Putnam County Commissioners Kristina Warren, Gene Beck and Jim Baird spent some time discussing the condition of roads in the county during their meeting Monday morning.
The commissioners agreed to table current bids and set a meeting dedicated to discussing what to do about the roads in the county.
Harold Paetow asked commissioners what could be done about CR?675 East, 350 North and 700 East. Since budgets have not been finalized by the state yet, a plan has not been determined for county highway repairs. Paetow told the three-member panel that the road had become dangerous and he was concerned someone would be injured while traveling at too high a rate of speed.
As a short-term fix to try to prevent any accidents, commissioners asked the county highway to put up construction signs with a speed advisory of 30 miles per hour on CR 675 East.
Paetow and Jody DeFord are both from the Heritage Lake area, which is a major concern with poor road conditions. The two agreed that construction signs were a good start on CR 675 East, which is a highly traveled road with an estimated 1,000 cars or more a day using it.
Commissioners also discussed the problems caused by the large amount of rain received this year.
"In some counties weight limits have been put on gravel roads and parents are having to drive kids to school because buses can't run on the gravel," said Warren.
"At least we haven't had that happen here, yet," she added.
All three commissioners and the highway department have received numerous calls about problems on county roads.
"We'll work on fixing the main roads first and then concentrate on what to do with the others," determined Board President Gene Beck.
"There are a lot of problems that need to be addressed," he continued.
Meanwhile, the commissioners also heard an update on the new Emergency Operations Center (EOC) from Putnam County 911 Director Dave Costin and Terry Burnworth, Pyramid Architecture/Engineering & Construction.
"We're pretty much on track with finalizing construction of the building," Costin said in regard to the new $2.8 million Emergency Operations Center being built.
More than 95 percent of the work on the building is complete. Asphalt will go down next week followed by some landscaping and fencing. A final checklist will be put together on April 30 when the men do a walk-through in the building.
A last job meeting will be held at 9 a.m. next Wednesday, April 16 in the gym at the Annex building for all contractors involved in the construction of the new emergency center announced Burnworth. It is open to the public.
Our local contractors have been absolutely wonderful to work with," he claimed.
Monies for the EOC project come from Hazardous Waste Funds, which cannot be legally designated for any other projects such as roads, property taxes and other issues.
A small amount of the money has been set aside from the project to work on the area of the courthouse when the current radio tower is removed.
Courthouse workers have expressed concern about the roof overhead on the top floor of the courthouse, which has issues caused water damage.
Burnworth showed photos to the commissioners of water damage in the attic area and discussed the plan to correct the problems.
He informed the panel that the historic integrity of the courthouse roof would remain intact.
Burnworth's company completed a similar project to the planned Putnam County one at the Vigo County Courthouse.
"We used the same idea in Vigo County over six years ago, and they have not had any issues," he claimed.
The work will start when the new dispatch center is up and running at the end of the summer and the current 911 tower is removed from the courthouse.
Burnworth plans to beef up the current structure with new steel. They will remove most of the copper plumbing, which the county can sell. Drainpipes will be replaced and enlarged and 12 drains added to eliminate the leakage at the top of the building.
Finally a new membrane ceiling will be put in place.
"Not only will this help preserve the historic value of the courthouse but the clerks in the courtrooms won't have to wear hardhats to work anymore," he joked.
In other business, commissioners:
*Signed a proclamation for National Crime Victims' Rights week.
*Tabled discussion about sheriff car loans until budgets have finalized.
*Appointed Heather Williams to the Child Protection Board.
*Agreed to proceed with the County Prescription Card program.
*Discussed finding a way to help Russellville with two condemned houses in the center of town.
*Approved the signing of a service contract between the Putnam County Extension Office and Purdue University.
The next meeting of the Putnam County Commissioners will be at 6 p.m. Monday, April 21 at the Courthouse Annex.