(WILLIAMS) - Lawrence county commissioner Bill Spreen reported during the commissioner's meeting Tuesday morning that Indian Creek Quarry has donated stone to create a parking lot at the Williams Bridge.
A property owner where the lot is being built has donated the use of the land, but didn't want credited for the donation, Spreen says.
"I was there this weekend and there were several people there," Spreen says.
Since the Williams Covered Bridge, built in 1884, has been renovated traffic to the bridge has increased, Spreen added.
Repairs were made to the roof, trusses and all the siding was replaced and painted. The bridge was painted with a clear-coating to protect against fire and a heavy-duty fence was placed inside to protect the bridge from vandals.
The bridge was set afire by three vandals on June 18, 2010. Damage was estimated at $1,000, and the structure was repaired.
The new Williams Bridge, spanning the White River, was dedicated in 2010. The application to build the structure was filed in 1995, with an anticipated completion date of 1998. Soon, complications intervened.
According to Project Superintendent Bob Dillon, the application was held up at INDOT for a few years and finally approved late in 2000.
"Then there were a couple of delays in the project due to environmental issues concerning an endangered species of mussel that supposedly lives in that section of the White River," Dillion added.
An underwater search by divers never recovered live mussels of the endangered species. Dillion says the environmental concerns finally were satisfied in 2006. Still, it took four more years to complete the project.
The original estimated cost was $3 million, not including engineering costs. The final total was just under $5 million.
Neither Spreen nor fellow commissioners Chris May and David Flinn were in office when the project was proposed.
In other business:
*The commissioners accepted bids for the counties 2013 trending. The county received three bids and those were taken under advisement.
* Highway Superintendent Dave Holmes reported crews are continuing to cut brush and do ditching. He also says all the county sand and salt trucks are up and running and prepared for winter weather.
*Sheriff Sam Craig reported there were 125 inmates in the jail, of those 24 were female and 4 Department of Correction holds.
He invited the commissioners to attend a meeting Wednesday, at noon, at the Sheriff's Department to address the concerns of courthouse security.
Local committee members who studied the issue were Judge Andrea McCord, Judge Michael Robbins, Judge William Sleva, Commissioner Chris May, Councilmen Mike Branham and Jim Edwards, and Nedra Brock from the probation department.
They will all meet with a security adviser from the Indiana Judicial Center in Indianapolis and security adviser Bob Champion.
Craig says it has been a slow process but the group is making progress.
* Miles Parker, presented the counties property and casualty insurance renewal. Parker says the county will see a price increase from $326,106 to $376,391. That is a 15.4 percent increase, but a $200,000 decrease from what rates were in 2007.
Parker added there are several reasons for the increase: overall market conditions, increase in property value and rate exposure. He says the county also has some large claim reserves that are outstanding - around $370,000.
"Those are liability claims and cases that are in litigation," Parker says. "I have seven options for you to review where we could lower the rate and have about a 7 percent increase."
Commissioner Dave Flinn asked Parker to provide the commissioners information on the outstanding claims for their review.
* Jeff Lynton was appointed to the airport board.
* Commissioners accepted all of the bids received for asphalt and fuel. They rejected all bids for stone.
When asked why the bids were rejected.
"We were just not happy with them and want to rebid them," Commissioner Dave Flinn added.
* Michael Conley, of Architura, requested the commissioners sign a letter of intent to go forward with the suggested repairs and designs to the courthouse's windows and heating and cooling system.
However, Commissioner President Chris May told Conley the commissioners needed more time to talk about the project.
"We are not ready to commit. We are just not there yet....we have not had a chance to talk about the repairs," May says.
* Paula Hartnell of Administrative Resources Association asked the commissioner to sign off on the $500,000 Community Focus Grant to help tear down and replace a water tower on Ind. 60 East.
Kevin Allen, South Lawrence superintendent says the old tank will be tore down and replaced with one that is higher and will double in capacity, from 100,000 gallons to 200,000 gallons.
Allen says that will increase the pressure for residents by about 20 pounds per square inch.
The project's estimated cost is $735,000. Allen said the utility will make up the remainder of the cost, after the $500,000 grant. The utility has some funds put aside and a local bank will help with financing if needed.
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