City planner Jeremy Skinner presented the Board of Public Works & Safety Thursday morning with a purchase agreement for the Parks and Recreation Dept. to buy the parcels at 117 and 119 E. Fort Wayne St. for $20,250.
The current owners are Brian and Vicki Klinger, who own one-fourth each, and Lyle Butt, who owns half. The funding for the purchase is provided through the Parks Department. The agreement was unanimously approved.
The intent of the purchase is that at some point in time, once the city completes the Buffalo Street project, the Fort Wayne Street property will be available for possible relocation of the Parks Dept. office, Skinner told the board.
The Buffalo Street project is one of two major rehabilitation projects the city is focusing on and includes improving the infrastructure and aesthetics along that street. The project is a part of reconnecting the downtown business district with Center Lake and the park. These improvements will include replacing and/or improving any storm, sanitary and water mains that run throughout the project area.
Parks Dept. Superintendent Larry Plummer said, “I think it’s essential to acquire that because I think it’s essential that, down the road when the Buffalo Street project does take place, that the park office is still located around the central campus of Central Park.”
Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer said the property became available, but there are no plans at this point to move anything.
“This just gives us that flexibility, the adjacency to the park for Larry and his group to continue to meet the parks’ needs if that needs to be moved,” Thallemer said.
After the board approved Warsaw-Wayne Fire Territory Fire Chief Mike Wilson’s request for an agreement with Hastings Air Energy Control Inc. for work on the fire apparatus exhaust system at the fire station for $11,409.18, Wilson also brought the board up to date on the tornado sirens in the city.
“I was over with the tornado siren guys. There’s a little bit of a hiccup over at Station 1. The equipment that they arrived in would not reach the height of the tornado siren because of its position on the pole,” he said.
The siren at Station 2 is installed and proper, he said. Electric will be hooked to it at the first of next week by Denny Electric, and then it will be tested. It will be down through Monday or Tuesday.
Station 1 was to be wired Thursday, he said. “They actually had to pull the whole pole out of the ground, instead of lifting the siren off, and lay it on the sidewalk. … It is back in the ground and being concreted today,” Wilson said.
It will not have power to it until the first of next week.
Wilson said they’ve checked with the National Weather Service and no problems are expected through the first part of next week that would require the tornado sirens.
The siren on the west end of town is still very functional, Wilson said, but if something should happen the fire department will do all it can with the fire trucks to notify everyone it can.
Once all the sirens are fixed and installed, Thallemer said the city will have three sirens running across the city centrally.
In other business, the board:
• Approved the proposal for restoration of 200 lineal feet of shoreline along Pike Lake at Lucerne Park, as presented by Stormwater Coordinator Theresa Sailor at the Nov. 2 meeting. The pilot project with Heartland Restoration Services Inc. is a collaboration between the utility and parks department for a cost of $37,500. The project can not start until next year.
It was tabled until Thursday’s meeting so Sailor could find information about a warranty on the materials, per Thallemer’s request.
Sailor provided the board with information from Heartland that the company will make a site visit monthly during the growing season to assess the project development and plant growth. Weed species will be identified and a treatment program such as herbicide treatments, mowing and/or hand pulling will be implemented.
Heartland also warranties 95 percent survival on all plants, assuming planting is done in the spring months of April or May for one year from the date of installation. The warranty does not cover vandalism or acts of God.
• Approved Department of Public Works Superintendent Jeff Beeler’s request to award the bid for a single-axle snowplow truck to Hill Truck Sales Inc. for $136,241.
• Gave Parks Dept. Recreation Director Sheila Wieringa permission to apply for a Kosciusko County Community Foundation grant for $5,480 for continued support of the Central Park Concert Series; and for a Kosciusko REMC Round Up grant for $1,500 for continued support of the Family Carnival, set for Aug. 5.
• Approved a memorandum of understanding between the Stormwater Utility and the Center for Lakes and Streams for the Center to provide public education on water quality for a cost of $6,300 from 2015 funds. The funds come from the stormwater utility fees and is the same amount as last year, Sailor said.
• Heard from Sailor about the art project with the city’s storm drain inlets next summer.
She said the city has a contract with the Center for Lakes and Streams and Grace College. A Grace College art professor, Cynthia Bryan, is going to have her Art Integrations Class paint storm drains as a part of a project.
Sailor said the designs will be related to whatever waterway they go to. Since most will be in downtown Warsaw, those waterways are Walnut Creek and Center Lake.
Sailor said they’ll begin seeing those probably in April.
• Approved Beeler’s request to solicit bids for a new loader to replace a 1988 Volvo L50 Loader.
• Approved the 2016 special events coordinator agreement with Paula Bowman for $8,000.04.
• Approved Warsaw Police Dept. Chief Scott Whitaker’s request to enter into a 2017 fuel agreement with Lassus Brothers Oil, locking 87 octane unleaded gas prices in at $1.96 for 75,000 gallons. After 75,000 gallons, the department will pay the pump price minus a 5 cent per gallon discount.
The 2016 locked-in price for the department is $2.10.
• Approved the new hire and change in payroll report as requested by Human Resources Director Jennifer Whitaker.
Heather Frazier will earn $17.15 per hour as the Parks Dept. administrative assistant and $30 per meeting as the Park Board recording secretary.
As the new councilman, replacing the late Charlie Smith, Ron Shoemaker will receive $5,795.24 per annum.
Thallemer swore in new Warsaw Police Dept. patrol officer Miles Reichard, whose effective start date is Sunday and bi-weekly salary is $1,792.20.
Reichard is a Triton High School and Indiana University graduate. He previously worked for the I.U. Police Department.
(Story By The Times Union)