By Liz Shepherd
WARSAW — Warsaw’s Board of Public Works and Safety accepted a grant for two electric vehicle charging stations during a meeting on Friday, March 5.
Warsaw City Planner Justin Taylor said the charging stations will be offered as a free amenity to the public for the first two years. After that period of time, the city will have the option to either operate the stations on a fee-based system or continue to offer the service free to the public.
Proposed locations for the stations are on the north side of the county courthouse and the west side of Central Park.
“The hope is by putting them close to downtown is to create that interest in tourism … and offering it to residents as well,” said Taylor.
The city applied for the grant in October 2020 in collaboration with regional partners at the Michiana Area Council of Governments (MACOG). The grant is funded through the Volkswagen emissions settlement and administered by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. The grant will fund up to $18,000, or 90% of the procurement and installation costs for the two stations, with the project’s total estimated cost at $30,000.
Sheila Wieringa, Warsaw Parks and Recreation Director, provided a grant update on the Mantis Skate Park project. The city intends to move the park from its current location on Little League Drive, near West Center Street, to the Richardson-Dubois Park on East Market Street.
Wieringa said the K21 Foundation awarded the Parks and Recreation Department a $150,000 grant for the project. However, the grant funding is contingent on the department receiving a $250,000 DNR Lake and Water Conservation Grant. This particular grant is a 50/50 matching grant, with $150,000 already being pledged by K21.
Wieringa requested permission from the board to accept K21 Foundation’s grant and to apply for the DNR grant. The board approved both requests.
The board also approved bid amounts for two upcoming city projects. Bids for these projects were opened during the board’s Feb. 19 meeting.
One project is for traffic signal modernization at the intersections of Center and Lake Streets and at Indiana and Center Streets. The project contract was awarded to Hawk Enterprises, Inc., which came in with a bid of $443,414.30.
The second project involves restoring the shoreline around Pike Lake, with the contract awarded to G&G Hauling and Excavating, Inc. G&G presented a bid of $157,998.
A complete streets policy for the city was also presented to the board by Jonny Latsko, assistant city planner. The policy addresses aspects related to connectivity, safety, sustainability and accessibility in Warsaw’s transportation network. According to Latsko, having the policy established would help unify the city’s approach to designing and building transportation projects.
The policy was tabled to the board’s next meeting for further discussion.
Taylor also informed the board that Latsko submitted his letter of resignation two weeks ago, with his last day of working for the city being March 5.
“The amount of work he’s done in the last year has been great and we’ve really enjoyed working with him,” said Taylor.
The following items were also approved at the meeting:
- Street closures for downtown First Fridays, Countdown to Christmas and Spooktakular.
- Warsaw-Wayne Fire Territory’s hosting of dive rescue international training and a citizens’ fire and rescue academy.
- A five-year master plan from the Parks and Recreation Department.
- A fiber service agreement for Center Lake Pavilion.
- The purchase of a new side-load garbage truck for the street department in the amount of $306,500.
- Warsaw Police Department’s participation in the 2021 Stop Arm Violation Enforcement (SAVE) and 2022 Comprehensive Hoosier Highways Injury Reduction Program (CHIRP) grants.
The board’s next meeting is at 11:15 a.m. Friday, March 19.