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Thursday, Apr. 28, 2016

County approves bridge payment

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Putnam County Commissioners Gene Beck, Jim Baird and Kristina Warren approved what they hope is the last bill for Bridge 159 in Reelsville at Monday's meeting.

"I grudgingly approve it," said Warren. Beck also voted to approve the payment of $8,800. But Baird disagreed with making the payment.

Warren asked Highway Superintendent Dave Sutherlin if it would hurt the county (in getting other funding) if they didn't pay the bill. Sutherlin simply nodded his head yes.

Beck said he was approving the payment because it goes to the contractor who did the work for the job, not the state.

The bill was for a change order in the concrete for the bridge that has been a nightmare for the county for several years.

The old concrete arch bridge, built in 1929, was replaced by a two-lane structure in a million dollar project that was many years in the making. The old bridge was left standing to be restored as a pedestrian walkway.

Commissioners also approved the purchase of a reverse 911 system that will be used to notify the public, county officials, law enforcement and emergency responders through a conventional phone line, email or cell phone text messaging of important information such as weather alerts.

It can also be used to notify a particular area of a missing child, fugitive, sexual predators, road closings, school closings and emergency declarations like a tornado or flood.

Any message can be sent, including pre-planned ones. This system notifies 10,000 dial tone lines in 15 minutes and will do email and text messaging instantly.

It can be used for the entire county or for select areas based on the need or the emergency.

Cost for the system is $15,600. This includes the equipment and 10,000 minutes of dial up. After that amount is used, 911 would pay $0.15 per minute. Annual renewal costs are about $8,000 per year

Money to purchase the system would come from Prosecutor Tim Bookwalter's Forfeiture Fund.

Putnam County 911 Director Dave Costin said it would take about a month to implement the system.

"We really want to have it ready before spring and tornado season," he said.

Commissioners also heard from Almost Home Restaurant owner Gayle Smith, who has been receiving complaints from customers about equipment being used on courthouse repairs parked on the square.

"I understand you have a job to do but I'm getting complaints from my customers and wanted to know what the progress on the courthouse was," said Smith.

County Planner Kim Hyten explained that the company doing the repairs on the courthouse roof had not been able to work due to the weather. He also said he would ask them to move the equipment if it was going to sit longer than a day or two at a time.

"They can park it at the annex if they need to. They left it there because it takes about 45 minutes to set it up the big boom arm and another 45 minutes to take it down," said Hyten.

He told commissioners that the roof is completely off and special protective sheets on it until it can be finished.

He explained that because the roof is so slippery when it is wet with the protective sheeting that the men can't walk on it safely.

"As soon as we get some decent weather, they will be back up there," said Hyten. He plans on calling the contractor and having the equipment moved until work begins again.

Commissioners also signed a proclamation declaring March as National Red Cross Month and approved three vehicle leases for the Putnam County Sheriff's Department.

Putnam County Commissioners meet on the first and third Monday of the month at the courthouse annex. Their next meeting will be Feb. 16 at 6 p.m.

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