NAPPANEE — City officials will be taking a look at the housing needs in Nappanee, as well as human resources procedures following action taken Monday by the board of public works and safety.

The board approved entering into an agreement with EnFocus for a housing study for a cost of $35,000. Alison Egan, program director of Civic Innovation for EnFocus gave a presentation to the board.

Egan said the non-profit started in 2012 and works with government entities, health care providers, non-profit agencies and for-profit companies and organizations. The company previously conducted a downtown vibrancy assessment at the request of the Elkhart County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, which included Nappanee. She said that touched on housing in downtown and showed some need.

“But the city has limited information on its housing situation,” she said.

Egan explained they’ll take a two-phase plan. The first phase is the discovery phase, which will include gathering data, identifying barriers and writing up a plan. The second phase would be the design phase, which would include an action plan and implementation agenda.

Egan gave the presentation to the plan commission last week. Board member Wayne Scheumann said he felt his questions were answered during that meeting.

“This will give us a pretty good idea where we’re at with our housing stock and how to take that to the future to attract other developers and leverage existing housing for grants, etc., to keep our community the best it can be,” Mayor Phil Jenkins said.

The board approved the agreement pending minor changes to the contract’s wording based on a recommendation by Brian Hoffer, the city attorney.

The board also approved a proposal by Starfish Leadership Coaching as human resources consultant to evaluate the city’s human resources procedures and identify any potential areas of risk or liability. Starfish will conduct three onsite visits at seven hours per visit at a cost of $2,825.

WATER ASSET MANAGEMENT

The board took action on two matters relating to the water asset management plan. They removed the water asset management plan from the table and approved it. The plan had been tabled to give the board more time to review it.

Board members also approved an amendment to Baker Tilly’s contract for additional work on the water asset management plan resulting in an additional cost of $7,000.

EMS/FIRE PERSONNEL CHANGES

Emergency Medical Services Chief Jim Sumpter Jr. brought a resignation for the board’s approval. Sumpter said Chris Yoder, who has been with the department for 17 years, chose not to get re-certified. He said Yoder is staying on the fire department. He asked for the resignation to be made effective as of Dec. 13, 2019.

“We’re gonna miss him,” Sumpter said of Yoder.

He received approval to add three certified emergency medical technicians, Sam Montgomery, Nate Yoder and Alex Borkholder, effective Jan. 13. He said all three are also on the fire department but wanted to be EMTs also.

Fire Chief Don Lehman received approval to add Jake Beer, Alec Chapman and Jesse Odiorne as full members of the fire department. All three recently completed their training.

In other business, members:

• Approved specifications for a 2020 dump truck chassis with quotes due back Jan. 27.

• Approved the availability of service and new sewer connection for Aero Ranch, 5101 E. Market St.

• Heard a public thank-you from Water/Wastewater Superintendent Gale Gerber and the board to the wastewater department employees for their work staying late on Saturday night and installing extra pumps to handle the deluge of water from the rainstorm so that there’d be no backups.

• Approved sewer connection and excavating on public property at 602 N. Tomahawk Trail and an emergency sewer repair for 256 S. Summit St.

• Approved water department personnel attending a conference in Indianapolis.

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