Walbridge argues over pool repairs
Written by DEBBIE ROGERS Sentinel Staff Writer
Thursday, 21 June 2012 09:21
WALBRIDGE - The mayor tried to sink a bill for the village pool liner, but a majority of council agreed to float it.
At Wednesday's meeting, council voted 4-1 to pay 92 percent of a $17,134 bill from Aquatic Renovation Systems Inc. The 92 percent represents the typical 8 percent that is withheld until a project is complete.
The bill is for a liner that will be installed immediately after the village pool, Aqua Terrace, closes for the season in August.
Voting for the motion were Jan Sawaya, Sue Hart-Douglas, Fred Sloyer and Pat Fox. Nathan Eikost voted against the motion. Council President Ed Kolanko was absent.
The work and contract were initially approved in April, but Wilczynski reportedly put a stop to the project, saying the pool's walls and floor needed work before a liner could be installed.
"We do have a contract with them," Hart-Douglas said, in reintroducing the motion to pay the bill. She is chairwoman of the parks, recreation and community events committee.
Eikost objected to paying it now, saying the work was weeks away from being completed.
"What happens if this company goes out of business by then?" he said.
The company is reliable, has purchased the materials and is ready to install, Hart-Douglas said.
Solicitor Brian Ballenger said council has to also approve where the supplies will be stored and, if it was going to pay the bill, 8 percent should be withheld.
"I still think this needs to be paid. They signed a contract with us in good faith," Sawaya said. "We have stopped this project, not them."
Wilczynski vehemently objected to paying the bill.
"I think this is a huge mistake and a huge misuse of village funds," he said.
After the vote, the mayor said the action was "completely irresponsible with the village's money."
"I take that as an insult," Sloyer said.
Later in the meeting, Ballenger asked council to revisit the issue, clarifying the 92 percent and that the storage was being handled.
Sloyer volunteered to drive to Indianapolis, Ind., to confirm that the pool supplies were there.
Council did delay one other pool purchase. A resolution authorizing the purchase and installation of a stainless steel Americans with Disabilities approved stair system was referred to the buildings and lands committee for further review.
Wilczynski said the village streets crew could install a gradual, sloped cement flooring or steps for less than the $6,200 for the stainless steel stairs, also from Aquatic Renovation Systems Inc.
Also at the meeting, council:
• Voted to place out for bid these road repaving projects: Parkview Drive, East Union to East Perry streets; Perry Street, Parkview Drive and Park Lane; Harlan Drive, from circle to 209 feet west, and Clayton Street, Harlan Drive to 185 feet north.
• Heard business owners at a village-sponsored coffee earlier in the day asked council to revisit purchasing vacant buildings in town, tearing them down and making parking lots. The buildings and lands committee will discuss it. When investigated last year, the asking price was too much. "The business community feels strongly about fixing up downtown," Wilczynski said.
• Agreed to hold a special meeting on July 2 at 6:30 p.m. in place of its regular one on July 4. Wilczynski said the meeting couldn't be skipped since the 2012 budget needs reviewed in light of extra money being spent.
• Heard Guy Street resident Larry Boday ask that village crews repave alleys and install speed bumps and one-way signs. The issue is being discussed in the buildings and lands committee.
• Heard Meadow Lane resident Joann Schiavone question the "checkerboard" look of Breckman Street. Fox said the committee has discussed this and, so far, is not recommending spending the $7,000 to $10,000 to fix it.