VALPARAISO | The city's Utilities Board has hired MWH Global, of Chicago, to study whether the pumping stations at Sturdy Road and Horseprairie Avenue are adequate to handle a new industry.
The board is splitting the $116,000 cost of the study with Valparaiso's Redevelopment Commission, which approved the funds at its March meeting. Utility Director Steve Poulos said the study should be completed in 60 to 90 days.
"The study will assess the current condition of the stations and, if need be, provide the necessary recommendations to upgrade the stations along with the capital costs to accommodate the prospect and future growth within the Ind. 49 corridor," Poulos said.
"Those are major pump stations, and they are older ones handling quite a bit of capacity," he said. "The study will be looking at the prospect's need for sewer and water service."
Poulos said the stations are in good shape, but were built in the 1960s.
"We want to be sure, if there is a need to rehabilitate them, what it would cost to do that," he said.
The Sturdy pump station serves the Silhavy watershed and the Montdale Industrial Park area, pumping it all to the Horseprairie station. Horseprairie serves everything from Heritage Valley, Emerald Ridge and all the businesses on the south side of U.S. 30 west of Ind. 2, pumping it to the treatment plant.
The utilities board also is getting a study done of its water supply and rates. Arcadis is looking at the supply options and whether the city should stay with wells or connect to a Lake Michigan water supply to meet future needs. H.J. Umbaugh and Associates is doing the rate study. Those should be done within about two months.
Poulos would not reveal the name of the prospect because the city still is in negotiations with them but said it is a heavy water and sewer user. The city has placed a high priority on developing "shovel ready" industrial sites.
Of the 60-90 days for the utilities studies, Poulos said, "Any time you are dealing with a prospect, time is of the essence."