The Warsaw Board of Public Works and Safety continues to show they are being good stewards of the community by working with property owners and businesses in billing matters.
In recent months, the B.O.W. has waived late fees for two property owners who were not billed for wastewater services. While the fault for the errors could have been equally determined, the board opted to just wipe the slate clean.
Today, the B.O.W. agreed that Warsaw Foundry should not have to pay a $17.85 penalty for not paying a July bill on time.
Mary Lou Plummer of the Warsaw Wastewater office, said Warsaw Foundry receives three bills each month and has an excellent payment history. However, in August, one of the bills was apparently lost in the mail. That invoice, totaling $178.50, is a monthly installment of a pretreatment permit that the foundry has with the city.
Plummer explained to the B.O.W. members that the company receives the bill each month and promptly pays them, but no one realized the error of the missing third bill until the foundry received the September bill with the balance of August and a 10 percent late fee.
“They are asking that the $17.85 penalty be waived,” said Plummer, “and the State Board of Accounts gives us authority to charge the penalty.”
City attorney Mike Valentine agreed with Plummer noting, “I don’t think we’re in the waiver business. Sorry.” But discussion continued amongst B.O.W. members Charlie Smith and Jeff Grose, who both stated they felt the amount was nominal and it would be a nice gesture to waive the fee for a local business with a fine history of on-time payments.
Plummer asked the men to consider the precedent they may be setting by waiving the late fee, but Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer agreed with Smith and Grose saying, “As a small business owner myself, I get the bills, write the checks and send them. If one is missing … in the interest of fairness, it was just an oversight due to an unforeseen circumstance.”
The three voted unanimously to waive the late fee.
In other business, the Warsaw Parks Department was granted a request to have Dogwood Hills Tree Farm provide, relocate and plant a total of 54 trees. The city received an insurance check for $6,893.10 covering the costs of damages from a June 29 storm.
With the B.O.W. approval, Cleveland, maple and arborvitae trees are being planted at Central Park, McKinley Park and Fribley Field. Total cost of the trees and the engineering and services of the Dogwood Hills Tree Farm is $6,955.
Three road closings were approved in today’s meeting.
The first closing will take place Tuesday, Sept. 11, and include a portion of Canal Street through Central Park. The area in front of the 9-11 Memorial will be closed to traffic from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. for the Patriot Day Ceremony.
The second closing will be Wednesday, Sept. 12, and will affect a half-block are of East Fort Wayne Street that runs along the Warsaw Police Department and behind Owen’s. The area is being used by the police for a training scenario.
Officers of the WPD are attending a seminar on Photogrammetry training, which is a type of accident investigation. The half-block area will be closed from approximately 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. that day.
The Downtown received approval for the final road closing, to begin at 8 a.m. Friday, Oct. 5, and conclude at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, in the half block area of Center Street from Lake Street to Washington Street. The closing will take place for the restaurant’s annual Oktoberfest celebration.