Warsaw BOW approves rebidding for Warsaw PD vehicles

(Carli Luca / News Now Warsaw)

Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer, George Clemens, Clerk-Treasurer Lynn Christiansen and city attorney Scott Reust were in attendance for the Monday Board of Works meeting. This meeting was rescheduled from Friday. Jeff Grose was absent.

Police Chief Scott Whitaker began the meeting with a request to reject all vehicle quotes accepted at the June 4 meeting. Two weeks ago, Whitaker mentioned the vehicles might not be available for several months.

At Monday’s meeting, the chief said there were Ford police interceptor utility vehicles available and requested advertisement of sealed quotes for two hybrid vehicles, which was approved.

“We know these vehicles are available,” he said. “They’re typically more expensive, but we’re supposed to get a return in savings on the fuel. We do have some hybrids in our fleet and they’ve turned out well.”

Bids will be advertised and due at the July 19 meeting. The Board could make a determination regarding purchase of the vehicles on that day.

Whitaker also received the OK to pursue sealed quotes for 2022 fuel prices for the city’s fleet, based on using 78,000 gallons.

Paula Bowman requested a street closing on Aug. 2 for the inaugural Brendyn and Easton 3-on-3 Benefit Tournament. The street closure is on Center Street from Indiana to Buffalo and Buffalo from Main to Market from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. that Saturday.

Bowman said Kereen Freeman is organizing the event. The board members approved the street closing.

Human Resources Director Jennifer Whitaker presented several items and all were approved. They included:

• A contract with Waggoner, Irwin, Sheele and Associates for a citywide wage analysis, not to exceed $15,840.

• A two-year contract renewal with Group Administrators for the city employees’ dental and short term-disability insurance and The Standard for life, accidental death and disability and long-term disability plans. Whitaker said rates have not increased and are guaranteed through Sept. 1, 2023.

Creative Benefit Solutions of Warsaw is the local office for these policies.

Part of Whitaker’s presentation was a recommendation to switch from American Fidelity to Colonial Life for additions to policy plans and flexible spending accounts, which also would be generated from the Creative Benefit Solutions office.

Whitaker’s new hire/payroll change report included Cade Krider’s switch to an electrician post at the wastewater utility for $20.73 per hour; hiring of Michelle Stegmiller as a plant operator for $20.50 per hour; police officer Rogelio Navarro’s switch from school resource officer to second shift; and police officer Lewis Fuller’s switch from SRO to third shift.

Staci Young, representing the city’s internet technology governance committee, presented an 18-month contract with Virtu for city email encryptions, which was approved at $9,787.50.

Also approved was a more formal contract with BIT Computers, for information technology services for six months, $10,000 per month, or $60,000.

Thallemer said this will centralize and sustain the city’s electronic communication infrastructure and allow BIT personnel to more directly respond to any difficulties instead of calling someone on an incident-by-incident basis. The company also will make updated equipment and software recommendations.

Jeremy Skinner, community development coordinator, presented a Buffalo Street Plaza pay application, No. 13, from Selge Construction for $85,985. The project is completed with some small items to finish, he said.

Skinner also presented a contract addendum with Kosciusko Economic Development Corporation for an additional $50,000 in funds to support economic development incentives to bring businesses to Warsaw. The money has been set aside and is within the economic development income tax budget.

The board approved the pay application and KEDCO boost.

Justin Taylor, city planner presented 10 of 18 warranty deeds along the Lincoln Elementary sidewalk project area needed to secure rights-of-way. The cost of the first 10 deeds is $32,715, which was approved.

Brian Davison, wastewater treatment plant supervisor, presented several items, which were approved. They included:

• A granite inliner change order for an additional $4,512 to line part of the  for the Center Lake storm sewer. Davison said this portion of the line was missed in the initial survey of the project.

• A preliminary engineering report from VS Engineering and recommendations to improve Country Club Lane extended. Davison said since the overflow weir was raised to the legal lake level there, is always standing water on this street and they’re looking for ways to raise the road.

• An agreement with NIPSCO that allows the utility to televise city-owned sewers, recognizing some of the work may take place on city property and holds the city harmless from any damage caused by NIPSCO.

• Pay application No. 106 from Kokosing Industrial for work at wastewater treatment plant expansion project. Davison said the asphalt has been laid and grassy areas will be reseeded to complete the project.

• An invoice from NV Grant Services for payroll certification on the wastewater treatment plant.

Before approval of claims in the amount of $3,789,202.12, Clemens asked about $1,800 charged for the appraisal of 110 S. Washington St. Christansen said she didn’t know and would find out.

The next Board of Works meeting is July 2 at 10:30 a.m. in city hall’s council chambers.