City Hall getting new safety measures

By Joseph Slacian

Wabash City Hall will have new safety measures installed, largely due to the insistence of the city’s insurance company.

A partial wall cordoning off the various offices from the public will be installed by Mike Paul Construction. The Wabash Board of Public Works and Safety approved the work, expected to cost $5,800, when it met on Thursday, March 7.

The wall will go from the corners of the reception desk to the wall separating the clerk-treasurer’s office from the public area, and to the wall of the building commissioner’s office.

Receptionist Maria Smyth will have a buzzer at her desk, enabling her to open the door to let the individuals go to whichever office they need to go to.

The doors in the new walls will be the half-doors that are now at the clerk-treasurer’s office. Those existing doors will be replaced by full doors.

The plan was presented to the board by Building Commissioner James Straws, who said it was a project dating back to before he took office.

“I think sometime in December of last year our insurance carrier came through and made some recommendations to City Hall to make the front lobby secure so people just can walk in and walk to the mayor’s office or into the clerk’s office,” he said. “It is for limiting access so people just can’t come in and walk through the door. Maria always greets people here, but if they don’t want to listen to Maria they can just walk straight through to the mayor’s office or the clerk-treasurer’s office.
“It was the determination of the insurance company that we do something to secure staff for the safety of the staff here.”

Straws later told the board that if the recommendation isn’t followed, the insurance company has two options: it can increase the city’s insurance premiums, or it could drop the city’s coverage all together.

In addition to the security work, Paul will repair some windows in City Hall that have air leaks on them. He will properly seal the windows as part of the $5,800 bid.

In another safety-related matter, the board tabled a request from Straws, again coming from the insurance company, to install fire alarms in City Hall.

“It was their recommendation that we put a fire alarm and smoke detectors in the building,” he said.

Koorsen Fire & Security submitted a bid of $28,000 to install the alarm and detectors on all three floors of City Hall.

The board tabled action on the matter, and ordered Straws to receive at least two more bids for the work.

In another matter, the board learned that the city’s construction design release filed with the State of Indiana had lapsed. The release is good for one year, Straws told the board.

“We asked for an extension, and the state granted the extension,” he said. “We just need to come up with the $50 fee.”
The board approved paying for the extension.

The board also learned that the construction design release for work on the rear of the Woman’s Clubhouse also expired.

Straws said sought an extension on that project; however, the release had lapsed for too long of a period.

An architect firm will now resubmit the work to the state and, along with it, the proper filing fees.

The project’s previous architect suffered a debilitating stroke, leaving him no longer able to perform the work, Mayor Scott Long noted.

In a final matter, the board accepted the resignation of Probationary Firefighter Spencer Miller effected March 4.

Posted on 2019 Mar 12