Two weeks ago, a delinquent sewer bill totaling $2,290.80 looked as if it would fall on Charles Allen to pay. Today, though, paperwork was shown to the Warsaw Board of Public Works and Safety proving Allen may not have been be to blame for the error after all.
At the Aug. 3 B.O.W. meeting, Warsaw’s wastewater billing office revealed that an apartment on Allen’s property at 753 E. Market St. had never been billed for sewage services. Allen was at that meeting and insisted he did receive a permit to add an apartment as part of the existing residential structure.
According to Mary Lou Plummer of the Warsaw wastewater payment office, Allen built the upstairs apartment sometime after he purchased the property in 2005. A letter given to the B.O.W. today and dated April 3, 2006, seemed to prove Allen’s case that he did apply for a permit.
The letter was written by Mary Haberman, who was Warsaw’s GIS coordinator, and was for the purpose of assigning an address to the new apartment. The letter was copied to a number of agencies including the sewage collection office. The apartment came under scrutiny in June when a small fire was reported in the upstairs apartment.
With no record of Allen ever receiving a permit for the construction, the city is allowed, per the Indiana State Board of Accounts, to bill for the past six years. That would make Allen’s total bill $2,290.80.
But in light of the letter that was discovered in city records, B.O.W. member Jeff Grose said, “That raises a red flag for me. Seeing this copy and that it was in the sewage college department at one time means that’s now on the city’s side.”
Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer said he agreed with Grose. Initially, third B.O.W. member Charlie Smith viewed the matter as needing some middle ground, but when Grose noted the residence had already been receiving a sewage bill for the main home and that may have been where the confusion for Allen came into play, Smith agreed.
In a unanimous vote, the B.O.W. agreed to waive the entire bill, but to immediately start sewage collection for the additional apartment.
Warsaw Planner Jeremy Skinner said a June 29 storm that came through Warsaw and packed strong winds blew marble off of the building and broke out a window. Along with that, some other related damages were realized. Harold McComb & Son Inc. of Fort Wayne submitted a bill for the repair work that included replacing marble, cleaning up the damaged marble and glass, and replacing one tempered glass window.
Total cost of the repairs was $6,110 and was approved by the B.O.W.
Two change orders for the city hall renovation project were also submitted by Skinner. Those included a $19,700 expenditure for replacing lock sets and window seals; adding insulation under a new deck; and two unforeseen projects relating to the new HVAC system and installation of third floor windows.
With the new HVAC system, the building needs to increase its electrical capacity from the existing 1,000 amps to 1,200 amps.
In the second change order, a $108,350 bill was approved for the completion of the parking lot and plaza for the new city hall. That project will create additional parking and a “fully functional” plaza for First Friday, Farmers’ Market and other downtown events.
Skinner said the money has been budgeted for the project. Thallemer added that even with the change orders, the project remains at 5.4 percent below the projected 8 percent overages the city expected to put into the renovations.
The following road closures were approved:
- Aug. 21-22 – The Warsaw Fire Department will have Main Street from the alley west of Station 1 to just east of Indiana Street closed. The closure will take place from the evening of Aug. 21 through the following day while the fire department erects a new tower.
- Sept. 8 – Canal street from the entrance of the parking area on the west end of Central Park to the entrance of the east parking lot in the park will be closed from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for Family Safety Day.
- Sept. 22 – Indiana Street, including the intersections of Indiana and Fort Wayne and Indiana and Main streets will be closed for the annual Cubmobile races.