LOWELL | Councilman Edgar Corns, R-5th, will lead the town as council president in 2013.
Councilman Craig Earley, D-1st, will serve as vice president.
An apparent new majority voting bloc on the council — comprising Corns, Councilman Robert Philpot, R-2nd, and Councilman Donald Parker, D-3rd — carried the meeting Thursday.
Parker, Corns and Earley just completed their first year on the council.
Parker nominated both Corns and Earley and led the charge to switch the town engineering firm from Commonwealth Engineering to SEH of Munster.
After outgoing council President Phillip Kuiper, D-4th, questioned whether SEH could handle the wastewater treatment plant project that is underway, Parker removed the plant from SEH duties.
Corns, who was unsurprised by his rise to the president position, said the council has a lot of business ahead of it for 2013.
"We're working on the (increased production of) water. We have to look at annexation and possibly look at traffic flow with George's (Restaurant) building a banquet hall and the nursing home coming in," Corns said. "If we whip these, we'll have a lot done."
Unlike Corns, Earley was surprised by the nomination from Parker and the unanimous vote in his favor.
Like Kuiper, Earley worried about the lack of planning in switching engineering firms. He said Commonwealth is committed to a number of projects in the town, including the water production project. Some are contractual obligations.
Kuiper, who has served as president or vice-president for the past 10 years, said, "This isn't how this transition should take place." He said the abrupt switch will cost the town a lot of money it can ill afford.