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  • Horsing around

IDEM challenged over Huntertown permit OK

An Eel River resident has filed an appeal with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management challenging a permit granted to Huntertown last month to build a $4 million equalization basin to collect, store and pretreat wastewater.

Huntertown council members approved the basin project Monday, giving the Huntertown Utilities Board authorization to approve project contracts.

Audience member Brandon Seifert asked about the possible effects of the appeal.

“I don’t think it holds any water,” town attorney Dave Hawk said. “It’s just another issue we will have to deal with and respond to.”

Gayle Marshall, who filed the appeal, lives in the 12000 block of Johnson Road – not far from the discharge site of a proposed $14.2 million wastewater treatment plant that town officials hope to build next to the equalization basin.

Marshall’s appeal noted that treated wastewater would be pumped four miles along Hathaway Road and discharged into Eel River at Johnson Road, which is not located within the town’s corporate boundaries. Marshall also questioned the A-1 agricultural zoning for the 26-acre site on Hathaway Road.

Hawk said the land does not need to be rezoned because the town is “providing essential government services.”

Huntertown’s contract with Fort Wayne City Utilities to treat the town’s wastewater expired last year, although Fort Wayne continues to service the town.

In other business, council member Jim Fortman asked Hawk to check on developers who had begun construction on a subdivision on west Gump Road at a site that did not have water or sewer services.

Construction had begun, Fortman said. “They are taking a chance.”

The property is the former Pony Town campground and is in a proposed annexation area council members are expected to vote on next month.

At a public hearing May 21, Josh Neal of Barrett & McNagny, spoke on behalf of developers Mike and Jeff Thomas and Roger Delagrange, saying the developers had already signed an agreement with City Utilities for water and sewer services for the two planned subdivisions on Gump Road.