Sabatino questions contract

Pickerington City Council voted to grant the URS Corporation a $755,173 contract to manage the wastewater treatment plant expansion.

Councilman Michael Sabatino cast the only vote against the URS contract at council’s April 1 meeting.

Sabatino said that Pickerington held a meeting in September without properly notifying the press as is required by law.  In that meeting, the city staff recommended URS receive the contract.

Because the public was not notified of the meeting, Sabatino said the bidding  "should start over from scratch."

"In my mind, (the city) did not have good government in how this was handled," Sabatino said.

Councilman Brian Wisniewski said, "There’s been a lot of woulda, coulda, shoulda, but unfortunately (the contract should) go forward as is."

In the service committee meeting on March 13, Wisniewski said the timing was too late to start the process again.

Sabatino said former city manager Judy Gilleland placed the blame on W.E. Stilson Consulting Group (the city’s primary engineering company) for not notifying the public of the September meeting.

Sabatino disagreed, "It is never the engineer’s responsibility to notify the press of a meeting, it’s ultimately the city manager’s (duty). She (Gilleland) would never accept responsibility and tried to blame Stilson."

Hansley now city manager

Council approved Mayor Mitch O’Brien’s appointment of Tim Hansley as Pickerington city manager on April 1.

Hansley has served as interim city manager since Gilleland left in January.

Hansley will enter into a three year contract with a base pay of $105,000 plus benefits including use of a city vehicle or a $500 per month car allowance, and health insurance.

Road closures

Service Director Ed Drobina said Diley Road will be closed between Busey Road and Columbus Street from April 7 through May 7. Traffic will detour onto Hill Road.

Later in April, although a date has not been set, Diley Road will be closed between Long Road and State Route 256 as railroaders work on the train crossing.

Yet another closing is tentatively scheduled for May 5 through June 2, although the dates for all the closings may change due to weather. For information visit the project’s Web site at www.dileyroad.com

Other Pickerington news

•The installation of new LED traffic lights along State Route 256, and the cameras that signal their operation, has been completed. As a result, from February through March, Pickerington saved 43 percent on its electric bill, Drobina said.

•In the next few weeks, the city will finalize bid specifications for garbage collection services. The contract with Waste Management will expire on Sept. 30. The new specifications would include recycling options, Drobina said.

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