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  • Writer's pictureBill Raines


MITCHELL - DECEMBEBER 5, 2022 - The media was provided copies of a statement in regard to invoices by the National Water Services over the last two years.

Former Mayor Dan Terrell raised the questions of where the contracts was and why so much was being spent for services that the City of Mitchell could have performed themselves.

Dan Terrell addresses the Mitchell City Council last month during their meeting about National Water Services last month

Terrell asked the Mitchell City Council why there was over $483,406.51 in costs to the city over the last two years by the company. According to Terrell there was not any contracts or bid process for the amount of the work performed.

Terrell told the council members they are currently seven water and sewer employees as wells as; equipment purchased to perform the work that is being conducted by the National Water Company.

In the invoices obtained by the Lawrence County Zephyr in 2021 National Water Company billed the City of Mitchell $239,488.32 and $243,918.29 in 2022. The work included inspecting lift stations, filter replacements and work at the city pool.

Some of the work performed was approved through ARPA funds, and as well as the Mitchell Board of Works. However, no contractual agreements were found when Mitchell Clerk-Treasurer Mark Bryant looked for the invoices, contracts, or details following Terrell's request.

Newly appointed Mayor Nathan Jenkins provided the following information Monday which included the following statements.

Contract Concerns?

Yes, the City of of Mitchell had contracts with National Water Services for the invoices whether they were in writing or verbal, National Water Services was asked to do a job and the city agreed to pay.

Should these contracts been bid?

The city's answer to this is "No" these jobs when contracted did not meet the $50,000 threshold requiring a bid, although invoices came in over the threshold they were not over when contracted.

Invoice 111135 was a contract quoted at $45,543 but was invoiced at $52,172 due to a change order and unforeseen problems with old supply lines and fittings. These meters have been dead through the last several administrations, my question would be why they were not replaced years ago. This job was approved by the city council.

Why were these jobs not completed by city workers?

Hopefully, next month meeting I will have an answer for each of these inovices, but at this time I can answer that the jetting invoice in question the city's jet machine was in the shop. Until September of this year the city did not have the proper equipment to pull lift stations pumps (a backhoe and a chain is not safe per OSHA) The city does not own the equipment to televise the sewer lines as needed for the Midwest mapping project which was approved by the council.

Former Mitchell Mayor J.D. England has resigned as Mitchell Mayor to work for National Water Company.

" National Water Service has done work for Mitchell, they do a lot. They do a lot of work in communities in Indiana, and I believe 13 other states. I believe in their products and how they help other communities. And I wanted to be a part of that. I wanted to be a part of helping other communities and not just mime.," England told the Times Mail in a story following his announcement he was going to resign to work in the private sector.

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