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Highway Crew Battles First Winter Storm
Updated November 19, 2014 7:10 AM | Filed under: Politics
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(BEDFORD) - Lawrence County Highway Department Superintendent David Holmes says crews had to "switch into winter mode" Monday when the first winter storm hit the area.

"We had the sand piles stocked and were ready, but we didn't expect the temperature to drop so suddenly causing the slush covered roads to freeze so quickly," Holmes said Tuesday morning during the commissioners meeting. "The hilly and shady areas got pretty bad fast."

Holmes says crews were out laying down a mixture of sand and salt.

"Around 6 and 7 the roads were slushy and okay for travel," Holmes added. "But the temperatures fell and the slush started to freeze."

Commissioner Bill Spreen says residents need to be patient with road crews.

"There was not a lot they could have done when those situations happen," Spreen added.

In other business:

Holmes reported he will meet with engineers on repairs for the bridge on Jasper McKeigg Road. Holmes told the commissions that replacing the bridge could cost as much as $100,000.

"If we replace the four beams it will cost around $25,000 a pop," Holmes added. "There are a couple other options but we are still looking at a minimum of $50,000."

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The commissioners signed an agreement with Southern Indiana Development to conduct brownfield assessment testing. The group is seeking a $600,000 grant for brownfield assessment testing that would be spread over Daviess, Greene, Knox, Lawrence and Martin counties over a three-year span.

The grant, funded through the Office of Community Rural Affairs will be split between all the counties participating. Brownfields have become a problem in communities and the goal is to look at those sites that have become eyesores, clean them up and get them back on the county's tax roll.

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Sheriff Sam Craig reported there were 96 inmates at the jail. Of those 1 was a Department of Correction hold and 17 were females.

Craig told the commissioners the three flag poles should installed at the jail by next week, weather permitting. He still has not heard from Tri-County construction, was hired to construct a concrete barrier around the department's radio tower. The company was waiting for supplies they had to order.

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Valarie Luchauer with emergency management and the new ADA coordinator presented the commissioners with a copy of the Emergency Information Dissemination Plan.

Luchauer updated the commissioners on the progress of completing an evaluation for DLZ so they can prepare an ADA Transaction Plan for the county to meet the federal guidelines for the American's Disability Act. If the county does not meet the ADA standards and does not have an ADA Transaction Plan in place the Federal Highway Administration and the Indiana Department of Transportation could withhold funding for highway and bridge construction.

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The commissioners approved a contract with Espy Services to conduct a utility audit for the county. Espy Services is an independent telecommunications and energy auditing firm that will work to find money owed to the county by scrutinizing the county's utility bills for errors. Espy Services will seek out those errors and then request refunds. ESPY will be paid 50 percent of funds recovered. If no funds are recovered ESPY is paid nothing.

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The commissioners passed an ordinance that will establish a fee and fund for those making oversized copies in the surveyor's office. One oversized copy will cost $10 to cover the cost of copy supplies.

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The commissioners approved change orders totally $6,400 for repairs done at the courthouse during the installation of the windows and heating and cooling systems.

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Approved the county's holiday closure calendar and commissioners and county council meeting dates.



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