Ditch to become part of county drainage system
By Kitty Conley firstname.lastname@example.org April 23, 2013 12:18PM
Updated: June 24, 2013 2:12AM
CROWN POINT — The Lake County Drainage Board on April 17 entertained a petition to establish Searle Ditch as a regulated drain. This request was made by Lake County Highway Superintendent Mark Malczewski.
Malczewski told the board — made up of the county commissioners — that adding the ditch to the county’s list of regulated drains will be beneficial to the county highway and to property in the area.
The petition shows that the general route of the drain is the watercourse currently known as Searle Ditch. Searle Ditch runs westerly from Austin Street to a confluence with the Bruce Ditch. This is located in unincorporated West Creek Township and is south and west of the town of Lowell, in the area of Austin Avenue and Belshaw Road. Both of these roads are the responsibility of the county highway department to maintain.
The process must go according to state statute with two separate public hearings before it can be voted upon. That could take as many as 90 days.
Surveyor George Van Til asked the Drainage Board to make the time closer to 60 days. Van Til is the administrator for the legal drains in the county.
In other business before the board, an application for Sergio and Sharyl Gutierrez to build a single-family home on the west side of the main leg of the Beaver Dam Ditch and a duplex on the east side of the ditch was considered.
Construction would be within 47 feet on one side and 65 feet on the other. The Lake County Stormwater Ordinance, Indiana DNR rules and FEMA regulations do not allow anyone to build within 75 feet of the top of the drain, or the floodway.
The board deferred the request 30 days after VanTil said the proposal would not work.
Also at the meeting, Martin Kroll and Wayne Whitebrook, West Creek farmers, requested that the Drainage Board asked that Tri-Creek Schools be issued no future building permits until the job is completed on the regulated drain near where the school corporation wants to build an outbuilding. They were asking that this issue be taken to the Plan Commission as well as the Planning Department.
VanTil requested that the Drainage Board get together with the Plan Commission on this issue.