NAPPANEE — With the Board of Public Works and Safety meeting held virtually for the first time ever Monday, Mayor Phil Jenkins announced water shut-offs will be suspended throughout April and May. The board approved the action.
Any associated fees would still be the customer’s responsibility, according to the mayor, and residents can pay their bills either on the city’s website or in the drop-off box.
“Any type of assistance we as a city can provide is important in this time of national emergency. We’re in unprecedented times,” he added, noting other communities were taking similar measures.
DUMPSTER ENCLOSURE PROJECT
Two bids were received and opened for the Walnut Street Dumpster Enclosure Project. Bidding on the project were Rieth-Riley, South Bend, with a total base bid of $207,863.10, alternate one (stamped asphalt) at $21,611 and alternate two (asphalt to concrete) $11,475; and R. Yoder Construction, Nappanee, with a total base bid of $188,000, alternate one price of $27,755 and alternate two price of $14,245.
The project includes enclosing a dumpster located near John’s Butcher Shop and the public parking lot on West Walnut near Ruhe152. It also includes paving the alleys in that quadrant. The city did a similar project on South Elm Street a couple of years ago.
The bids were taken under advisement with plans to award at the April 13 meeting.
ALLEY VACATION REQUEST
The board accepted a petition for an alley vacation from Nelson Miller for a portion of Metzler Drive and east-west alley that runs into it. Terry Lang of Lang, Feeney and Associates was present virtually to represent Miller.
“The streets and alley have not been improved for public use, so, at this point, we’re asking it be vacated as shown on the site plan so the Harley Miller estate can acquire a portion of it,” Lang said.
Jenkins mentioned all parcels to the east of the alley would be gaining additional land that would be in the right of way.
The board accepted the petition and the next step is a public hearing and, if approved by the board after the public hearing, it would go on to the city council for three readings and final approval.
PAY APPLICATION APPROVED
The board approved a partial pay application on the Long-Term Control Plan project Division D to LD Dosca. Jenkins said the contractor was still behind schedule, but they were being asked to approve $28,670 at this time.
Board member Wayne Scheumann asked if the current state emergency declarations would affect the contractor and push the timeline back even more. Jenkins responded it was a possibility since both Indiana and Michigan’s governors declared states of emergency and all non-essential workers to stay home. However, he said Commonwealth Engineer, the city attorney and other city officials were working to decide whether if it is an essential service, which would allow the employees to work.
“We’re pushing the pause button,” Jenkins said, noting the contractor is still late and the emergency throws a different twist in it. He said once the emergency is lifted, they still have to complete the project.
PUBLIC SAFETY JOINT INFORMATION UPDATE
Jenkins asked Don Lehman, who is representing the city on the emergency management incident management team and public safety joint information committee, to provide an update on what they’ve been doing.
Lehman reported they inventoried and distributed supplies to emergency services on Saturday and on Tuesday they would be getting supplies to long-term care facilities and nursing homes. He also said they’re working on getting toll-free numbers set up for people to call for information.
“They’re encouraging people not to go to their doctor or the hospital but to call the 800 number first to get instructions,” Lehman said. “The (COVID 19) test has to be ordered by a physician.”
A number of press releases would be coming out soon, according to Lehman. Jenkins advised people to visit the city’s website at nappanee.org where there is a special COVID-19 page. He also recommended the Elkhart County Health Department, Indiana State Department of Health and CDC’s websites, as well as the City of Nappanee Facebook page.
“We’re bracing for the worst yet to come,” Lehman said.
In other business, council:
• Approved a task order from Commonwealth Engineers for the wellhead protection plan update to include the new wells. The task order will be billed hourly with a not-to-exceed amount of $22,867.
• Approved hiring new police reserve Officer Michael C. Johnson effective March 23. Johnson lives in town with his fiancée and daughter and is also a member of the National Guard. He was recently called up for duty.
• Approved several new sewer connections and excavation in public right of way requests.