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Utility board Grants time Extensions

The board of directors of the LaGrange County Regional Utility District granted a number of extensions of time for people to be connected to the Shipshewana West sewage collection system.  All connections in the district were to have been made by June 15.

There are 51 connections yet to be made on Shipshewana Lake. Many have the same installing contractor, who was present at the meeting. “We’ve simply been overwhelmed with the workload and have not been able to complete all of the projects,” he said. Board members granted an additional 30 days time to those making a request.

Board members were not nearly as agreeable with those who have not made any attempt to connect. Attorney John Gastineau was authorized to issue a “Notice of Breech of Ordinance” to those property owners. They will be served by certified mail and ordered to reply within 21 days to the notice. The notice will provide that the owners must hook into the system, or have made arrangements to hook into the system, or be subject to daily fines.

Although the county ordinance lists a maximum daily fine of up to $500 per day, a recently passed state law will limit the daily fine to no more than $100 a day.

Gastineau was asked to issue the notices early this week so that the 21 days will have expired before the next LaGrange County Utility Board meeting scheduled for July 11. The non-connection issue will again be on the agenda for action at that meeting.

Mont Arnold was present to request a waiver of sewage fees for a property that has been donated to the charitable group. He asked that the fees be waived pending the time when a partner family is selected and the house refurbished. “The home will be empty until the family is in place,” he explained.

The request was denied. If all the plumbing is removed and the property is dis-connected from the sewer service, a waiver will be allowed for the service, but the property owner will still be required to pay a debt-service charge, according to Board Chairman Ron Kantorzak.

Aurora Services was accepted for service. The firm is building a new structure at the corner of CR 250N and 850W and will be on the Shipshewana West feeder transmission line that extends to the Shipshewana sewer lines.

Aurora was classed as a professional office and will have about 20 employees. The initial sewer bill will be $357 a month.