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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Commissioners hear more complaints about roads

Friday, October 21, 2011

Disrepair such as this on county roads have residents upset with the Putnam County Commissioners and Highway Department. County officials are in a tough spot trying to balance the need for better roads with ever-shrinking road budgets from the State of Indiana.
A group of northern Putnam County residents would rather the county leave their deteriorating blacktop road alone than, in their words, "turn it into a gravel road."

County Road 450 East goes south off State Road 236 about a mile west of Roachdale. After a series of curves, it continues south as County Road 500 East. Much of the stretch between 236 on the north and County Road 1100 North on the south is cracked or crumbling.

Residents complained to the Putnam County Commissioners Monday about gravel being used to fill the holes rather than patching it with blacktop.

"We're being forced now to live on a gravel road," one resident said.

Like so many of the county's road problems, the commissioners explained there is currently a lack of funding from the state.

"We're getting less money right now for the county highway than we got 20 years ago," commissioner Gene Beck said.

When the complaints continued, Beck had a solution.

"Maybe they ought to just stop putting rock on it," he said.

"Please," came a chorus from the residents.

A number of the citizens cited problems they saw with the road's condition, such as dust causing problems with houses and with people's health, upkeep to vehicles and declining property values.

County highway co-supervisor Clint Maddox explained that decisions on what roads get patched are based on traffic counts, but that some of the counts are out of date.

With the neighbors telling of increased traffic on the road over the last decade, the commissioners advised the highway department to place counters on the road so the traffic situation can be reassessed.

In other business:

* The commissioners chose 12 Point Telecommunications to service the county's phone systems. They had also received proposals from Gibson Teldata and Logical Choice.

* Mike Smith of Cardinal Office Products offered to do a study on how the county can reduce operational costs on printers and scanners.

"Probably the easiest way to reduce your operational costs right now is to get rid of all the printers in the courthouse," Smith said.

Smith is not the first vendor to recommend replacing traditional desktop printers with multifunctional devices. Representatives from Copyco and Cannon have given similar advice in similar months.

The commissioners advised Smith they are in the process of forming a technology committee and that he should plan to speak to that body when it is formed.

* The commissioners also approved the refilling of existing positions in the assessor's office, county highway department and 911 dispatch. On Tuesday, the county council also approved refilling the positions.

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Is Mr. Maddox serious that the repairs have been based on traffic counts? Edglea has to have a higher traffic count than a county road west of Roachdale . Maybe it is time we have qualified persons running the highway rather than the 2-headed management that is in place. Both are great guys but are either one qualified to manager our roads?

-- Posted by NeverChanges on Fri, Oct 21, 2011, at 3:52 AM

Commissioners provide input to highway staff on road repairs daily,so,yes,staff is adequate,they follow instructions instead of sitting in restaurants complaining and doing nothing

-- Posted by kubotafan on Fri, Oct 21, 2011, at 5:27 AM

Years ago when the Commissioners went to the State and complained that all the road revenues collected by gasoline taxes in the county weren't coming back to the county they were told that Putnam County wasn't utilizing all of the revenue vehicles available to them. What followed then was the wheel tax was added to the license plate fees. This tax is to go for road repairs. So instead of just bitching perhaps an effort should be made to determine how much wheel tax and gasoline tax is collected in Putnam county and then see if it is all being returned to Putnam county and if not, where is it going and why?

-- Posted by exhoosier2 on Fri, Oct 21, 2011, at 6:58 AM

This county is so bad, it doesn't use the money from taxes to fix roads, it doesn't even plow them in the winter time. The excuses are right and left, but we all know that there is no concern for the citizens of this county when it comes to taking care of the roads, good weather or bad....

-- Posted by magoo55 on Fri, Oct 21, 2011, at 11:49 AM

They couldnt even get the road by the high school done in time. Road conditions are at the bottom of the list. I bet if Obama were to come, they'd be all over it.

-- Posted by melanie10 on Fri, Oct 21, 2011, at 12:21 PM

I live on this road and all that was said at the meeting was true. Home values do decline and they were already bad enough, equipment, vehicles, everything and everyone has suffered because of what the county has done. Monetarily, it is costly us much more in all ways concerned. Gravel dumped more than once now lies in the side ditches so even mowing is prevented without ruinning equipment. The holes, still present, the lime dust, it without a doubt remains and is unbelievable. I suffer from a non-curable breathing disease, to outline the severity I used a nebulizer 4-6 times per day on good days, two other medications daily and always have an emergency inhaler with me. Because of the condition of the road this past year I have literally been a prisioner in my home. The dust is such and so thick that there is no way to breathe. Even in the evening when traffic quites a bit, one car or truck comes by and the dust is so thick, it just envelopes you. My husband and I installed a very high end system that guaranteed dirt and dust would stop at the funace, which is outside of the home, having about a 5 inch + filter, sadly, it can't stop this. I can't imagine a healthy person fairing well breathing this dust, much less a person or child with Asthma or worse a comprimised immune system like mine. So far, all of the money expended has truly been wasted, it has not helped at all, in fact just the opposite, think what they could have done with that money instead ... chip and seal isn't the best, at least it eventually turns into something resembling pavement. And this county has the ability to make their own ashphalt!!! The commissioner over this road even laughed and said he "accidently" went down the road once! The other commissioners said "isn't there some way we can help these people out. Thank you for that. My goal is to survive long enough that my brand new grandson will remember who I was! So, Mr. Beck and Mr. Maddox, I have written and called many times this past year, to no response. You do have very nice people answering your phones, and I am sure you have received many. Our increased traffic ... one big reason Heritage Lake, we are the main road to Roachdale for them, so yes, a little county road west of Roachdale can have a tremedous increase in traffic! I would truly love to enjoy my outdoors in the country once again .... So Please Can Anyone Help Us?

-- Posted by PleaseHelpUs on Fri, Oct 21, 2011, at 1:32 PM

Ever think about running for some of these public offices you are complaining about to try to fix these things people? I was shocked when I realized how many political races this year were uncontested! There are some good people working hard in the county to do what they can, but rather than complain, you can run for their seats and try to be part of the solution.

-- Posted by justducky on Fri, Oct 21, 2011, at 2:19 PM

I for one have heard the same old song from the commissioners for 35plus years they have the recorded message and use it every year, I am all for a lot of new faces to govern the county 'but suspect we are not ready for it since we still keep a closed society and lack trust for someone who was not a native if this makes anyone angry the truth will set you free.

-- Posted by old tax payer on Fri, Oct 21, 2011, at 6:31 PM

Be prepared,even fewer funds expected for roads in 2012 from the State! Attend a County Council meeting and ask questions about the money expected to come in for roads,get their input on this economy and what it does to county finances! Do something besides whine and complain and blame politics for this shortfall! Geez...

-- Posted by kubotafan on Fri, Oct 21, 2011, at 8:03 PM

15-20 ish years ago commisoners said every road in the county would be paved, I said as well as others it was a bad idea, we can not afford to maintain them, here we are. I would rather live on smooth gravel than rough pavement.

If you buy or build a house think whether it is on the west/south side of road and think of the possible problems of dust/dirt.

I want my roads to be perfect also, but I also understand that our county can't afford to repair them all, and I am paying enough in taxes already.

-- Posted by jearl on Fri, Oct 21, 2011, at 9:34 PM

I live in the southern part of the county and our roads are getting worse and worse. We've had gravel put down 1 time this year so far and it has done nothing. It's like driving through and obstacle course and negative speeds to keep from tearing up your vehicle.

-- Posted by countrygirl34 on Sat, Oct 22, 2011, at 11:18 AM

A few years ago I purchased a piece of property for pasture.It soon become apparent that a simple whistle under a co. road was not capable of carrying the water run-off from a normal rain,causeing flooding of a major part of my pasture.Neighbors told me they had raised holy hell trying to get it fixed.Hmmmm? Raise cain with me,,SHUTS ME OFF TO YOU! I made one phone call,met with my commissioner,showed him the acerage draining to this point. Within 60 days had a new bridge under construction. A little sugar can go a long way! (My neighbors are still amazed!)

-- Posted by Ya THUNK on Wed, Oct 26, 2011, at 8:40 AM

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