Faegre Baker Daniels hired by Gary, Indiana

The City has employed Faegre Baker Daniels in the past. Their representative Bo Kemp, Senior Director at Faegre Baker Daniels Consulting was the City’s Economic Development Director.

(Gary renews contract for economic development director http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/post-tribune/news/ct-ptb-bo-kemp-retained-st-0320-20160317-story.html)

Gary retains attorney to represent city in South Shore rail project plan

Gregory Tejeda / Post-Tribune / October 4, 2018

The Gary Redevelopment Commission gave its approval to a plan to retain an Indianapolis law firm to handle the legal interests of the city in proposed project to double-track the South Shore commuter railroad.

The commission voted without opposition to hire Faegre Baker Daniels LLP to do legal work for them. Their agreement limits the amount of compensation the firm can receive at $20,000. Any additional expenses would have to be approved by the commission’s board before they could be paid.

Commission Executive Director Joseph Van Dyk said he believes the city needs to have its own lawyer for the project, in which the Northern Indiana Commuter Transit District wants to double-track portions of the route from Gary to Michigan City.

That stretch runs through Gary along Indiana 12/20, also known locally as 4th Avenue.

Van Dyk said that both NICTD and the Indiana Department of Transportation have their own attorneys overseeing their interests for the project. “We need to have an attorney watching out for (Gary’s) legal agenda,” he said.

Resident James Nowacki said he fears the hiring of another attorney.

“Will they really be working for us, or just for INDOT,” he said. “Will there be benefits to the city, or to someone else and (Gary) will get very little in the way of results” from the commuter railroad capacity expansion project.

The double-tracking project is an effort meant to increase the number of trains that can operate daily between Chicago and South Bend, along with the speeds at which they can operate.

Currently, the South Shore commuter trains are double-tracked from Chicago through Tennessee Street in Gary. East of there, both eastbound-to-Michigan City and South Bend and westbound-to-Chicago trains run on a single track – which require trains to reduce speed and move to stop on passing sidings to allow trains headed in the opposite direction to pass.

In other business, the commission gave its approval to revoking a contract to a Gary-based firm that was to handle demolition work at sites scattered around the city.

N & T Auto Salvage had received a contract from the commission earlier this summer, but Van Dyk said the decision to rescind the deal was made after the city saw evidence that the company was not capable of fulfilling the contract.

In addition to rescinding the deal, the commission awarded a deal to Actin Contracting LLC to handle the demolition work, which Van Dyk said was the next-lowest bidder earlier in the summer.

Gregory Tejeda is a freelance reporter for the Post-Tribune.

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