Road cuts have officials steamed

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

It cost the county thousands of dollars to resurface the highly-traveled road from Bainbridge to Roachdale just a few months ago, so county officials were upset recently to find out that multiple holes have been dug into the new blacktop.

County Highway Supt. Dave Sutherlin told Commissioners Gene Beck, Kristina Warren and Denny O'Hair he asked Schneider Engineering to stop digging holes in the road. The company was contracted by Vectren Energy Delivery to survey for existing natural gas piplines in the area.

Once contacted, the firm offered to fill the holes with bags of cold mix, but Sutherlin said that won't put the road back to its recently paved smoothness.

"It will never be the same," he said.

And to add a bit of insult to injury, Sutherlin said a company representative said no permission was needed from the county to dig the holes in the county road.

The commissioners disputed that statement, however.

Both Beck and O'Hair noted that they passed an ordinance a few years ago requiring permission from the county when any digging is done in county rights-of-way. That ordinance was enacted due to a rash of holes being left by surveyors who were seeking property markers, and not refilling their dig sites.

The commissioners instructed Sutherlin to look up that ordinance so it can be enforced.

County Planner Kim Hyten said he had contacted Vectren about the project, and was told he company wants to install a new natural gas feeder line from Carpentersville to Greencastle. The city currently receives its natural gas service from a pipeline running to the south side of town.

In other business at Monday's brief meeting, the commissioners:

-- Accepted a bid of $24,990 from John Huber Construction to replace the wooden deck on Bridge 187 off U.S. 40 near the old Walker Motel. The steel on the bridge is good, highway superintendent Sutherlin said. A bid from Trisler Construction in Indianapolis was submitted at $26,240.

-- Signed a contract with Beam Longest and Neff for engineering and design on Bridge 10 in Russell Township. The survey work will cost $22,500 and the design work is $126,400. Bridge 10 is a federal aid project, and funding originally assigned to the now-cancelled Bridge 45 replacement project on the Putnam-Hendricks County Line has been reassigned to the Bridge 10 project. The Bridge 45 project, which was met with opposition by nearby residents, has been dropped.

-- Took bids for the county bridge inspection project under advisement until the Nov. 6 meeting. The bid packages will be reviewed and compared prior to that meeting. Bids were received from Aecon Engineers in Bloomington, American Consulting in Indianapolis, Beam, Longest and Neff in Indianapolis, Bernardin, Lochmueller and Assoc. in Evansville, DLZ Assoc. in Indianapolis, Farrar, Garvey and Associates in Indianapolis, Floyd E. Burroughs and Assoc. in Noblesville, United Consulting Engineers in Indianapolis, USI Consultants in Indianapolis, and Rumschlag Technical Services in Brownsburg.

-- Appointed Kristina Warren and Larry Parker to the county redevelopment commission. Bill Dory of the Greencastle/Putnam County Development Commission asked that the commission, which has been inactive for a few years, be reappointed due to some potential development in the are of Interstate 70 and Ind. 243. Dory said that project is dependent on whether the Indiana Department of Environmental Manage-ment allows the project to tap into the Cloverdale sewer system since the town is now under a sewer ban. Three other members of the commission will be contacted to see if they are still interested in serving on that board.

-- Heard an update from Dory on the Fillmore Road improvement project that will widen the street to three lanes to allow a wider turning radius for potential industry to locate in the area north of Lear Corp.

-- Heard from Pam Friend with the Indiana Department of Corrections about PEN Products, the prison enterprises network that produces services such as road signs, clothing and food. At Putnamville, the offenders raise goats, black Angus cattle, build shipping skids and reclaim parts out of computers as part of the project to give offenders marketable skills they can use once released into society. She said PEN Products would like the opportunity to bid on county signs and services. The county seeks those bids in December.

-- Approved a request from Thomas Miller of the P.I.E. Coalition for permission to set up a Red Ribbon Week banner the week of Oct. 23-31 on the courthouse lawn.

-- Heard a presentation from BroadReach on telephone service at the courthouse, annex and sheriff's department. They estimated savings of $1,272 per month for the county. The commissioners asked for references concerning the service.

-- Was reminded that the state is auction about 360 acres of land from the Putnamville state farm at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 21 at the Police Training Facility on U.S. 40. The sale disposed of some land no longer farmed by the Putnamville facility.

The commissioners regularly meet at 6 p.m. on the first and third Mondays of each month at the courthouse annex, 209 W. Liberty St., Greencastle.

The meetings are open to the public. The next regular session will be Nov. 6.

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