PORTAGE | The Utility Services Board on Wednesday approved a contract to repave and complete drainage work on Central Avenue between Hamstrom and McCool roads.
Rieth-Riley Construction of Gary was the lowest bidder at $479,836. The only other bid was from Walsh & Kelly of Griffith for $565,084.
"Our objective is to move very quickly," said City Engineer John Hannon, adding "we hope to get the paving done before the school buses roll."
The project will include grinding present pavement from the stretch of roadway and repaving. It will also include some drainage work, including replacing a storm sewer along McCool Road, some drainage work near the Indiana Toll Road overpass and some sidewalk and curb repair.
Hannon said the city still has a federal grant in the works that would reconstruct a portion of Central Avenue, but it could take five to 10 years before that work can be done.
In other business, the board approved terminating an employee in the field division. That follows the resignation of two other employees in the department.
The board also approved reassigning an employee to a field operator position.
Pay increases of $5,000 for the pretreatment field coordinator and plant operations coordinator also were approved.
Board Attorney Katrina Spence said the changes are due to the resignations, termination and reassignment of employees, which has caused a realignment of duties of some employees within the department.
"It could be temporary. We are doing it for now to make sure services continue. We technically created new positions and gave compensation for those positions," said Spence.