Counties to share costs on two roads

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

While the fate of a bridge along the Putnam-Hendricks county line remains in limbo, the two counties will share the cost of overhauling the surfaces of two roads.

On Monday, the Putnam County Commissioners signed an interlocal agreement in which Hendricks County will pay up to $42,000 to have a pair of roads shared by the counties ground and double chipped and sealed.

One of the roads is Putnam County Road 1100 East in Jefferson Township, which begins south of U.S. 40 as Hendricks County Road 700 West before crossing the county line and become 1100 before crossing Mill Creek and back into Hendricks County and becoming Neier Road, which actually ends in Morgan County -- all this in about 2.5 miles.

The agreement does not address the portion of the road in Morgan County.

The other is Putnam County Road 900 East, which lies on the county line in Jefferson Township.

This road, however, has bigger problems than an aging surface.

As discussed at recent meetings, Bridge 45 on 900 East has been closed after failing a recent inspection. The county’s path forward is unclear at this time, as either repair or replacement will be expensive.

Additionally, the bridge’s historic nature means it cannot simply be taken down and disposed of.

“It’s a historic bridge,” County Highway Supervisor Mike Ricketts said, “so we have to be careful about how we do things, decisions we make.”

As such, Ricketts had scheduled a meeting with DLZ Engineering later this week to explore the county’s options regarding the bridge.

Bridge 71 in Floyd Township was also closed at the same time. However, this bridge is neither historic nor does it carry as much traffic, meaning decisions on its future will come later.

In other business:

• County Assessor Janet Brown presented her proposal for the annual appointments to the Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals. The board consists of Brown plus five other members.

The commissioners, as well as the Putnam County Council on Tuesday, approved Brown’s proposed four-member PTABOA slate of Jason Hartman, Jana Sillery, Virginia Whipple and Beth Hinkle.

The fifth member will have to be approved later. Brown was going to re-appoint Ken Heeke but he cannot serve on both PTABOA and the Putnam County Plan Commission, to which he was recently appointed.

• Chief Deputy Matt Demmings of the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department brought a proposal to issue retirement service weapons to three recently retired Putnam County deputies.

The retirees honored will be Capt. Steve Fenwick, Capt. Tom Helmer and Capt. Danny Wallace.

State statute allows for such weapons to be bestowed upon officers of other police agencies, but never expressly addresses sheriff’s deputies, apparently leaving the decision to individual sheriffs and commissioners.

The proposal was approved with affirmative votes of Don Walton and Dave Berry. Rick Woodall was absent on Monday.

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  • County Road 900 East and Bridge 45 are in Jackson Township, not Jefferson Township.

    -- Posted by Ben Dover on Sun, Apr 21, 2019, at 8:32 PM
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