Merrillville councilman wants utility safety study
By Karen Caffarini Post-Tribune correspondent August 15, 2013 9:32PM
Updated: September 17, 2013 8:19AM
MERRILLVILLE — Town Councilman Donald Spann, D-1st, wants to implement an audit of the stormwater utility that would include use of unsafe condition reports such as those used in steel mills.
“The mills use the data to keep themselves from tripping over the same problems,” Spann said.
He said the reports prevent fatalities.
Spann said he also wants to use the data to see what’s being spent in each ward.
Town Manager and Director of Operations Bruce Spires said Public Works doesn’t have these reports, and other council members said they believed they were unnecessary.
“You’re talking apples and oranges. What happens in the mill has nothing to do with how we run this town,” said Councilman Richard Hardaway, D-2nd, who like Spann worked in the steel mills.
Councilman Shawn Pettit, D-6th, said if an accident occurs on town property it is a workers compensation issue.
“In the mills, people work in contained buildings, Our guys shouldn’t be on private property,” Pettit said.
Spann said there should at least be a process in place.
The council learned one summer helper needed stitches.
In other matters, 21-year-old Merrillville resident DeVante Mosby presented the council with two drawings he had done, one of the council chambers and one of the municipal building.
Mosby, who is autistic, said it took him about a week to do the drawings.
The council, in turn, donated $100 to the artist and Council President Carol Miano, D-3rd, said the artwork would be hung on the back wall of the chamber.
The council also donated $250 to a 5K Run for Hoosier Burn Camp being organized by a Merrillville firefighter and scheduled to take place at 10 a.m. Sept. 28 by Pierce Middle School.