County Highway Department to add on to equipment shed

Friday, November 11, 2016

With the idea of getting as much county equipment as possible out of the weather, an addition will soon be made to the equipment shed at the Putnam County Highway Department.

On Monday, Highway Supervisor Mike Ricketts presented a pair of estimates for building a lean-to on the side of the equipment shed.

GNF Construction’s bid was $32,996, while the bid from Graber Post Buildings was $37,027.21. Ricketts added that the GNF proposal was also more in depth, so he advised going with that.

The commissioners approved the expenditure, with some of the money to be drawn from the truck fund. Ricketts said he is not planning to purchase any new vehicles until 2017.

The commissioners meeting also took place the morning after the Montgomery County Highway Department lost nearly its entire fleet to a large fire. Ricketts asked about seeing what his department can do for the neighboring county.

“With Montgomery County’s situation, I didn’t know if we could reach out and help in any way,” Ricketts said.

For example, it took 10 months for the county to receive a pair of tandem axle dump trucks last October. This means that although insurance may pay for Montgomery County to purchase new trucks, the department is likely to find itself without trucks for plowing this winter.

“I’d say, see if there’s any we way can help them without cutting services to our county,” Commissioner David Berry said.

Ricketts also gave updates on several ongoing bridge projects.

The replacement for Crowe’s Bridge (Bridge 248) on County Road 100 East should open at some point next week. The approaches were being paved as of Monday.

The deck for Bridge 248 in Jackson Township was poured last Wednesday. After seven days of curing, crews could install rails. Officials hope to open the bridge on County Road 650 east of Big Walnut Creek by Thanksgiving.

Bridge 42 on County Road 25 West in Franklin Township should be open in a week or two. Crews were installing beams and the floor this week.

Bridge 110 on County Road 525 West in Madison Township will be closed on or after Monday, Nov. 14.

As is normally the case with federal aid projects, work will not begin for several years on the recently approved rehabilitation work on Bridge 172 on Poland Road. The Washington Township bridge will not be replaced until 2022.

Ricketts also discussed three bridge projects that were turned down for federal funding: Bridge 15 in Russell Township, Bridge 109 in Madison Township and Bridge 112 in Greencastle Township.

He said the department will start the process of rehabilitation these structure with local funds.

In other business:

• The commissioners appointed Wendell Underwood to the County Plan Commission.

• A previously discussed stop sign ordinance for County Road 900 South was approved. Under the plan, the county will install stop signs for the entrances and exits at Hanson Stone Quarry.

Trucks will be having to cross the road just west of State Road 243 with loads of stone in a project likely to last at least two years.

County officials decided the installation of the stop signs will allow police officers to initiate traffic stops if trucks are not stopping at the crossing.

• The parking arrangements around the courthouse will soon be changing.

Two more handicap spaces will be added on the east side of the courthouse just north of the crosswalk.

Additionally, the reserved parking space for the veterans service officer will move to the first parallel space south of the crosswalk on the courthouse’s west side.

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