SCHERERVILLE | There was some confusion along the way, but the beer garden contract for the Celebrate Schererville festival has been awarded to the Schererville firefighters union.
The town received bids from Schererville Professional Firefighters Local 4279 and Spike's Lakeside Inn. Earlier this month, the Park Board decided to award the contract to the Lakeside Inn with the condition that David Jaroszewski, the owner of the business, would clarify the figures he submitted.
Town Manager Bob Volkmann said Jaroszewski's bid first appeared as if it would pay the town a flat fee of $7,500 and 36 percent of the gross sales from the beer garden. The firefighter union bid pays a flat fee of $6,000 and 20 percent of the gross sales.
After town leaders contacted Jaroszewski about the matter, he indicated his bid would have paid the flat fee or the percentage of the gross sales but not both of them.
With the firefighter union submitting a correct and better bid, it received the contract for the festival in late June.
"It was confusing to everybody," Volkmann said of the situation.
Jaroszewski said he has no hard feelings toward the firefighters, town or Park Board following the situation.
He said the firefighters submitted a better bid and they deserve the contract.
"That's the reason bids are out there," Jaroszewski said.
Eric Newell, president of the Professional Firefighters Local 4279, said the town notified him last week that the firefighters received the contract. The union has operated the beer garden for several years. Funds they generate through the event are donated to charities.
Last year, the beer garden contract also switched hands between the Lakeside Inn and the firefighters.
The Park Board at that time awarded a contract to the Lakeside Inn over the union, but it later rescinded the contract and accepted new bids after the union said it was at a disadvantage during the bidding process.
The second round of bids submitted last year by the Lakeside Inn and the union were identical, and the firefighters later received that contract.