The Washington Times-Herald

December 11, 2012

Council redistricting on hold until 2013

By Andrea McCann
Washington Times Herald

WASHINGTON — At its last meeting of 2012, the Washington City Council approved several transfer resolutions and tabled a redistricting discussion until after the first of the year.

According to Mayor Joe Wellman, the new district boundaries the council recently discussed have created some worries in the Daviess County Clerk’s Office. He said there may be other options, and the councilmen agreed it would be best to coordinate with county officials before moving forward with a plan.

“We do have the luxury of a year without an election,” said city attorney Tim Dant. “The county clerk is concerned about Precinct 12 being split three ways. It makes it complicated to prepare ballots.”

He said the county is mandated to establish precincts by number of registered voters, with no more than 1,200 per precinct. The city, however, is mandated to structure districts by population.

Transfer resolutions were approved for several departments to get them through the end of the year. They included:

* $180 from other services and charges to machinery and equipment for the General IT Fund to help cover the department’s share of a new server;

* $1,000 from office supplies to machinery and equipment in the Mayor’s General Fund for an updated computer and desk chair for his office assistant;

* In the Parks and Recreation Fund, $3,000 from communication and transportation to improvements other than buildings, $500 from printing and advertising to improvements other than buildings, $500 from repairs and maintenance to operating supplies, $500 from rental to operating supplies, and $1,000 from other services and charges to operating supplies for work on a sidewalk, the Community Building floors, new tires and replacement Christmas light bulbs;

* $2,000 from utilities to machinery and equipment in the Swimming Pool Fund for a new refrigerator, freezer and storage cabinets for the concession stand;

* $2,500 from repairs and maintenance to machinery and equipment for the Police Department to cover unbudgeted equipment for new cars;

* In the EDIT Fund, $8,400 from improvements other than buildings to professional services for the final accountant invoices from the annexation;

* In the Clerk/Treasurer’s Fund, $800 from office supplies to machinery and equipment and $1,100 from other services and charges to machinery and equipment for upgraded computer equipment; and

* $1,100 from utilities to machinery and equipment in the Animal Control Fund for computer upgrades.

In other business, the council had the final reading of an ordinance rezoning land on Troy Road near the intersection with the U.S. 50 bypass, which they passed unanimously; reappointed Ray McAtee and Tom Tucker to the Redevelopment Commission for 2013; heard from Wellman that a meeting about the Wastewater Department finances was very productive and he’ll be suggesting resolutions for some particular issues after the first of the year; also heard from the mayor that there will be a meeting next week with all parties involved in the Neighborhood Stabilization Project to determine exactly what the city’s remaining obligations are for the project; and heard from Parks Superintendent Mike McLemore that Christmas in the Park will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday and Dec. 20, with Santa, carolers, train rides and refreshments.

Prior to the meeting’s start, Jenny Dearwester, of Southern Indiana Development Commission, conducted a public hearing to close out the Owner Occupied Housing Rehabilitation grant project. She said four contractors from Daviess and Martin counties completed work such as roofing, window replacement, plumbing and electrical on 29 homes in a targeted area. Dearwester said more than $594,000 went into the homes, which were inspected on three different occasions to assure quality work.

“All in all, I think it went pretty well,” she said.

Dearwester said the grant will be offered next year, but she expects less money to be available.

The Board of Public Works and Safety met following the council meeting. The board voted to renew contracts with Quest Liner Inc., which cleans tanks at GPC and brings the waste water to the city for treatment; with H.J. Umbaugh & Associates for arbitrage and rebate services on bond issues; and with Liquid Engineering Corp. for inspection and repair of the three water towers.

Water Superintendent Charlie Kane said the work was supposed to be done in the spring, but there was an opening last week so it was completed ahead of schedule. He’s awaiting a final report.

The board had further discussion on a bid opened at its last meeting. The original bid request was for a variety of supplies, and Jones and Sons Inc. was the only respondent, bidding on crushed stone or gravel, fill sand and concrete. At the last meeting, the board had voted to rebid the supplies to see if more companies would respond. However, they decided Monday night to award Jones and Sons the bid they submitted and to allow department heads the discretion to find the best prices for other supplies.

“The things that come up week to week, day to day, there’s no reason the department heads can’t shop for the best deal,” Dant said.

The board will meet one more time this year, at 9:30 a.m., Dec. 21, in the mayor’s office, to approve claims. The next city council meeting will be at 6:30 p.m., Jan. 14, 2013, in council chambers.