Georgetown awards bids for parking lot, utility shop roof
By Mike Arnold, Contributing Writer
The Georgetown Town Council awarded bids for parking lot upgrades at the town park and a new roof for its utility shop during a regular town council meeting last Tuesday evening at the Georgetown Optimist Club.
Town engineer Bob Woosley opened sealed bids for resurfacing of the parking lot adjacent to the park’s basketball court (which is also being refurbished). Proposals were submitted by Merrell Bierman Excavating, Temple & Temple, EZ Construction, Libs Paving and Cornell Harbison Excavating.
Merrell Bierman was determined low bidder with a quote of $57,430, and Woosley mentioned prices included application of striping. He suggested taking the bids under advisement and said he would review. He further recommended accepting Merrell Bierman’s bid, contingent on inclusion of all necessary documentation.
The council voted unanimously to follow that course of action, noting the project would be funded with gaming revenue.
In another construction matter, council president Chris Loop spoke regarding the condition of the roof at the utility shop. Loop said at last count the roof had 11 leaks that had been patched through the years.
Bids to remove the shop’s old roof and replace with new tan material were submitted by Aspire Industries, Mike Goodman Construction and Pro Roofing.
Aspire Industries was low bidder at $11,600. Mike Goodman Construction’s quote came in at $12,580. After review and discussion of the estimates, councilman Billy Haller mentioned the Mike Goodman’s bid, although higher, included a five-year workmanship warranty, which was longer than that of Aspire Industries.
Citing the warranty as a significant selling point, Haller recommended accepting the Mike Goodman bid as opposed to the low bidder. The other council members agreed, and the council moved to award the bid to Mike Goodman Construction.
Clerk-Treasurer Julia Keibler announced the town’s initial request for reimbursement of expenses totaling $49,176 through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act was accepted and the funds had been received. She said a second request for reimbursement in the amount of $27,520.76, would soon be submitted.
Loop agreed to sign the request on behalf of the town.
Keibler also distributed a schedule of regular council meetings for 2021 and confirmed each date was cleared for the meetings to be conducted at the Georgetown Optimist Club. The town’s board of zoning appeals and plan commission meetings, which generally have lower attendance, will continue to be at the town hall, unless something changes related to coronavirus protocols in 2021, Keibler said.
The council also discussed the town’s 2021 salary ordinance. Loop said they remain unsure how 2021 tax revenue will look. However, he proposed the salary increase for town employees for 2021 be 2%.
“It’s not a lot, but I don’t want it to be zero,” Loop added.
The council agreed, and Keibler indicated she would draft the 2021 salary ordinance to include a 2% increase for the council to consider at its December meeting.
Woosley also gave updates on several town projects involving drainage work and sidewalk improvements at Estate Circle, S.R. 64 and Catalpa Ridge. He also provided an update on improvements underway at the town park basketball courts, which he said were progressing.
Through work on the basketball court, Woosley said it was determined an overhead utility line should be buried. Duke Energy agreed to bury the line, with the town installing the conduit, Woosley added.
Based on Woosley’s recommendation, the council voted to enter into an agreement with Duke to allow the line to be buried and allowed $2,500 to cover costs. The approval also included an easement agreement. Woosley said this situation is one which may be encountered more often in the future.
“We may look at slowly getting everything underground,” he said.
Parking lot improvements at the old town hall are being developed, and Woosley shared preliminary drawings with the council. In addition, Woosley said an application would be submitted to the Indiana Department of Transportation to install a crosswalk with a flashing yellow signal on S.R. 64 between the old and new town hall properties. The crosswalk will be button-activated.
The council voted to allow Woosley and Keibler to sign the application to INDOT for the crosswalk.
“It will be a much-improved situation,” Woosley said.
The council also addressed questions concerning a property it owns at the corner of S.R. 64 and Kepley Road (9000 S.R. 64). Adjoining property owners have approached the town about the possibility of purchasing it, Loop said.
Town attorney Kristi Fox said the property could be sold at public auction, following two appraisals.
Should it choose, the town could also set a minimum price and Loop suggested, at minimum, the town should aim to recoup the costs of the appraisals. Loop also said he felt it necessary to point out to the interested neighbors that, if the property goes to auction, its price could be bid up significantly and it could also be bought by someone besides them.
The council agreed to proceed with ordering the two appraisals with hopes they would be completed for review at its next meeting, scheduled for Dec. 21 at 6:30 p.m.
In other business, the council:
Approved the employee holiday schedule for 2021.
Voted to allow an additional appropriation of $2,504.23 for the town’s recently-purchased police vehicle. The additional funds over the vehicle’s allotted amount were necessary to complete installation of a radar unit.
Received an update from Fox regarding the ongoing Lakeland Estates situation before the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission. Fox said there had not been a decision issued on the case, but the town will eventually need to transfer those customers onto its sewer system. The only remaining factor would be to determine a date. Fox added the town should be able to proceed and begin accepting bids for work on the project in January.
Learned the Floyd County Assessor’s Office is aware of annexation documentation issues found to exist on the town’s west side. Research determined the properties in question were annexed in 1995 but not recorded until 2004. It is believed a public hearing will be necessary to correct the zoning map, and the issue should be resolved by January.
Heard from Loop that there are some proposals for the old town hall site and it is being researched to determine if a public hearing is necessary for each. Loop said the redevelopment commission would have a new plan to discuss at the December meeting and would also present it to the plan commission at its meeting on Dec. 9.
Repealed the town’s ordinance setting forth an automatic 2% increase on capacity fees, enacted in 2018 but since found to be unenforceable. Additional readings of the ordinance to repeal were conducted and successfully passed. If the town wishes to increase the fee in the future, a public hearing is necessary.
Agreed to hire current town employee Jessica Alexander to serve as secretary of the redevelopment commission at a salary of $50 per meeting. Alexander will attend meetings, take notes and record and publish minutes.
Discussed tap fees for apartment buildings and multi-family dwellings and voted to allow Woosley and Fox to begin looking at necessary steps, including commission of a rate study.