Bridgeview Trustee James Cecott (right) congratulates Tom Brandstedt after Novotny Engineering was hired by the village. (Photo by Steve Metsch)  

Bridgeview Trustee James Cecott (right) congratulates Tom Brandstedt after Novotny Engineering was hired by the village. (Photo by Steve Metsch)  

Bridgeview hires Novotny Engineering; finds new deal for insurance

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By Steve Metsch 

The village of Bridgeview has a new engineering firm.

At its meeting held on April 5, the village board unanimously approved hiring Novotny Engineering. Robinson Engineering formerly worked with Bridgeview.

“Our specialty is municipal engineering. That’s all we focus on,” said Tom Brandstedt, vice president of Novotny. “The mayor reached out to us.”

Novotny will be assigned projects by the village. Street resurfacing is one such example.

“The mayor will give me locations, saying we want to improve these streets. We’ll go out, do an assessment, come up with a design, give them a cost estimate for the project, see if it fits in the budget.

“Then, we sometimes modify that, it goes out for public bid, award to the lowest bidder and we manage the construction,” Brandstedt said as he explained the process.

Bids, he noted, can sometimes be lower or higher than expected, depending on the time of year or whether the company really wants the job.

Those who don’t want the work may bid higher than expected. Lower bids may come be from companies seeking more work.

“I’ve been with Novotny 26 years, so it’s been my one and only job out of college. I interned with them for two summers. It’s been a great company,” Brandstedt, 49, said of the Willowbrook-based engineering company.

During the board meeting, village Trustee James Cecott, who oversees public works, said he was impressed by Novotny Engineering.

“I looked over the brochure that they sent. They look like a very reputable firm with a lot to offer,” Cecott said.

Change was in the air during other business, as the board approved changing its healthcare provider at a considerable savings.

The village had been with Blue Cross Blue Shield, but is now working with United Health Care.

Trustee Michael Pticek said Blue Cross proposed a 20 percent increase in health insurance costs. Thinking that was too high, the insurance committee sought options and it found one.

Signing with United represents a 12 percent reduction in costs “with the guarantee that next year won’t go up by more than 9 percent, if that,” Cecott told the board.

“That’s the thing with insurance. They’ll come in high,” Trustee Claudette Struzik said.

“Twelve percent over 20? That’s better. We’ve had United Health Care before. I think in every community, business, they go from one insurance (company) to another,” she said.

In a letter to the trustees, Director of Human Resources Ken Pannaralla Jr., wrote that the “employee health insurance committee thought that it would be most beneficial for both the village and our employees to select United Health Care.”

Benefits are comparable to what Blue Cross offered “and at no increase in insurance premium for employees.”

The board also approve an agreement that will disconnect a small portion of land south of 83rd Street between Sayre and Oak Park avenues.

The land, most of which is vacant ComEd right-of-way, will transfer from Bridgeview to Burbank, Landek said. Three houses that had been in Bridgeview will now be part of Burbank, Landek said.

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