City Hall Renovation Bids Top $300K

The Warsaw Board of Public Works and Safety opened four bids this morning for renovations on the third floor of the city hall. The renovations will be made to accommodate OrthoWorx, an education and workforce development initiative geared toward meeting the academic needs of students and orthopaedic employers.

The announcement that OrthoWorx was moving into the third floor of city hall was made May 7 during a Warsaw Common Council meeting (See story). At that time, city planner Jeremy Skinner said the Warsaw Redevelopment Commission approved the “agreement for building renovations” with the Kosciusko County Community Foundation on behalf of OrthoWorx to lease the third floor for a 3-year period.

According to the agreement, KCCF will pay the city a total of $180,000, or $5,000 per month. Skinner said the funds will help with the renovation costs.

The four bids opened today came from Ideal Construction and Milestone Construction, both of Warsaw, Harold McComb & Sons of Fort Wayne and D.T. Construction Services of Silver Lake. Each of the bidders provided base bids and 8 alternates which essentially removed features deemed unnecessary.

The high bid of $368,443 came from D.T. Construction Services with an alternate bid providing a deduction of $54,319. Low bidder was Ideal Construction at a base bid of $334,800 with an alternate bid providing for a $40,514 deduction.

B.O.W. members Charlie Smith, Jeff Grose and Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer took the bids under review and said an award will be announced at the next meeting, slated for Wednesday, July 17, at 10:30 a.m.

In other business, the three-member board also took action on a request by three Comcast sales representatives pertaining to the city’s peddler’s permit fees. The three men asked the city to waive the $1,000 per member fee for the month of July so they could go door to door offering Comcast cable, Internet and phone service.

The men – Daniel Clough, William Hurst and Ronald Bassier – referred to a provision in the city’s ordinance that waives the fee for honorably discharged service personnel. Two of the men are veterans. However, they also acknowledged that none of them are residents of Warsaw or even Kosciusko County.

Grose determined from the men that corporate Comcast is requesting the sales representatives visit local residents this month to promote the services. The local office did not make the request. “We have established a footprint here, but a corporate strategy makes it difficult,” he said. “It’s important to protect the integrity of the peddler’s ordinance and the public scrutiny that’s involved with that.”

Thallemer added, “I’m inclined to honor the veterans (section) even though they are out of county.”

Skinner recommended offering the men a fee of $100 each, which is a substantial discount of the $1,000 per person fee that would normally be required. The three-member board accepted that recommendation.

The Warsaw Police Department was granted approval to again apply for a Victims of Crime Act grant to fund the victims assistance program. The city will apply for a $60,000 grant with the city to match 20 percent. WPD Lt. Kip Shuter said the city will likely not receive the entire $60,000 grant, but the funds have been budgeted for the program.

The next B.O.W. meeting has been changed from its normal Friday date to 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, July 17. The meetings are held in city hall and are open to the public.

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