By GARY POPP
Clarksville Town Council members met Monday night, and the primary business was the reissuing of contracts to prepare the town for the upcoming year.
Council members unanimously passed motions to re-sign contracts with its storm water management consulting firm, town attorneys and petroleum supplier.
The council accepted a bid from Jacobi Oil Service Inc., the only company to enter a bid, to continue supplying the municipality with its gasoline needs. Jacobi Oil has provided fuel services to the town since 2006 and will continue to do so throughout 2013.
The bid was accepted at a rate of 8 cents over cost per gallon. The cost is based on various factors, town attorney Chris Sturgeon said. Council members could not provide an anticipated value of the cost, saying only it can change from day to day.
The petroleum supplier provides and transports fuel to the town’s pump stations located at the police and street departments headquarters.
Council members also accepted a $28,654 bid to upgrade the computer systems for the Building and Planning and Zoning departments.
“It was an important upgrade,” council member John Gilkey said. “The equipment that they have right now is not capable of supporting the job that we need that system to do.”
Gilkey said the town will be taking on a larger load with an implementation of Geographic Information System software, and that will require a more robust computer system than what is being used.
Council member Bob Popp said while the accepted bid, provided by Infinite Solutions, was the highest bid, it fit the specific needs of the town.
“If you are not going to accept the low bid, you have to state why you are not accepting it,” Popp said. “These other two [bids] just did not meet what we need to do the job in the planning department.”
He said that it was important to make sure that all council members signed off on the bid prior to the vote during the council meeting because of the difference in the costs.
“You just have to make that call of what will do the job, and I don’t think there is a comparison between the other two,” Popp said.
Town attorneys Sturgeon and Rebecca Lockard will both continue to represent the town in 2013, following a vote by council members.
“If you are satisfied and you think that the hourly rate is correct, you go with it,” Popp said of the town retaining the legal services of the current attorneys. “Of course, it is difficult to find attorneys that have the expertise in town or city government. They [Lockard and Sturgeon] have gained so much [experience] and are such a big help to the town, there was really no question what was going to happen.”
Surgeon said he and Lockard are each paid $150 an hour for their services, a rate that has been consistent for the past four years.
Surgeon could not provide a estimate, at the time, of how many hours the attorneys logged in 2012.
After a brief presentation by a representative Stantec, a firm that offers a wide array of consulting services to municipalities, council members voted to continue the town’s contract that it has held with the company for many years.
“We are members of the stormwater advisory committee, which is Clarksville, Jeffersonville, New Albany, Sellersburg, Oak Park, Floyd County and Madison, Ind.,” said the town’s engineer Tom Clevidence. “Each of us has a contract with Stantec, and we share in all the information, which help us get the most bang for the buck.”
Clevidence said laws change so rapidly, it is a clear choice for the town to receive outside services to keep its stormwater services operating smoothly.
He said the town paid about $9,900 to keep its contract with Stantec in 2012.
Clevidence said it is worth the money hire Stantec to make sure the town remains in accordance with federal regulations and other mandates.
Council members also unanimously passed a new rate for the temporary street department employees. The previous hourly rate fluctuated between $8.50 and $9, said Town Board President Bob Polston. The new rate is set at $8.50.
Clarksville Town Council is scheduled to meet again at 7 p.m. Jan. 22 in the town’s Administration Building.