

Councilman Don Spann asked for the report during a recent Merrillville Town Council meeting. The council took no action on the proposal.

Spann said each ward in Merrillville deserves the same amount of attention from the stormwater utility. He said he doesn't know if the utility is doing more work in some wards than others, but the report he has requested could make that determination.

Spann said he isn't trying to "pick on" the utility by seeking the figures.

If a report shows an equal distribution in town, Spann said he will leave the matter alone. If some wards are receiving more attention that others, "It's a good discussion point," he said.

Councilman Richard Hardaway said seeking the report is an attempt to discredit the utility.

Hardaway believes Spann is "going after the only department doing anything positive" in Merrillville.

Hardaway said the utility has completed many enhancements in north Merrillville, including the installation of a rain garden on 54th Court and 54th Avenue storm sewer improvements.

Matt Lake, executive director of the utility, said the utility has done projects in various areas of town.

Lake said water doesn't follow political boundaries, so a project completed in one ward can provided drainage improvements to other wards.

He said the utility also is in the process of updating its master plan, including identifying flooding issues.

Christopher B. Burke Engineering, which is working with Merrillville to update the master plan, recently presented maps of different areas of Merrillville during a Stormwater Management Board meeting to show problems areas that have been identified.

The company has asked town officials to examine the maps and point out other areas that need drainage improvements.

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