Tuesday, October 13, 2009
From the Times: A new executive director will help oversee the final phase of levee construction and the day-to-day management of the Little Calumet River Flood Control and Recreation Project.
Last week, the Little Calumet River Basin Development Commission posted the position, which has been vacant since floodwaters from the Little Calumet River and Hart Ditch swept through the region last fall. Days after the flood, U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Ind., and Gov. Mitch Daniels called for the removal of Dan Gardner, who had served as the commission's director since 1990.
In their requests for Gardner's dismissal, the two cited the fact that levee construction was still not complete, although it started in 1991 and was set to be done within a decade.
Commission Chairman Dan Dernulc said with the final phase of construction now under way and with perpetual maintenance on the horizon, it's the right time to fill the post.
The commission currently is involved in developing a comprehensive maintenance plan for the levee system, which runs from Gary to the Illinois state line. That plan could involve the municipalities of Hammond, Munster, Highland, Griffith and Gary having a role in maintaining their sections of the system. Dernulc said the director would help ensure proper maintenance is taking place and that the system works as planned during another record rain.
"(The commissioners) all have jobs and can't represent the project all the time," Dernulc said.
The director, whom Dernulc hopes will be in place by the end of the year, would come on board just as the results of a series of recent inspections on completed levees are released.