Palmyra renews contract with Schneider Geospatial
Mike Arnold, Contributing Writer
The Palmyra Town Council voted to renew its contract with Schneider Geospatial during its bi-monthly council and utility board meeting Nov. 12 at the town hall.
Palmyra has been in an agreement with Schneider for several years, and its utility department utilizes EGIS and other Schneider services and technologies for locating underground lines. The council reviewed the contract, which was noted as being similar to that it signed the prior year. Town attorney Adam Burkhardt was not present at the meeting but shared some thoughts with the council through email, which were noted. After additional discussion, the council moved forward with extending the contract for an additional year term.
In another matter, the council discussed an initiative being examined by police chief Dennis Lemmel. Lemmel is considering an arrangement whereby WeaponsPro of Salem would act as the town’s authorized purchasing agent for ammunition. Lemmel said WeaponsPro already has similar agreements with the Salem Police and Washington County Sheriff’s departments. A similar pact with Palmyra would allow the town to take advantage of lower costs for those items.
Burkhardt also reviewed the proposal and found no issues with it.
Council president Virginia (Jeannie) Kirkham said if WeaponsPro was certified as an authorized purchasing agent for the town police department, Burk-hardt had noted, it would become necessary for the town to establish an amount that would not be exceeded for those purchases. Burkhardt also indicated, through his comments to the council, a written resolution could be provided, should the council desire.
Lemmel said he generally shops around for the best deal he can find on ammunition, having in the past also purchased from Gun World in Corydon, as well as other suppliers. He added the department spends about $1,000 per year on ammunition although those costs could fluctuate as the price of ammunition has increased substantially.
Councilwoman Christall Ingle asked Lemmel if he could confirm the agreements with the other police agencies and the council would take the matter under advisement.
“I think we should validate before we make a decision,” she added.
Kirkham agreed. “We’ll take this into consideration for the next meeting,” she said.
Lemmel also reported Halloween and trick-or-treating activities in town were a success. The number of participants seemed to be down, he added.
“I don’t think we had near as many as we’ve had in the past,” Lemmel said.
It was also mentioned by Lemmel that reserve police officer Jonathan Vest tendered his resignation from the department.
During the utility board portion of the meeting, utility superintendent Stephen Schmitt provided an update on options for bringing water service to the Steve Ruoff property at the intersection of Buffalo Trace and Hancock Chapel roads. Establishing service at Ruoff’s residence would require about 500 feet of boring to install a section of four-inch pipe of the same length. Schmitt said there is no water main nearby and the line would need to be installed to support service.
Schmitt said Dan Cristiani Excavating provided an estimate of $26,000 to complete the boring work, which was much more than he anticipated.
No action was taken, as there will be additional discussion about the path forward, depending on what Ruoff chooses.
The council also approved Schmitt’s (who is contracted) invoice for services rendered between Oct. 16 and Nov. 1. In addition, Schmitt detailed some supply orders he placed, which included parts to install three water meters, two shut-off wrenches and two gate-valve wrenches. The council supported these purchases and approved the invoices.
“It’s all stuff we’re going to need,” Schmitt said. “I like to have one (wrench) on each truck.”
In other business, the council and utility board:
• Voted to approve its 2021 salary ordinances with no changes for elected officials or police chief.
• Heard from Clerk-Treasurer Debra Jones concerning possible upgrade options for the town’s time-keeping system. Ingle had several questions, and Jones agreed to research further and bring back additional information for council review.
• Agreed to pay out 64 hours of vacation time for a utility department employee who will not be able to use it all before the end of 2020.
• Discussed costs and options for hauling off of sludge from its wastewater plant. The cost would be $450 per load, and it was estimated there would be four or five loads.
The board’s next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 10, at 7 p.m. at the town hall.