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Road projects in the works around county

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Several bridge and road projects in Putnam County have been approved for funding by the Indiana Department of Transpor-tation, but it could be years "down the road" before some of those projects get started.

County Highway Supt. Dave Sutherlin presented the list of projects to Commissioners Jim Baird, Gene Beck and Kristina Warren at their meeting Monday, noting that some of the projects will also require county funding.

The state listed the projects as:

-- On Ind. 240, improvements from 4.25 miles east of U.S. 231 to Ind. 75 at a cost of $5.04 million. The ready-for-contract date is Aug. 6, 2010 as a Major Moves project. A ready-for-contract date is at least three months prior to the bid letting.

-- On CR 100 East, replacement of Bridge 137 over Big Walnut Creek at a cost of $1.1 million. The ready-for-contract date is Dec. 12, 2007.

-- On CR 25 East, replacement of bridge 146 over Big Walnut Creek at $1.2 million. The ready-for-contract date is July 1, 2008.

-- Realignment of Dunbar Road to include Bridge 104 and 105 at a cost of $2,753,000. The ready-for-contract date on that project is Sept. 12, 2009.

-- Replacement of Bridge 199's deck over Mill Creek on CR 1300 South at a cost of $1.6 million. The ready-for-contract date was Feb. 7, 2007.

-- Replacement of Bridge 10 over Big Raccoon Creek on CR 1050 North at a cost of $1.8 million. The ready- for-contract date is Dec. 15, 2008.

-- Reconstruction of Indiana Street in Roachdale from the intersection of Ind. 236 to the railroad tracks at a cost of $730,000. The ready-for-contract date is Aug. 6, 2009. The project is sponsored by the Town of Roachdale.

-- Rehabilitation of old Bridge 159 at Reelsville at a cost of $750,000. The ready- for-contract date was Jan. 15, 2007. On that project, the commissioners have scheduled a meeting with state officials to review the rehabilitation of the old bridge.

That meeting has been rescheduled for 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 14 at the Reelsville Fire Station. The original meeting was canceled in February due to foul weather. The meeting is open to the public.

Meanwhile, the commissions spoke with Dorothy Jones, Steve Biggerstaff and Andy Keller from Cinergy MetroNet about changing the telephone system for the courthouse, annex and sheriff's department. Jones had spoken to the commissioners in February about the proposal, which would involve about 120 telephone lines.

Kim Hyten of the county Emergency Management Agency asked if the service could be installed at the county highway department. That is the area where a new emergency operations center for 911 could be constructed. Biggerstaff said fiber optic does not run out to that property.

Jones noted she has not talked to county 911 director Dave Costin about how the county's 911 service would be affected.

County attorney Scott Hoff brought up some contract concerns with wording and clauses. He said he would review those issues with Cinergy MetroNet's attorney.

A change would result in an estimated $1,100 per month savings for the county, Jones said, based on an analysis of the current phone records and fees paid.

The commissioners tabled the discussion until March 19.

In other business, the commissioners:

-- Learned that Hyten and Hoff will get a committee together to study the courthouse and bring a recommendation about future growth to the commissioners.

-- Authorized the Aviation Board to enter into a lease on executive hangars 2 and 3 with First National Bank for $60,000. The lease term is 10 years with annual payments of $7,794 at a rate of 5.05 percent.

-- Approved the repaving of 1.8 miles of blacktop at CR 400 North and CR 300 East at a cost of about $220,000.

-- Signed a proclamation declaring March 4-10 as Severe Weather Prepared-ness Week. A statewide tornado warning exercise will be conducted Wednesday.

-- Signed a proclamation declaring March 19-23 as Putnam County Ag Week. On the morning of Tuesday, March 20, the annual Ag Breakfast will be served in the Community Building at the fairgrounds. The Rotary luncheon is on Wednesday, along with elementary education day.

And the annual Mini Farm Fest is set for Thursday in the Community Building.

-- Signed a proclamation declaring March as National Red Cross Month.

-- Approved a change in an employment contract for the public health nurse in the Health Department to give flexibility in the rate of pay.

-- Saw an amendment to the county food ordinance that would allow the Health Department to collect delinquent fines against food establishments by taking the violators to small claims court. The change was tabled until the March 19 meeting so it can be legally advertised.

-- Appointed Jack Murtagh to the city planning board.

-- Saw a preliminary route for water lines to run from the Reelsville area across country to the new Altra ethanol production plant north of Cloverdale on CR 800 South. The company is in the process of drilling test wells, and is also looking at purchasing water from the Reelsville Water Co.

The next regular meeting of the commissioners is set for 6 p.m. Monday, March 19 in the courthouse annex. It is open to the public.

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