News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Top Story 4

March 11, 2010

City Council passes ‘responsible bidder’ ordinance

Hotly-contested measure approved by 5-4 vote

TERRE HAUTE — The Terre Haute City Council voted narrowly Thursday night in favor of an ordinance imposing new standards on contractors seeking city construction projects.

In a 5-4 vote, the council approved General Ordinance 2, 2010, better known as the “responsible bidder” ordinance. Supporters of the ordinance, mostly organized labor, said the ordinance will prevent low-quality contractors from winning city contracts.

“I’m very happy,” said Todd Thacker, business manager and financial secretary of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 725. “Five people [on the council] understood that when we raise the tide, we raise all boats.”

Voting in favor of the ordinance, which received some last-minute revisions Thursday, were councilmen Jim Chalos, D-at large, Norm Loudermilk, D-3rd, John Mullican, D-6th, Todd Nation, D-4th, and Turk Roman, D-2nd.

Opposing the ordinance were councilmen George Azar, D-at large, Rich Dunkin, D-1st, Don Morris, D-at large and Neil Garrison, D-5th.

Approximately 135 people – nearly all supporters of the ordinance – crowded into the council chamber for Thursday night’s meeting. Statements in favor of the ordinance, which applies to city contracts of more than $150,000, were often followed by enthusiastic applause.

David Wulf, a volunteer representative of the Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce, spoke to the council in opposition to the ordinance prior to the vote.

The key sticking point was a paragraph in the ordinance that would require any apprentices on a city construction job to be certified through the U.S. Department of Labor.

Wulf stated that this requirement would effectively limit city contracts to contractors using union labor. As a result, it will reduce the number of bidders and likely raise the city’s construction costs, he said.

Supporters of the ordinance, however, disagreed, saying the ordinance will require better-quality work and provide a better value for taxpayers.

“The responsible bidder ordinance is going to benefit the taxpayer,” said Tom Szymanski, business representative of the IBEW Local 725. Supporters of the ordinance also said it will prevent contractors who violate state labor laws from winning local contracts.

“This ordinance will prohibit contractors from paying illegal aliens with our tax dollars,” said Ed Ping, a member of the Vigo County Council, who spoke in favor of the ordinance.

n Also at Thursday night’s three-hour meeting, the council voted to give preliminary approval for tax-exempt bonds to be used to build a new Holiday Inn Express hotel near Interstate 70 and Indiana 46. The bonds, which total $3.5 million, were made available to Indiana counties through the 2009 federal stimulus bill. Final approval of use of the bonds for the project will come before the council next month.

The bonds, which are known as economic recovery zone bonds, are not backed by tax dollars, but do allow borrowers to save 1 to 2 percent in interest payments.

Arthur Foulkes can be reached at (812) 231-4232 or arthur.foulkes@tribstar.com.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Top Story 4
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails
NDN Video
LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Scarlett Johansson Set To Marry In August New Star Wars Episode XII X-Wing Revealed Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB'
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity