Infiltration and Inflow
At the Council meeting last Tuesday night, Utility Superintendent Dave Jones and Director of Engineering Keith Schlegel gave us an update on our sewer situation. The two main issues we’re dealing with are Infiltration (cracks in pipes, bad fittings, bad manholes) and Inflow (illegal connections to our sanitary sewer system from sump pumps and downspouts).
Recently, the city has been doing smoke testing. By forcing smoke into the system, they can spot issues and illegal hookups. The last tests revealed a large number of violations and deteriorated pipes. They even located nine catch basins that are still connected to the sanitary sewer. During the meeting, Keith showed us video footage from the system that they use to check for obstructions, breakages and bad connections. New Haven’s sewer system was started in the 1920’s. People weren’t as worried then about polluting the rivers or the cost for treatment. It was our hope that when our sewer separation project was completed, we wouldn’t have these issues. It’s much better, but we still have a lot of work to do. Both Keith and Dave are committed to do just that.
If you suspect your sump pump or downspout is still connected improperly, please contact Dave at our Utility Department. He’ll be glad to check it out and explain how to make your system legal. With the constantly rising sewage fees we pay to Fort Wayne, this problem is getting more and more expensive. We need to stop sending storm water to Fort Wayne and ultimately paying them to treat it.
Single County Executive Referendum
On November 4th, you’ll have the opportunity to vote on adopting a single executive model of county government. Last March, Indiana House Bill 1346 was passed authorizing the Allen County referendum on the November Ballot. Allen County has been using the same model of county government for over 100 years. This new idea of how to structure Allen County government is a great idea or a terrible idea depending on who you talk to.
If the referendum is passed, this is what will happen:
- A new County Council and County Executive would be elected in November of 2018. The changes would take effect in January, 2019.
- The three County Commissioners would be replaced with a single elected official.
- The County Council would expand from four districts and three at-large seats to nine single-member districts.
- The County Council would assume legislative powers currently controlled by the County Commissioners.
The change is supported by Greater Fort Wayne, Inc., the Regional Chamber of Northeast Indiana and some local business leaders and politicians. Their reasons for wanting the change include making the decision process more efficient, having a clear separation between the executive and legislative branches of county government, and they believe it would boost the economy and create jobs assuming employers find it easier to do business with the revised system. Some of the people against the referendum include the residents in the cities and towns outside of Fort Wayne and the Allen County Farm Bureau. Katrina Hall of the Indiana Farm Bureau testified that their members believe the current three executive county commissioner system provides better geographic representation. While I see some good in the change, I am worried about the representation that New Haven will receive. Right now, we vote for three Commissioners and four County Councilpersons (one district – three at-large). If the referendum is passed, New Haven would most likely have it’s own County Councilperson, but there would be no at-large members. Nobody really knows exactly what the district map would look like because it hasn’t been finalized yet. I’ll be following both sides closely over the next couple months and I hope you will too.
A great way to learn more about the referendum is to attend a public meeting at the Park Hill Learning Center Auditorium on Wednesday night, August 27th at 6:00 p.m. Panelists will include former State Representative Matt Bell, County Commissioner Nelson Peters, and representatives from “No to One” PAC. Panelists will answer questions submitted by the audience. There will also be other public meetings to make you an informed voter this fall. Hope to see you there.
Street and Sidewalk Repairs Starting
I’ve had several questions on when construction is starting. Here is the latest report from our Engineering Department. According to the schedule, Scarborough residents should expect concrete work (curb replacement, ADA ramp construction and sidewalk replacement) to begin in the first week of September and continue to approximately the 26th of September. Drainage structure work is expected to begin the first week of September and conclude on the 12th of September. Asphalt pavement milling is expected to begin on 23rd of September and conclude on the 26th of September. The Asphalt paving is expected to begin on September 29th and conclude October 7th. This schedule is subject to change due to inclement weather conditions.
Hope you have a great August. It’s hard to believe the kids are back in school already. We’ll talk soon.