City Attorney Nelson Chipman updated commission members on a meeting held earlier in the day with HRP, the construction company doing the road project between Wal-Mart and K-Mart. Chipman said, “It’s come to a grinding halt!” He continued, “The status of the strike by local 105 is frustrating to them.”
The president of HRP and the project manager explained they are paying the union a little over $70 per man hour. The heavy equipment operators are paid $39.20 hourly with the remainder amount going toward health care, pension and such. They told the city that the union wants more. Chipman said, “They (the union) try make it sound like it’s tied to health care insurance but that’s not all of it.”
HRP representatives told the city that the Wendy’s manager told them they had to lay off three full-time employees because the inconvenience the road construction has caused a 25% reduction in their business.
There was discussion making sure the project was left in a safe mode. The union’s strike it not only effecting Local 150 but other unions, non union workers and even the asphalt plants. It was noted that the “drop dead” date for the project was November 15th before the holiday shopping season kicks into full gear. Concern is that if the strike lasts much longer that date will not be realistic. This was stated that INDOT has a standard clause in their agreement that will offset penalties and fines for not completing the project on time.
Still in TIF #1 City Engineer Rick Gaul presented change order #4 for temporary patching using concrete which ended up being a deduct of $81.33. He also said there would be two more forthcoming, one being the Wal-Mart light pole relocation.
There was other big news in TIF #1. Donnie Davidson the City’s Utility Superintendent presented a request to add a major improvement for the Pine Road Water Plant to the TIF zones project list. A major overhaul of the Leadyard plant is necessary but Davidson is hesitant to take the old plant off line for repairs and improvements without having enough back-up.
A special meeting of the Board of Public Works and Safety presented the options and the board motioned to go with a major improvement at the newer plant on Pine Road.
Davidson explained that the city’s forethought to build the plant large enough to double production makes the project less complicated and saves some major costs. He said the plant is already plumbed for the new infrastructure that would include 2 wells, pressure filters and pumps. Estimated cost is $1,446,500 for construction and non-construction costs.
During the last year and a half the city has implemented rate increases equaling 20% to cover operating costs. To cover the improvements to the Pine Road plant would require an additional 18% increase in water rates.
After further discussion and a power-point presentation members of the Redevelopment Commission passed a declaratory resolution to add the project to the TIF zone’s list of projects. Both the Plan Commission and Common Council will need to approve the project for the list and then the Redevelopment Commission will hold a public hearing on the project prior to final approval.
It was discussed that there is a total of $3.5 million of unobligated funds available in TIF 1 and by the end of the year it will be $4 million.
The Ledyard plant was built in 1968 with an expansion in 1979 which doubled production. The plant has 3 wells, two of which were drilled in 1954 and the final one in 1979.
The Pine Road plant was completed in 2000 with one well that was placed in 1999 at 173 feet deep.
The city had two water towers. The west tower off PIDCO was built in 1979 and the north tower behind KFC was built in 1991. Each one is 140 feet tall, has a tank diameter of 65 feet and a capacity of 1,000,000 gallons. Both are in very good condition.
The City’s distribution system contains 69.5 miles of water mains ranging from 3 inches up to 16 inches.
Davidson said at the close of his presentation, “This is a lucky community. Our redundancy is getting to a comfortable level. We have redundancy in our plants and system with looping the system to feed from multiple locations.” He estimated that 80% of the city’s distribution system is looped.