Goshen News, Goshen, IN

November 26, 2013

Firm seeks to run environmental center

By JOHN KLINE
john.kline@goshennews.com

---- — GOSHEN — Goshen Board of Works and Safety members Monday received a recommendation for a firm to run the Goshen Environmental Center.

The Goshen City Council back in early August authorized city officials to seek proposals from companies interested in operating the Goshen Environmental Center between Jan. 1, 2014, and Dec. 31, 2019. The request was made due to the fact that the city's existing agreement with Elkhart-based Soil Solutions Co. to operate the center will expire Dec. 31 of this year.

During Monday's meeting, the board received a report from City Engineer Dustin Sailor indicating that Soil Solutions was the only company to submit a proposal for the center's continued operation before the submission deadline expired.

According to Sailor, a committee was formed to evaluate the proposal from Soil Solutions — the operator of the facility since 2009 — and has determined the proposal meets the requirements of the request.

“Soil Solutions Co.'s proposal is for the operation of the facility for a five-year term from Jan. 1, 2014, through Dec. 31, 2018, for the sum of $81,500 per year,” Sailor said. “It is recommended that the board award the agreement for the operation of the Goshen Environmental Center to Soil Solutions Co.”

However, Sailor noted that the board may not make such an award until after a public hearing can be held to discuss the matter. As such, a public hearing has been scheduled to take place before the regular meeting of the board Dec. 16 at 2 p.m.

During the meeting, members of the public will be given the opportunity to ask questions or comment on the proposed public-private agreement between Goshen officials and Soil Solutions.

Other business

In other business, the board:

• Approved the conditional hiring of Randy J. Valderrama for the position of probationary patrol officer. Valderrama will replace Jere Bigler, who is scheduled to retire at the end of December.

• Approved an agreement amendment ratification with Yaw Construction in the amount of $5,104 for extra work at the Chicago Avenue bus stop location. The work included the installation of a catch basin, storm sewer and extra curb to allow for proper drainage of the roadway.

• Approved a request by Benteler Automotive representative Steve Kingery for relief from the city's hard surface driveway standards for a property at 910 Eisenhower Drive, Goshen. The company wants to install a gravel parking lot there.

• Approved the 2013 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) sub-recipient Agreement for the city's owner-occupied housing rehabilitation program.

• Approved appraisal contracts with Rita Gabriel for $14,125 and Russell Appraisal Services for $27,475 connected to the Ind. 15 and Kercher Road intersection improvement project.

• Approved a right-of-way permit application for the installation of seven monitoring wells at the former Fiedeke Cleaners property located at 211 S. Fifth St., Goshen.

• Approved a joint resolution with Elkhart County officials for the county's transfer and the city's acceptance of a power broom to be used by the Goshen Street Department.