Written by Liz Shepherd
WARSAW – The Zimmer Biomet Foundation has come forward as the source behind a $2.5 million donation that will be used for the Center Lake Pavilion renovation project.
The donation was first announced during the Warsaw Board of Recreational Parks meeting in April, but the name of the donor was not revealed until Friday, August 5 at the Warsaw Board of Public Works and Safety meeting.
“We have been very fortunate to work with Zimmer Biomet (Foundation) on this project, plan this project, and raise the bar for a very important part of our community,” said Warsaw Mayor Joe Thalimer. “This project would be great. It would involve a complete reconfiguration of the pavilion, an increase in its capacity, and an opening of the pavilion to the lake.”
Thalimer said the last rebuilding that took place on the pavilion was after the building was damaged by a fire in the 1990s.
Thalimer said the donation represented a “great gesture of their commitment to the city of Warsaw”.
“We are very humbled to accept this donation, to make an agreement and to thank (the Zimmer Biomet Foundation) for their support of this community,” Thalimer said.
The renovation plan was developed in collaboration with Thallemer, Warsaw Park & Recreation Supervisor Larry Plummer and the Zimmer Biomet Foundation.
“The ZB Foundation Board of Directors unanimously approved the grant to further its commitment to the local Warsaw community and the City of Warsaw, where ZB has been headquartered since 1927,” said a Zimmer Biomet press release.
“We wanted to give back to the entire community in a meaningful and long-term way,” said Adam Greiner, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at the Zimmer Biomet Foundation. “We look forward to the advancement of the pavilion and its use by the community in the future.”
The Public Works and Safety Board approved an agreement with Zimmer Biomet for the Center Lake Pavilion project during the meeting.
“They[Zimmer Biomet Foundation]could have picked a lot of opportunities within the city and they chose Center Lake Pavilion,” Plummer said. “They put this value into our community, into our park system, and we’re very grateful for that.”
Prior to the announcement of the Zimmer Biomet Foundation as a donor, the Business Council awarded the Center Lake Pavilion project to CME Corporation, Fort Wayne. During the July 15 meeting, the Board of Directors received two bids on the project and took them under advice at the time.
According to city architect Aaron Ott, there was an omission in R. Yoder Construction’s second bid, Nappanee, which led to it being disqualified as a “responsive” bid.
The contract value with CME is $2,776,000. This figure includes the acceptance of alternatives to fire protection and the existing floor leveling installation.
Ott said a contract with CME has yet to be drawn up, but he requested permission from the board to send a “notice to follow.” This will allow CME to fix prices while preparing the final contract.
The Board agreed to send a notice going forward to CME.
During the meeting, the council also opened and approved fuel price bids for 2023 for city police and street administrations. Each department received one bid.
The Warsaw Police Department has accepted an offer from Lassus Brothers Oil Inc. For $2.99 per gallon. The Warsaw Street division accepted prices from Ceres Solutions Cooperative at $3,745 per gallon for off-road diesel, $3,895 per gallon for off-road diesel, and $3.48 per gallon for ethanol-free gasoline.
WPD Captain Joel Beam also requested permission to purchase 28 FirstVu Pro High Definition body cameras with a five-year subscription plan that includes cloud storage. Contract with Digital Ally, with whom WPD has worked for over a decade.
The fee for the first year is $20,776 and then $20,496 annually for the remainder of the five-year period. Beam said about $11,200 in first-year fees are covered by a grant the WPD received earlier this year.
Dustin Dillon, Warsaw Public Works Supervisor, attended the meeting regarding change of bids for the second phase of reconstruction of the Hodges Addition. In July, the project was awarded to G&G Hauling and Excavating, Warsaw.
When the city’s contract with G&G was submitted to the Indiana Department of Transportation for a Community Crossings Grant, Dillon said, the city was notified that G&G was not a pre-qualified contractor with INDOT.
Dillon asked the board of directors to reject G&G’s offer and award the project to Phend & Brown, Milford, for $1,200,159.84. The council agreed to Dillon’s request.
In other business, the Board of Directors will:
- The closure of Buffalo Street from Center Street to Main Street was approved for the Kosciusko Kettleheads Homebrewfest on September 24. The road will be closed from 9 a.m. to midnight, with the event running from 4 to 9 p.m.
- Warsaw County Winefire has agreed to accept a grant from the Indiana Department of Homeland Security. The grant, totaling $5,360, will be used to purchase two fire window simulators for the WWFT Training Center.
- I learned the city had filled two full-time firefighting jobs. Logan Keener is a new employee and Tristan Pass, who worked part time at WWFT, is now working full time.
- I learned that the Warsaw Police Department has hired Chris Francis as a probationary patrol officer. Francis previously worked in the Kosciusko County Mayor’s Office. “He is very experienced and will bring a lot of knowledge to our police department,” said Scott Whitaker, president of the WPD.
The next board meeting is at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, August 19, at the Warsaw City Hall.