By Lasca Randels
WARSAW — Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer spoke about the improvement in COVID-19 numbers across the state during the Warsaw Board of Public Works & Safety meeting Friday, June 19.
Thallemer said the numbers give reason to believe the virus is slowing in the state and that things are getting better.
However, Thallemer cautioned, local officials are still seeing “a pretty rapid increase in the number of cases.”
He asked that everyone continue to wear masks at public places such as restaurants and stores.
“I think they’ve proved that it’s critical that the mask you’re wearing is protecting someone else,” Thallemer said. “I think there’s no doubt that this works. I think we’ve got to remain diligent by wearing masks in public and I would ask that all of our citizens continue to honor that for their protection and (the protection of) others.”
In another matter, a street closure request submitted by “Celebrating Us” was approved.
The event will take place Sept. 19.
Attorney Travis McConnell attended the meeting as a representative for the petitioner, One Warsaw. The organization is a group of individuals who hope to inspire community inclusion through support, education and celebration of all people. McConnell said the event is the same as the one they had last year in September.
Thallemer told McConnell that approval of the event is contingent on the virus situation.
“I do want to add that in events like this, you’re far enough into the future that I have no problem considering this, but we certainly reserve the right to cancel this event if our COVID situation has not improved by then,” Thallemer said. “We will do whatever we can to give you adequate warning, but at this point, everything is done with that reservation.”
McConnell said there is a backup plan for the event in case that should occur.
A $3,500 contribution to the 2020 Warsaw-Winona Lake Independence Day Celebration on July 4 was approved. The rain date for the event is July 5.
The contribution was requested by Warsaw Parks Superintendent Larry Plummer.
After Plummer’s request was approved, City Attorney Scott Reust shared with Plummer that his daughter participated in a Warsaw Parks Department Zoom painting event recently.
“It was the coolest thing. She loved it. I just wanted to give you props for your parks department putting that on,” Reust said. “It was fabulous. Anybody who hears about the parks department’s online programs, that particular one was awesome.”
Plummer thanked Reust for the acclamation and said his staff has worked hard in making program adjustments.
Warsaw Utility Superintendent Brian Davidson reviewed several engineering agreements, which were approved. One agreement was related to the sewer rehab project.
Board Member George Clemens then asked Davidson if there is still a problem with sanitary wipes being flushed and causing clogging problems.
“I hope I don’t jinx anything here, but we had some in the very beginning and we put the word out through social media and newspapers and we have not seen a lot of the problems, so hopefully people listened and are not flushing those wipes,” Davidson said.
Clemens and Davidson agreed that keeping reminders out there for the public is a good idea.
In other news:
- A street closure request submitted by the organization “I’m Going to Love You Through It” was tabled until Mayor Thallemer is able to obtain more information about the fundraiser event.
- The board approved a change in take-home vehicles by new Warsaw Street Superintendent Dustin Dillon and new Assistant Superintendent Tony Calhoun.
- A change order for the Buffalo Street plaza project was approved. City Planner Jeremy Skinner said this is a $14,428.50 reduction in the cost of the project. Skinner said the project is on schedule and should be completed sometime in the fall.
- A sealed bid submitted by Kerlin Motor Co. in Silver Lake was approved. Warsaw Police Chief Scott Whitaker reviewed the bid during the meeting and recommended approval. The bid is for two police vehicles in the amount of $33,363.49 each, with a total amount of $66,726.98 for the two vehicles.
- The next regular meeting will be 10:30 a.m. Thursday, July 2.