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Gary airport, city and county team up on new bridge plan

Updated: May 1, 2013 2:03PM



GARY — The Board of Public Works and Safety on Wednesday approved a memorandum of agreement that will split the responsibilities of a new bridge bordering the Gary/Chicago International Airport between the airport authority, the city of Gary and Lake County.

The agreement gives the city the authority, at its own cost, to build a bridge on Industrial Highway over the CSX and EJ&E rail line. Afterward, Lake County will be responsible for maintaining the bridge structure, while Gary will be on the hook for lights, surfacing and maintenance, city attorney and board of works president Niquelle Allen said.

Interim airport director Steve Landry could not be reached for details on costs or time frames for the bridge’s construction.

Other business ...

The board also did some housekeeping with the federal government, signing an interagency agreement positioning the law department as the supervisory body over Gary’s code enforcement operations.

Paid for with federal Community Development Block Grants, code enforcement’s $200,000 in wages and overhead will be overseen by the law department, Allen said.

Last year, Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson moved code enforcement under the law department’s purview, but the federal government required the agreement.

The board also approved extending a contract between the Gary Fire Department and AccuMed, a medical billing company. Through 2016, AccuMed will process invoices for emergency calls to the fire department in exchange for 7.5 percent of money collected for the services.

When residents call for ambulances or EMTs, they pay $450 per call plus $10 per mile for basic life support services and $575 per call and $10 per mile for advanced services.

The board also approved a contract paying Chauncre Sprouse up to $16,250 to serve as a project and outreach coordinator for a federal program under the Department of Environmental Affairs and Green Urbanism. The department can renew Sprouse’s contract later with a $25,000 cap.

The board also blessed a contract between that department and the A-5 Group, a technical consulting firm.



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