The NG

    The long-needed project to upgrade the wastewater treatment plant in Union City, Ind., took a big step forward Tuesday with the acceptance of two bids pertaining to it.

    Upon the recommendation of Mark Sullivan of Midwest Engineering of Indianapolis, council members approved bids for major construction upgrades at the wastewater treatment plant on Jackson Pike, as well as rehab of the sewer system.

    “The good news is that it came in under budget,” Sullivan told mayor Bryan Conklin and council members. “The 10 percent contingencies, if not used, can be used for additional rehab.”

    The low bid for the major work at the wastewater treatment plant, with contingencies, was awarded to the James Jackson Co. LLC of Bluffton in the amount of $8,128,500. The sewer rehab bid was awarded to Miller Pipeline of Indianapolis in the amount of $1,047,752, which includes all alternative work.

    The closing is set for Sept. 28.

    In a related matter, Doug Baldessari presented results of a sewage rate study.

    “Part of the project is checking sewage rates,” he said. “We updated our rate study. A lot of what we anticipated in excess revenues trended down more than expected. We do have the cash reserves met. It’s good to have those reserves on hand.”

    He added that $4.65 million of the sewage project will be in grant funding. However, he recommended small incremental sewage rate increases in upcoming years.

    Council members also accepted two quotes for work at Harter Park. The quote for a new park entrance was awarded to Wagner Paving of Greenville, Ohio, in the amount of $16,960. Work on the park and cemetery bridges was awarded to Culy Construction of Winchester in the amount of $14,750. The mayor said cost of the bridge work would be taken from both park and cemetery funds.

    Union City Chamber president Susan Linder informed city officials that the chamber board members voted to join the Randolph County Chamber.

    Linder also said the daycare open house was set for today, with a ribbon cutting slated for 6:30 p.m. The daycare center, which is a joint undertaking involving the Randolph County YMCA, the Wesley United Methodist Church and the city, is located in the old Eagles building on Chestnut Street (State Road 32).

    In his report to council, Conklin presented a report showcasing that a total of about $40 million in projects have been completed since 2007-08.

    Fire chief Steve Shoemaker asked council members for permission to loan a vehicle to Randolph Eastern School Corp. for the purpose of transporting football uniforms and equipment to away games.

    “Coby (Wells) and I are volunteer coaches,” Shoemaker said. “Randolph Eastern is asking to borrow Coby’s or my truck to haul football equipment.”

    Council members approved the request upon completion of a signed agreement.

    The mayor noted that the city is offering a four-camera security system for $449.

    “I encourage people to put cameras around their properties,” he said.

    In other business, council member Dan Vinson again questioned whether any action has been taken regarding the clawback of money provided to Eco Vehicle Systems (EVS) by the city. The mayor said it was under way.

    The funds provided by the city were contingent on EVS creating 200 jobs by the end of this year, which appears unlikely to occur.

    The next council meeting will be 6 p.m. Aug. 26 in council chambers.