$443,000 OK'd to start EOC project

Tuesday, June 19, 2007
County 911 antenna on top of Putnam County Courthouse.

A tentative budget to start construction of the county's new Emergency Operations Center has been approved by the Putnam County Commissioners, and will advance tonight to the county council.

County 911 Director David Costin detailed the $443,000 request from the Hazardous Waste Fund, which will be reimbursed once financing for the project is secured.

Getting an early start on the project is important due to the radio tower relocation.

"Our goal here is to get the tower off the courthouse before the end of the year, and to get the building enclosed before winter," Costin said.

The radio tower is now located on the courthouse roof, and has been causing some problems for the aging building. Costin has also warned county officials that a build-up of ice on the metal structure could lead to the tower's collapse. For security reasons, he has also supported relocating the county dispatch center out of the courthouse.

Wednesday afternoon, bids will be considered for sitework on the EOC's new location, adjacent to the county highway garage west of Greencastle. Costin said the budget allows $97,000 for sitework, $50,000 for concrete walls, $50,000 for a concrete slab, $150,000 for the radio tower, $61,000 for software, $32,000 for architect fees and $3,000 for radio consultant fees.

Commissioners Kristina Warren, Jim Baird and Gene Beck heard that the county's Hazmat Committee has approved the concept of the EOC building, as has the 911 Advisory Board.

Costin also noted that requests for quotes on the radio tower will be reviewed at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 27 at the courthouse annex. He said a contract for the tower could be presented to the commissioners at their July 2 meeting, set for 6 p.m. in the annex.

The commissioners approved the use of $443,000 from the Hazardous Waste Fund, pending approval by the county council.

Meanwhile, the commissioners:

* Noted that Bridge 114 in the area of Big Four Arch has been reduced to one lane for traffic. It was closed after a portion of the deck caved in, but has been repaired and re-opened.

* Learned the financing for the Crossroads Horse Show Arena has been approved. Equipment has been moved to the site and construction is under way. Don Gedert reported that a public hearing on the bond hearing is set for Tuesday. The bond issue is estimated at $450,000-$500,000. He said the county will be asked to grant easements for road improvements and to approve tree removal. That information will be presented in two weeks.

* Learned the Bridge 10 project is on hold, but the state should be reinstating the funding for that project after discussions with the project engineer.

* Saw bids on the courthouse elevator maintenance with bids from Amco Elevator for $148 per month, Mid-America at $145 per month and Kone at $118 per month. The board agreed tentatively to stay with Amco pending review of the contract.

* Approved a year-long regional fire training grant at a cost of $120,786. It could benefit all of the 2,000 firefighters in an eight-county district.

* Reviewed a memorandum of understanding with the fire chiefs association to set up a training area on property adjacent to the police firearms training area and the county highway department. The commissioners granted permission for the use of that land, which will remain deeded to the county commissioners.

* Appointed Lora Scott to serve on the county board of zoning appeals.

* Agreed that the yardwaste site now hosted in Greencastle at Rokicki Park could move to the county highway property west of the city if a name change allows the addition of Putnam County to the title of the site. That change will be presented to the West Central Solid Waste Board at its meeting this week.

The next regular meeting of the commissioners is set for Monday, July 2 at the courthouse annex. That meeting is open to the public.

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