Lake Station agrees to reimburse overpayment of storm water fees
By Karen Caffarini Post-Tribune correspondent July 4, 2012 6:44PM
Updated: July 4, 2012 10:56PM
LAKE STATION — Hobart City Councilman and Lake Station landowner Pete Mendez said he and four other residents will receive reimbursements for overpaid storm water fees as a result of Lake Station Board of Works action on Tuesday.
“I feel great about it. I especially felt sorry for seniors who have to pay those fees. A lot of those people went through the flooding of their properties not long ago,” Mendez said after the meeting.
Mendez, D-2nd, who owns eight contiguous vacant lots in Lake Station, had protested the city storm water fee of $50 per lot, saying it did not follow Indiana code.
He voiced his opinion at a recent Lake Station City Council meeting, for which he was reprimanded by some of his fellow council members who felt Mendez was disruptive at the Lake Station meeting.
Mendez responded that he did nothing wrong.
The Lake Station City Council had approved Mendez’s appeal, but said he and other city landowners must go before the Board of Works with the necessary paperwork showing they combined their lots to receive any refund.
Mendez said he had paid $200, the first of two installments, and will receive $175 back. He will have to pay a second $25 installment in November. Residents with a house on their lots have to pay $100 per year.
Mendez said his son, Reuben Mendez, had paid $100 for the first installment of his storm water fee for his house on three lots and will be reimbursed $50.
Mendez said reimbursements will only be given to those people who have contiguous lots and who go to the Lake County Government Center to have them changed to one parcel.
He combined his properties before the ordinance requiring the fee was passed, but said residents can combine their lots at any time and get the reduction.
“I want to get this out there so people know they are entitled to a refund in these cases,” Mendez said.
Lake Station Mayor Keith Soderquist couldn’t be reached for comment as of press time.