The Warwick City Council met Monday night, approving several contracts but also holding several items until newly elected city councilors Vincent J. Gebhart and William Foley, as well as mayor-elect Frank Picozzi, take office in January.
Items deferred included: extending the contract for the city’s Specialist in Real Estate to Prepare and Conduct Tax Sale, approving the bid for the city’s health and dental insurance consultant, and awarding a contract for the Rescue Service Billing Administrator
Tax Collector Kyla Jones recommended extending the contract of RI Tax Titles, LLC of Lincoln, RI, the city’s Specialist in Real Estate to Prepare and Conduct Tax Sale, from Jan. 29, 2021 through Jan. 28, 2023 with an increase in spending not to exceed $250,000. Jones told the council the city has worked with the company in prior years with great success, also noting they are available throughout the year with any questions that may come up.
Councilor Ed Ladouceur suggested holding this vote until the new council members and mayor take office in January. “With the huge amount of money we are talking bout with this item and the fact that in January we have two colleagues joining us on the City Council, as well as Mayor Picozzi taking over the first of the year, I’m going to suggest we hold this until the second meeting in January so our new members have the opportunity to weigh in and especially important that the mayor has the opportunity to look at this and review it.”
Approving the bid for the city’s health and dental insurance consultant was pushed until December. Again the issue of waiting to include the new council members and mayor in this decision was addressed. Warwick’s Personnel Director Steven Rotondo and Acting Finance Director Lynne Prodger raised concerns citing this is a time-sensitive issue.
“We have a contract that’s going to expire with our health plan administrator,” Rotondo said. “Will be a very tight timeline in terms of accomplishing this before the current contract expires.”
“I do worry you’ll be cutting him (mayor-elect Picozzi) off at the knees if you extend it to the end of January,” Prodger said. “Can you extend it to the end of December so the transition team has more input?”
Because the mayor-elect won’t have any authority until after the board’s first meeting in January, Councilman Anthony Sinapi suggested moving this item to the second meeting in December and in the meantime see if the mayor-elect and his transition team is comfortable with it. “If they are comfortable with it we can approve it,” he said. “At least it gives it a chance to happen and gives us flexibility.”
Awarding a contract for the Rescue Service Billing Administrator was also deferred for the same reason. Prodger told the council she received five bids and is recommending going with Comstarr, LLC out of Rowley, MA which is the company the city currently has. She said not only were they the low bidder but she’s also had outstanding service and an outstanding experience with them. Ladouceur also suggested moving this one to the second meeting in December following Sinapi’s recommendation to give the transition team the option to review. Prodger did tell the council the contract expires on the last day of December, but that an extension would have to be approved at that meeting if no decision is made. If they are good with it, it will be moved on Dec. 21 and if not, then the City Council will vote to put it back out to bid.
Finance Committee Discussion/Approvals
During the Finance Committee meeting held prior to Monday night’s council meeting, the following contracts were approved, and later passed by the full City Council:
- A contract for the inspection of water storage tanks for $28,250 to Tank Industry Consultants of Indianapolis Indiana. The city has three water storage tanks and according to Water Division Chief Terry Dipetrillo, to be compliant with the Rhode Island Department of Public Health, external inspections need to be conducted annually and internal inspections every five years and it hasn’t been done in nine years.
- A one-time purchase of computer forensic workstations for the police department to Custom Computer Specialists, Inc. of Lincoln, RI for $12,718.68.
- A one-year contract for radar calibrations and repairs for police department equipment not to exceed $5,000 to TMDE Calibration Labs, Inc. of Richmond Maine.
- A one-year contract for structural firefighting coats and pants for the fire department not to exceed $85,000 to Fire Tech & Safety of New England, Inc. of Tyngsborough, MA.
- A one-year contract for structural firefighting helmets for the fire department to Fire Tech & Safety of New England, Inc. of Tyngsborough, MA not to exceed $7,500.
- A two-year contract for testing and repair of self-contained breathing apparatus for the fire department to Shipmans’ Fire Equipment Co., Inc. of Waterford, CT not to exceed $30,000.
- A one-year contract for the water department for large diameter clamps, saddles and couplings of $40,000 to EJ Prescott Inc. of Lincoln, RI, Superior Network of Companies of Norwich, CT, Ti-Sales Inc. of Sudbury, MA, Putnam Pipe Corp. of Hopkinton, MA, Warwick Winwater Company of Warwick, RI and John Hoadley & Sons, Inc. of Rockland, MA to handle items needed throughout the year.
- A one-year contract for IMC software support to Tritech Software Systems of Lake Mary, FL for $51,711.25
- A one-year contract for Elite Rescue software maintenance to Image Trend, Inc. of Lakeville, MN for $17,466.09
- A one-year contract for the police department for Service Investigations software to TransUnion Risk & Alternative Data Solutions, Inc. of Boca Raton, FL not to exceed $4,000.
- A one-year contract for the police department to purchase ballistic vests as needed not to exceed $50,000 from various vendors.
- A one-time purchase for the DPW to purchase lids and wheels for recycling containers for $10,250.
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