Starke County Highway Superintendent Rik Ritzler can use funds in his budget to hire up to three part-time seasonal employees to keep up with right-of-way mowing. They will only work as needed and will not exceed the 130 hours per month limit the county has placed on part-time help in order to comply with the federal Affordable Care Act. The council also granted final approval to purchase of three additional trucks for the county highway department based on Ritzler’s recommendations. He presented detailed quotes from four vendors for five different chassis as well as two bed and body prices. Former county highway employee Richard Budka questioned the process, specifically the legality of obtaining quotes instead of sealed bids for the work. After the meeting county attorney Marty Lucas explained that sealed bids are only necessary for public infrastructure projects such as roads and other types of construction. He said in the case of vehicle purchases, quotes are standard as long as each vendor is given the same set of specifications on which to base his price. Copies of the quotes are available for review at the auditor’s office during business hours.
Written by Mary Perren
WKVI News Director Mary Perren is glad to be back home in northern Indiana and on the radio. She’s a North Judson native with more than 20 years of news experience. She’s worked in print and radio news in Indianapolis, Hopkinsville, Ky., Nashville, Tenn. and most recently in Winamac before taking over as news director for Kankakee Valley Broadcasting in February of 2013. Her work has been honored by the Associated Press, StateNets News Association, Curb Foundation, Hoosier State Press Association and IBA. When she’s not sitting in the anchor chair or chasing down news, Mary enjoys shopping for antiques, attending concerts and taking long walks and rides in her vintage Saab convertible, weather permitting. She’s also a hopelessly devoted Chicago Cubs fanatic who still cringes at the mention of Steve Garvey and Josh Beckett and maintains it wasn’t Steve Bartman’s fault.