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County Commissioners sign contract for work on Houck Covered Bridge

Monday, November 16, 2009

GREENCASTLE -- Putnam County Commissioners Gene Beck and Jim Baird signed a contract with the Indiana Department of Transportation for the replacement, new alignment and rehabilitation of County Bridge 125, the Houck Covered Bridge in Washington Township.

Cost for the construction of the project is $2.4 million, most of which comes from government federal aid. The project will take place in 2012-13.

Commissioners also heard from County Highway Supervisor Jim Smith that the W. Walnut Street project going on since early October was nearly complete.

"The only thing really left to do is the punch list for things like people's driveways," Smith told the group.

Jerri Hayes, who lives on CR 900 E, asked commissioners for help with an issue she has with work done by the county highway department in front of her home. Commissioners asked Jim Smith to go out and look at the property and come back to them with a report.

In other business, commissioners passed a request for the RVA subdivision with property belonging to the Arnold family on US 40 near Hope Haven. The request asked for approval for land to be divided into three plots.

These include the home of the current owner and two subplots for her children. Lot one would be 33.93 acres and Lot two would be 28.11.

They tabled a request from Putnam County Operation Life's annual contract. Director Kraig Kinney appeared before commissioners with the contract. He told them two revisions that were requested were in the contract.

Commissioners tabled the contract until December while they wait for information from the State Board of Accounts regarding $80,000 in funds received from the Hazardous Waste Fund.

Kinney said the majority of the money goes for equipment and that the organization was expecting a new ambulance in next several weeks.

"The rest of the money goes toward hazardous training for OL staff," said Kinney.

He said that the percentage of calls OL receives for hazardous waste is about 7-8 percent, while the amount of dollars received is equal to about 3 percent of total revenue from the fund.

Cemetery board members asked commissioners what they planned to do with the unmarked graves in the cemetery at the old county home. Prior to the home and its property being sold, commissioners had talked with the cemetery board about fencing in the area.

Last week, the home and all its acreage was sold to Verlon Clark, who has been leasing the property for many years. The property was sold in one plat for $565,000 and included the area where the unmarked graves are located.

Cemetery board members have been concerned about having money in the budget to pay for the fencing.

Commissioners said they plan to talk with Clark about his plans for the area and noted that there is an easement to the cemetery.

County commissioners meet on the first and third Monday of the month at the Putnam County annex.

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I guess I'm confused. Will the Covered Bridge be repaired or replaced?

-- Posted by Trying hard on Wed, Nov 18, 2009, at 9:20 AM

Houck Covered Bridge will remain and a new structure built to the north. Plans are available for inspection at Putnam County Highway Dept.

-- Posted by kubotafan on Wed, Nov 18, 2009, at 4:17 PM

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