Georgetown awards contract to brighten ballpark
By Mike Arnold, Contributing Writer
The Georgetown Town Council voted to award Rushville firm Custer Electric the contract for its ballpark lighting project during its regular council meeting, which took place remotely via the Zoom platform on Jan. 18.
During its December meeting, town engineer Bob Woosley opened sealed bids from Custer Electric, Advanced Electric and Aspire Industries. Custer, which submitted a quote for $275,066, was named preliminary low bidder at that time.
Woosley said then the town had 60 days to make a decision and recommended the council take bids under advisement to allow for a complete review.
Revisiting the matter, Woosley noted the project would install new LED lights, upgrade control panels and reduce the ballpark’s poles from 10 to six. Woosley also mentioned Custer, along with the other two bidders, all included pricing from Musco Lighting, of Muscatine, Iowa, as subcontractor.
Mark Lusch, of Musco Lighting, also attended the meeting and provided information about Musco’s monitoring program and 25-year warranty. He said Musco employs a staff of 240 at its observation center where 24/7 monitoring occurs. The town would also have the ability to schedule its own monitoring intervals and check the system through smartphone, laptop or landline phone.
“You’re good to go with a lot of different options,” Lusch said.
Woosley said Custer is recognized as a leading sports lighting contractor in the region and completed work at more than 60 fields and facilities in Indiana in 2021. Lusch, based in Noblesville, also mentioned Custer’s expertise.
“This is what they do,” Woosley added. “These will be premier.”
The council, by way of a roll call vote due to the meeting’s remote setting, voted unanimously to select Custer. Work should begin in late April or early May, weather permitting.
Lusch noted the ball field would likely be closed for a short time while upgrades are underway.
In another matter, the council again discussed the possibility of adding a new snowplow vehicle to its fleet to replace an aging unit. A town maintenance employee provided a total quote for $24,708 from J. Edinger & Son, of Louisville, for a spreader, 9-1/2-foot hopper bed, plow and installation. An estimate of $67,769 was also presented from Bachman Dodge, of Louisville, for a 2022 Dodge 5500 truck. Total cost considered for truck and outfitting was $107,443.
As the council discussed options, it was also noted the quote from J. Edinger & Son, was generated in July 2021 and the cost is likely higher now due to increases in steel pricing. In addition, the truck and components must be ordered, and the complete rig likely would not be available for service until the winter of 2022-23.
Allowing a cushion for increased material prices, the council voted to move forward with the purchases, at a budget not to exceed $112,000.
Woosley also provided updates on two sewer monitoring initiatives.
The town recently entered into an agreement with TNT Technologies to install remote monitoring equipment at its 20-plus lift stations throughout the sewer service area. He said installation is nearing completion with three stations left, including Yenowine Lane, Novaparke and the industrial park near Edwardsville. He requested a change order for $19,000 to the TNT contract that would cover costs associated with completing the project, which the council approved.
“That puts everything we have on one monitoring system,” Woosley added.
Monitoring of stations where installation has been completed has begun, with staff from Aqua Utility Services involved in the process through its wastewater management agreement with the town.
Woosley said access to monitoring information needed to be considered and suggested an amendment be made to Aqua Utility Services’ contract, which runs through April 1, 2024.
The updated language includes a 15% project management fee for monitoring and maintenance at the lift stations.
The council agreed to finalize the amendment.
Georgetown Clerk-Treasurer Julia Keibler reported to the council that, going into 2022, the town carried $373,000 forward from the previous year in funds that were appropriated for approved projects but for which no invoices had been received.
Building commission clerk Jessica Alexander provided a list of items to council members prior to the meeting.
“There are a lot of projects going on,” Keibler added.
Also as part of her report, Keibler said the Indiana State Board of Accounts is requiring cities and towns to use the same numbers and descriptions for general ledgers. The goal is to simplify auditing and reporting and is thought to be a one-time change. Keibler said IT updates necessary to comply have proven difficult and requested the council consider authorizing funds to hire an IT services provider Software Solutions to assist, at a cost of $3,000.
“It’s ended being more complicated than I thought initially,” Keibler added, as the council voted to approve, with council president Chris Loop to sign the contract outside the meeting.
Police Chief Travis Speece reported Flock cameras (approved for purchase at the town’s December meeting) should be installed in March. The Indiana Dept. of Transportation is working to complete necessary permitting and will set the poles, Speece added.
Later in the meeting, a resident asked where the cameras would be placed.
Speece said they will likely be placed near the Oakes Road intersection with S.R. 64, with one for eastbound traffic and another for west-bound, which has so far been determined the most favorable location.
The resident also suggested the possibility that pictures captured by the cameras could constitute a privacy concern.
Speece explained the cameras can be filtered to look for certain vehicles, which is the main intention of their usage, to assist with locating vehicles suspected in crimes.
Loop said the cameras focus on the license plate and not the driver.
In other business, the council:
•Reappointed Loop as council president and councilman Ben Stocksdale as vice president for 2022, during its annual reorganizational activity. It also voted to retain Kristi Fox as attorney, Woosley as engineer, Speece as police chief and First Savings bank as town bank for 2022.
•Voted to keep in place, as a combined motion, the following appointments and representatives to: board of zoning appeals, regional development commission, stormwater board, safety panel, ballpark advisory committee, advisory committee to Floyd County Planning Commission, appointment to River Hills Economic Development District and Floyd County Solid Waste.
•Learned that Speece is researching a possible online auction sale for its surplus 2014 and 2010 police vehicles and two sites are being reviewed.
•Received updates from Woosley on several projects: Brookstone sewer lining, town ballpark drainage, Fitch Drive and Community Crossings matching grant paving work made possible through an award from the Indiana Department of Transportation. Woosley said a list of streets for paving has been compiled and the town’s application for the next round of possible Community Crossings grants was due Jan. 28.
•Heard from Woosley that bids will be opened at the Feb. 21 council meeting for the second phase of the Main Street sidewalk improvement project.
•Agreed to consider a possible pact with New Albany-Floyd County School Corp. to accept sludge at the town’s plant for treatment from Greenville and Floyds Knobs Elementary schools and Floyd Central High School. The sludge would be handled at a price of 5 cents per gallon. Fox will draft a contract for the service, which would be similar to the existing process for treatment of sludge the town receives from the Harrison County Regional Sewer District.
•Acknowledged, following an announcement by councilwoman Kathy Haller, that the Destination Georgetown organization received a $25,000 grant from Floyd County.