The Lassus Handy Dandy’s sign on South Buffalo Street displays gas prices as of Friday afternoon. Photo by David Slone, Times Union

Two Warsaw city departments will be issuing fuel tenders in hopes of getting the best possible price, but fuel prices are currently almost double what they were a year ago.

In July 2021, the Warsaw Public Works and Safety Board approved a 2022 Lassus Brothers bid to supply 87 octane unleaded gasoline and mid-grade diesel fuel for city vehicles . The fixed fuel price for 2022 was $2.576 per gallon for unleaded. Diesel fuel had to be purchased, as needed, at pump prices.

Local gasoline prices on Friday were down slightly to around $4.87 a gallon for unleaded after hitting around $5 a gallon in recent weeks.

On Friday, Warsaw Police Department Chief Scott Whitaker asked the Public Works and Security Board for permission to request sealed quotes for 2023 fuel. He said the quotes would only be for 80,000 gallons for the fuel consumption of the entire city of Warsaw in 2023. The tender must be published in the local newspaper twice.

Tenders must be received at the Clerk-Treasurer’s office no later than 10:30 a.m. on July 15 or delivered in person at the 10:30 a.m. Board meeting. The Board will open sealed tenders at this meeting and take a decision.

“We talk about it a lot, we’ve done it in the past, it’s been very successful. I think that’s even more important now that we’re looking at this, given where we’re at with the fuel,” Mayor Joe Thallemer said.

Whitaker said it’s very difficult to know when is the right time to pursue fuel quotes. In the past, only Lassus Brothers have participated in the auction, but bidders will show up that morning “with their price in hand”.

The Board approved that Whitaker continue fuel pricing for 2023.

Streets Department Superintendent Dustin Dillon requested approval to solicit updated offers for on-road diesel, off-road diesel and non-ethanol gasoline for the remainder of 2022.

“It also allows us, if we get an offer, to extend the contract as well,” he said. “We’ve done this many times in the past.”

He said it would be for about 22,500 gallons of diesel fuel; 7,000 gallons of off-road diesel; and 1,400 gallons of gasoline without ethanol.

The Board approved for Dillon to solicit bids for the fuel.

In other cases, the working committee approved:

• The contract with ESL-Spectrum for $390,364 to replace the 53 downtown decorative lights and five spares of each of the three light variants, as requested by Dillon.

Dillon said the price is a substantial discount of more than 25%. Funds will come from American Rescue Plan Act funds.

The Warsaw Common Council approved the use of ARPA funds at its last meeting.

Some of the original lights were installed in 1998 and others around 2004.

• The inter-local cooperation agreement between the city and the Tippecanoe and Chapman Regional Sewer District, as requested by Superintendent of Utilities Brian Davison.

The agreement allows the City to receive and process TCRSD waste.

“It’s very similar to agreements we have with other contract customers,” he said.

As the city of Warsaw is the recipient of the district’s effluent, Davison sits on the board of the TCRSD.

As for timing, Davison said he thinks they went to bid this week and the district hopes to issue notice to proceed around October and then there will be a 24-month completion for the sewer district.

“October 2024 is the expected completion date,” Davison said.

• The awarding of the reconstruction of Lindberg Drive at Hodges Addition, Phase 2, to G & G Hauling & Excavating for $1,008,964, as requested by Dillon.

Both offers opened on June 17. The other offer was $1,200,159.84 from Phend & Brown.

The working committee will review and vote on the contract with G&G at its July 15 meeting.

A state grant for community crossings will pay $443,658 of the costs, with the other roughly 50% coming from wheel tax, motor vehicle highway and cumulative capital development funds.

• Pay claim #7 of $22,500 to HRP Construction Inc. for McKinley storm sewer upgrades.

“It was, basically, the restoration of the site there. This project is almost 100% complete. There’s going to be a final change order and a final payment, basically,” Davison said. “But other than that, this should be the penultimate paid app for this project.”

The storm sewer improvement project is underway where the Town of Winona Lake will soon start a roundabout project at the intersection of Argonne Road, Winona Avenue, Kings Highway and Ave. Park.

• Acceptance of a $3,900 grant to the Warsaw Department of Parks and Recreation for its Indiana Arts Commission Summer Concert Series, as requested by Superintendent of Parks Larry Plummer. The funding is for the 2022-23 grant cycle.

Plummer said that’s about $150 less than last year, but there are more projects for the Indiana Arts Commission to award grants, so the parks department was happy to receive. the grant of $3,900. It will cover the cost of two to three concerts in the Summer Concert Series.

With additional support from the Kosciusko County Community Foundation and the Department of Parks budget, the Summer Concert Series includes nine Friday night concerts.

• Report on new hires/payroll changes provided by Director of Human Resources, Denny Harlan.

Among the changes was a rank promotion for WPD officer Wayne Wilkie to lieutenant. His bi-weekly salary will be $3,298.70.