By Dennis Glade
Washington Times Herald
The Washington City Council on Monday authorized the transfer of funds within several departmental budgets. Mayor Joe Wellman explained that by this time of year some budgets are running short while others have extra money. Funds can be transferred, then, to help the departments get through the end of the year. Transfers approved Monday were: • $176 from office supplies to machinery and equipment in the Animal Control Department to pay for a partition for the van; • $1,365 from rental to machinery and equipment for new radios to comply with state-mandated narrow banding, and $2,000 from rental to operating supplies for unforeseen tire purchases in the Garbage and Trash Department; • $2,770 from utilities to operating supplies to pay for unbudgeted concession supplies for Waterworld of Washington, which operated its own concession stand this year instead of using an outside vendor; • $58,353 from improvements other than buildings to professional services in the EDIT Fund to pay for professional services related to the annexation and ADA transition on sidewalks and crosswalks; and • $155 from professional services to office supplies for the city attorney. The council heard the final reading of the ordinance clarifying the city employee health insurance plan, and it was approved. “An Ordinance Concerning the Refunding by the City of Washington of its Waterworks Refunding Revenue Bonds of 2006 and Authorization for Bond Anticipation Notes” also was approved. The ordinance is designed to lower the rate on the 2006 bonds by refinancing so the savings can be used to fund projects that would improve water pressure and service. An ordinance was introduced to rezone land on Troy Road near the U.S. 50 Bypass intersection. The request was made to change the zoning classification from R3, multifamily, to C2, commercial, on 6.56 acres owned by Scott and Jeanette Dyer, who are in negotiations to sell the land to Custom AgriBuilders LLC. John Wade, of Custom AgriBuilders, said an office building and shop would be constructed on the property, and the shop would primarily be for vehicle storage and some light fabrication. All abutting landowners had been notified and approved the new use for the property. There was some discussion about the 1,000-foot bypass overlay zone, which requires buildings and landscaping in that zone to meet certain standards. Part of the property in question lies in the zone, but the rest does not. The ordinance will be up for adoption at the Dec. 10 council meeting. In other business: • bids were opened for supplies for all departments. There was only one valid bid, which was referred to the Board of Public Works and Safety for consideration. Later, at the board’s meeting, it was decided to re-advertise and see if more bidders would respond. • a Uniform Conflict of Interest Disclosure Statement was submitted by Councilman Eric Bassler regarding future bonds issued by the city since Bassler is a financial advisor. It was accepted. • the mayor made some announcements, including that there will be a meeting to discuss the Wastewater Department’s finances, there will be an employee safety training Dec .7, contact has been made to determine the next step in the Neighborhood Stabilization Project, and street paving has been postponed until spring because the accepted bidder has been busy on I-69. At the Board of Public Works and Safety meeting following the council meeting, Washington Fire Chief David Rhoads made his recommendation for the new rescue/pumper apparatus the department is looking to buy, and it was approved. “Everybody says this is the best-built truck out there,” Rhoads said. “Based on my research, I believe it is, too.” Rhoads said he’s done a lot of research, and the company he recommended has what he believes is the best truck for the city of Washington’s needs. The board also approved renewal of a contract with Don Gimbel and Associates for 2013. The company tracks costs for Washington Municipal Utilities so they know how to adjust their rates.