Meeting: Jasper Board of Public Works and Safety

The Jasper Board of Public Works and Safety met Tuesday and:

• Approved a request to make improvements to part of the Dubois County Solid Waste Process Center facility property that is leased out by the city. Additions include the installation of two carport-style structures that will be used for storage, and will be funded by an Indiana Department of Environmental Management grant.

• Approved the annual Tri-County Walk to End Alzheimer’s to take place at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 3, at the Jasper Riverwalk. Organizers said about 200 people usually participate in the event.

• Approved the closures of Third Street between Newton Street and Clay Street, and Clay Street between Fourth Street and Second Street. The roads will be closed for a week beginning Monday, Jan. 27, weather permitting, for sanitary sewer work.

• Heard an update on the construction of the Thyen-Clark Cultural Center. Structural steel continues to go up, a portion of the roof is installed, brick is wrapping around the building and floor slabs are being poured. Thanks to good weather, the project is on schedule.

• Approved a motion recommending a revision to the city’s asphalt patching prices — or what the city charges contractors when they cut into streets and city crews go back in to patch them. The prices hadn’t been adjusted since 2013, and an analysis conducted by the street department showed it was time to increase them. The recommendation now goes to the Jasper Common Council.

• Approved modifying parts of the city’s engineering design standards and specifications manual. The changes were concerned with temperature and weather limitations, usable materials and more.

• Approved beginning the process of replacing the heating system at the city’s fire station. The current system is 46 years old.

• Accepted a letter of retirement from the fire department from Lt. Keith Schnell. He served on the department for 21 years. Fire Chief Kenny Hochgesang and the board thanked him for his years in the department. The board also approved beginning the process of hiring four or five new volunteer firefighters.

• Approved two handbook policies for the Jasper Police Department. The first is in regard to certified officers joining the department, and the second sets rules and regulations for the city’s new body camera system.

• Approved junking two police department desktop computers and three laptop computers. The devices are either obsolete or not functioning, said Police Chief Nathan Schmitt.

• Approved purchasing eight new desktop computers for the police department, upgrading the operating systems of two computers to Windows 10 and bringing a laptop docking station to the department. The total cost is $9,714.70.

• Approved a conflict of interest disclosure statement from board member Nancy Eckerle, who is also the executive director of the Jasper Chamber of Commerce. Eckerle has a relative who works at Baker Tilly Virchow Krause LLP — a group that does business with the city.

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