The Shipshewana West sewer project received notification late last week that a DNR permit had been approved.
The LaGrange County Regional Utility District had re-applied for the permit at the end of 2011, as it began to move forward again with the project. The previous permit expired as the project worked its way through over two years of court challenges.
According to the permit, a portion of a three-inch sewer line will be placed beneath Page Ditch, with the top of the pipe placed a maximum of five feet beneath the existing culverts on CR 900W, north of CR 250N.
During a DNR hearing held Jan. 11 in LaGrange County, a majority of those attending spoke in favor of the permit. Those who did speak against the permit questioned how much the project would affect the lake level. Fred Taylor commented there had been discussion of the lake level dropping 10 feet. “That will suck it dry,” he added.
The district’s legal counsel, John Gastineau, told the DNR at the hearing that “there is clearly some misunderstanding on the lowering of the lake. There is no intention of lowering the lake in any way.” The pipe would be done via directional boring, Gastineau said, and there was no evidence that the lake would be damaged. “This is, in effect, a renewal of a permit that was granted previously,” Gastineau said