Contractors hired to make repairs on 11 homes


HUNTINGBURG — Work on 11 of the 14 houses in the city’s Owner-Occupied Housing Rehabilitation Program will start soon, now that contractors have been selected.

The other three houses’ repairs will be rebid.

At its meeting Tuesday night, the Huntingburg Common Council approved hiring Garners Construction of Anderson to make repairs on 10 houses, and hired Kenneth Mendenhall of Bloomfield to repair one house.

“Bids for three of the houses were not acceptable,” said Jenny Dearwester of the Southern Indiana Development Commission.

The only bid that came in for two homes did not cover all the repairs to be done to the homes, she explained. The bid total for the third home did not satisfy specifications because the cost was more than what was allowed for the home.

Huntingburg was awarded a $350,000 grant from the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority in February 2019 to make repairs on 14 homes; the city appropriated an additional $39,000 for the repairs. The $389,000 total means that up to $21,786 can be spent for repairs on each house, though some houses may not need as much.

For the 11 houses that now have a contractor, “We are going to start working with contractors tomorrow,” Dearwester said, “and have homeowners sign their contracts by Thursday.”

Houses must be done by mid-August according to the grant stipulations. Garners said the work will be done for the 10 houses in that timeframe, Dearwester said.

Bids for the three houses will be collected in the next two months. Contractors will be sought from a bigger area to get more bids, Dearwester said. The repairs will also have to be completed by mid-August, she said.

The goal of the Owner-Occupied Rehabilitation Program is to help homeowners by providing financial assistance to make needed repairs to their homes. Huntingburg’s program targeted low-income households. Repairs that qualify are ones needed for health and safety reasons, like electrical, roofing, siding and heating/ventilation/air conditioning work; outdoor ramps and accessible bathrooms have also been installed through the program.

The council also:

• Heard that 384,698,930 gallons of water was produced in 2019 and 96.6% of that was sold. Of the remaining 3.4% not sold, 1,990,000 gallons were lost due to leaks and 4,400,000 gallons were lost during hydrant flushing. The remaining 1.94% of the total was unmetered and considered a loss. The typical loss for a water utility is about 15%, Water Superintendent Gary Meyerholtz, said. “So, we’re doing good,” he said.

• Agreed to apply for two alcohol beverage permits, one for the League Stadium area and one for the Market Street Park area. The annual fee for each permit is $750. It will take about three months before the permits can be approved by the county alcohol beverage commission and the process will include public hearings, City Attorney Phil Schneider said.

• Approved change orders totaling $98,000 for added work and materials, like asphalt and wiring, needed to complete the Fourth Street redesign. Of that, $20,500 used for utility relocations will be reimbursed by the utilities.

• Approved the $42,920 bid from Eck Mundy for two new servers and their installation. One server is for City Hall offices and the other is for the utility office. The capacity of each server is big enough to back up the other server, said Rob Mendel, the city’s geographic information system/information technology coordinator.

• Extended the city’s power supply contract with the Indiana Municipal Power Agency to end in 2050 and extended the notice needed to cancel the contract to 30 years. The council also approved paying its annual IMPA dues, which totaled $9,077.

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