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Porter approves plow truck purchase; road bids too high

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By JEFF SCHULTZ

The Porter Public Works Department is set to acquire a 2016 Freightliner plow truck for $149,500 with the approval by the Town Council on Tuesday.

Public Works Director Brenda Brueckheimer said the truck had been used as a demo truck but has never been titled or used. The price is a savings of about $30,000 to the Town, she said.

A new truck for the department was sought last year but due to issues with the bids received, a purchase was never approved by the Council.

The Council voted 4-0 in favor of a motion by member Bill Lopez to approve the purchase on the condition that the money will be available in the Town’s Rainy Day fund. The Council will have a public hearing for the appropriation of $150,000 at its June 27 meeting followed by a vote. Absent from the meeting was Council member Ross LeBleu.

Council President Greg Stinson said that because of the “substantial” amount of money saved with the documentation to prove it, the state would allow the purchase without the Town having to look for bids.

Brueckheimer applauded the Council taking action, adding that the truck “fits the needs” of her department. “I appreciate it and so does the staff and the town,” she said.

Road paving bids

Meanwhile, Building Commissioner and Director of Development Michael Barry said bids were opened for the road work to be done with the match of the state’s Community Crossings grant earlier on Tuesday and all three received were at least $500,000 more than what they Town can allocate for the projects.

By ordinance, the Council appropriated $802,130 for the Local Road and Bridge Grant this year following a public hearing.

The lowest bidder was Town and Country Construction at $1,320,278 while the highest bid came from the company that performed the paving projects last year, Walsh & Kelly, at $1.601,980. That’s almost double than what the company bid last July, Barry said.

The second bid received was from Reith Riley Construction at $1,504,683.

Barry said he put in a call to the Indiana Department of Transportation to see how the projects can be adjusted to meet the bids which would likely mean negotiation with the contractor.

“We’ve got some work to do but we should have this straightened out before our next meeting,” Barry told the Council.

Mower

Also, the Council okayed the purchase of a Kubota Z726 zero-turn radius mower requested by the Parks Department, for $10,400. Director Brian Bugajski said he received quotes, with Riggs Outdoor Power Equipment being the lowest. The funds are available due to savings from a recent change in staff, he said.

Fish Derby

In other Parks news, a free fishing derby for children ages 6-12 will be Wednesday, June 21 at Indian Springs Park, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., which includes a free hot dog lunch, Bugajski said.

Spots are still available, Bugajski said, and registration can be done by contacting the Park Department.

Health Fair

The Council agreed to waive the fee to use the Community Center in Hawthorne Park for the Duneland Seniors Group to host its sixth annual health fair on Wednesday, Aug. 30 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Safety Fest

Bugajski and Assistant Fire Chief Jay Craig thanked each other for assistance in putting on last Saturday’s Safety Fest in Hawthorne Park.

Hot dog sales from the event generated $425 for Riley’s Children Hospital.

Air pack donation

The Council approved another ordinance to donate surplus air packs and other equipment to the New Chicago Fire Department -- 26 air pack harnesses, 48 masks and five carbon fiber air tanks.

“Since we got the federal grant last year, we upgraded and updated all our equipment, and now we have various tanks and mask sitting there. We can’t use it so why not give to someone who can?” Stinson said.

Salary ordinance

Also, the Council voted 4-0 in favor of a change to the 2017 Town Employee Salary Ordinance in a first reading and again on second reading after waiving the rules.

The amendment would delete the compensation for an MS4 Coordinator which is needed, Stinson said, because the Stormwater Management Board hired an outside consultant to take over those responsibilities.

Stinson asked to waive the rules for second reading because the board has already signed the contract.

Ordinances now online

In comments from the floor, resident Jennifer Klug inquired why copies of ordinances to be considered are no longer being put out before the meeting.

Stinson said they have been available to view at Town Hall but starting with Tuesday’s meeting, the ordinances are only available on the Town’s website in a PDF file with the Council’s agenda. He said they have stopped making copies before the meeting because Clerk-Treasurer Carol Pomeroy would typically throw out the copies she made at the end of the meeting because no one would take them.

Klug said she appreciates that Pomeroy is now including the ordinances online with the agenda.

“That’s a good thing to have because a lot of people do look them up on the internet and even on their phones,” she said.

 

Posted 6/14/2017

 

 
 
 
 

 

 

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