By Lasca Randels
WARSAW — A Deed of Dedication to Commerce Drive was approved at the City of Warsaw Board of Public Works and Safety meeting Friday, Nov. 20.
The city of Warsaw worked with various property owners on Commerce Drive to address road deficiencies in 2018, with the end goal being to have the city obtain ownership of the road once the deficiencies were taken care of.
The road work was completed in 2019 and inspected by the city during construction. A portion of the property owners are now ready to deed that right-of-way to the city.
City Planner Jeremy Skinner pointed out that a portion of the road will not be included in the dedication.
“We’re still trying to work with Staples’ to get their portion of the street dedicated, but the remaining property owners would like to dedicate the remaining portions so those two sections of the road would be dedicated,” Skinner said.
Attorney Steve Snyder, who represents the landowners in the endeavor, said he’s been working with an attorney in Houston for nearly two years to get the deed signed for that section and doesn’t understand the delay.
“We just don’t want to wait any longer for Staples’ small triangle to get this completed,” Snyder said.
The triangle is listed as .04 acres, according to Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer, and doesn’t completely cross the street. “It’s a small triangle of about one lane of traffic.”
Warsaw City Attorney Scott Reust weighed in, stating that he thinks it’s proper to go along with the request of the landowners.
“I don’t think the little triangle from Staples should hold up the dedication of all the rest of it,” Reust said. “I’d move forward with accepting the dedication at this point as presented.”
A motion was made and approved to accept the dedication of the majority of the road.
In another matter, a contract with Novotx LLC was approved for Elements XS permitting software.
“Over the last few years, Building & Planning has been wanting to update our permitting process to a digital platform,” Warsaw Senior Assistant City Planner Justin Taylor said. “The events of the last year have definitely highlighted the importance of that, having that available for the public.”
The contract is for the design and implementation of digital permitting software and would help the Building & Planning Department integrate with other city departments as well. Elements is a GIS-based asset management program that is already in use by the Warsaw Public Works Department and Warsaw City Wastewater Department.
By eliminating redundant processes, the Building & Planning Department hopes to reduce the turnaround time of the permit application.
“We’re really excited at the prospect of having this put in place,” Taylor said.
Thallemer noted that CARES Act money will be supporting this endeavor.
The Board also adopted revisions to the city employee short-term disability policy. The first revision will allow employees, if electing or needing to go on short-term disability, to contribute three hours a day or a third of their pay for 100 percent pay.
An employee may choose not to go on short-term disability, said City of Warsaw Human Resources Director Jennifer Whitaker.
“However, if the doctor tells you you’re only going to be gone for six weeks, that doesn’t mean that you get to be gone six weeks on sick leave and then wrap an additional six weeks on the tail end for short term disability,” Whitaker said “It’s whatever the doctor says. They’re not going to be able to “double dip” if you will.”
The other change is that when somebody has been on disability and has a release to come back to work and it is determined that the employee is unable to do the work or begins to experience issues, they can immediately go back on disability and will not have to do another seven-day waiting period.
“These are updated revisions that improve employee benefits and meet all the state recommendations,” Mayor Thallemer said.
In other news:
- Two bids were taken under advisement for roofing repair of a 10-bay police department garage. CMS Roofing submitted a base bid of $97,810. Fort Wayne Roofing submitted a base bid of $106,600. The board will review the bids and address this at the next meeting.
- A contract with Commercial Builders & Maintenance in the amount of $3,733 was approved for a city hall server room partition wall.
- The next regular meeting will be 11:15 a.m. Dec. 4.