WARSAW — Infrastructure 115 years old is beginning to show its age. Storm and sewer lines installed in 1900 are deteriorating at the joints causing not only breaks in the system, but also sinkholes.
Following the awarding of a bid for the Main Street paving project Friday morning, Sept. 16, members of the Warsaw Board of Works were given an update on the project and an emergency expenditure. Brian Davison, utility manager, provided the update. He noted in May sewer replacement began between Reed and Hickory. A section, not in the original design, was found in need of repair and spot repairs were being made. One of those areas was between the railroad tracks and a manhole. While it was repaired, a sinkhole developed. Two pipes had gone bad and the bottom deteriorated.
James Emans, city engineer, stated there is a network of pipe installed in 1900. “There is an extensive network in the city. We will be seeing repeated failure not on our radar,” he stated. Further explaining, he stated the pipe itself is in good shape, but not the joints. Concrete was used to join the joints every 2 feet. The hydrogen sulfide in the sewage has dissolved the concrete. “This is not being caused by city neglect. It’s just worn out.”
Mayor Joe Thallemer spoke how the city is trying to look at utilizing the old pipe with lining to compensate for the joint failure. City officials have also “unearthed the original plans with dates and locations. It is now where, when and how much (to do repairs).”
Emans stated the city is prioritizing the repairs. “This section was ranked already and we knew it would be soon, just not this soon. We don’t know where it will be next.” Emans stated the majority of the failures are on sewer lines, some are combination sewer and stormwater lines.
Phend and Brown, Inc., Milford, was awarded the Main Street paving project at a cost of $232,397. Paving is expected to occur before Oct. 1. One other bid was received, but past the bid deadline. The project was estimated to cost $250,000. Funding will come from the local option income tax fund and the rainy day restricted – local road and street fund. This project is part of the state’s Community Crossroads 50/50 program.
Davison did submit an amendment to the Wessler Engineering agreement on this project. The amendment was in the amount of $37,000 to provide additional on-call services due to the sinkhole, increasing the contract amount of $131,000.
Davidson also submitted an emergency payment request in the amount of $95,000 for material and labor to make repairs at that location.
During other business, the BOW members approved 29 new contracts with NIPSCO for electrical services at lift stations. The new contract is the result of new electric service tariffs.
Approval was given for a change in pay for police officer Clayton Rieder to fill a vacancy on the second shift, and a travel request for police officer Roy Navarro to attend an active shooter instructor certification training.
A lease agreement with Ricoh USA for maintenance on the clerk-treasurer’s copy machine was approved, a total of under $43 per month.