Town to auction properties; ask for resolution

BREMEN — Prior to the Aug. 27 regularly-scheduled Bremen Town Council meeting, the public will have the opportunity to purchase two plots of land.
Both properties are owned by the town — the first, at the intersection of Second and Center Streets (in the light industrial area) which used to hold the Shell’s building — the second, the land that a home stood on at 316 N. Marshall Street. Both properties are fully accessible to the town’s utilities and have been stripped of structure and debris to leave the new owners with many opportunities for the lands’ use.
Those interested should contact town attorney Anthony Wagner at 574-546-2626 or 574-936-2169 to learn more.
In other business, the town is attempting to get things remedied regarding the $2.86 million wastewater facility repair, replacement and refurbishment. Not long after the plant’s rehabilitation was said to be complete, town wastewater superintendent Bill Reed found that the third and outer layer of the sealing (at the joints) of the 36-foot-in-diameter and nearly 50-foot tall bio-oxidation towers was peeling. The peeling then turned into, at present, small leaks described in size as being “pinholes,” which have made it through three layers of protection. The leaks are not large and the water coming from them is not showering or trickling, nor is the water contaminated, but are leaks nonetheless, in tanks that don’t actually hold water but which water flows through during the bio-oxidation filtering process.
This January, town representatives met with Bowen Engineering, (Indianapolis) who was contracted for the project, and their hired subcontractors to determine what could be done about the leaks. About six months later Larry Long of Larry Long & Assoc. Inc. (of Warsaw), the town’s engineer, brought to the council photos and visual examples of what the contractors had suggested could remedy the situation.
“It is Bowen’s contention, and I see no reason to disagree, that the biggest problem is at the joints around the shim plates at the bottom,” he said. Long showed the material (referred to as mountain grout) that was suggested by the contractors to be the remedy for filling the compromised areas. The product was injected into a plastic bottle with water, that was passed around the council and town employee’s desks. While in agreement, it appeared to be watertight, the replacement, not the repair was what councilmembers were looking for.
The “closing out” of a contract between the payor and the service provider is done when the person paying for the job feels it is complete and done satisfactorily and legally signs off on the contract. Council members have yet to do that with Bowen on the wastewater plant work as the leaks and other minor items were to be taken care of first and the general consensus of the town leaders is that the job was not done to their satisfaction.
“My thoughts on this are if the three or four layers were doing their job then the caulking outside wouldn’t be leaking,” said council president Heath Thornton. “…This is already leaking after a year. I’d hate to patch it and then three years down the road it’s leaking again. The one we replaced wasn’t leaking and it lasted for 30 years.”
A one-year warranty will begin once the town signs off on the entire project’s completion but at this point — it likely won’t happen any time soon. An executive session was held and a letter from the town has been sent to the contracting company explaining their position on the matter. Town representatives are awaiting a response.