By Valerie Werkmeister
What’s the best way to spend $1 million? Posey County officials are asking for input on that very question. Before you answer though, it’s only fair to say that the money can only be spent on building a new bridge within the county. It’s not such a fun question anymore, is it? But, important nonetheless.
Posey County Council members recently wondered why nearly $1 million in funds had been set aside to build a bridge behind the Wesselman’s shopping center in Mt. Vernon. The bridge has been closed since December 15, 2008. Various council members wondered if there was still a need for the bridge since it has been closed so long.
Posey County Commissioner President Jim Alsop answered that question during last Tuesday’s meeting. He stated that the previous commissioners were approached by City of Mount Vernon officials in 2004 in regards to building a new bridge at that location. He explained the city was interested in developing the area from Leonard Road to S.R. 62.
At the time, the cost to build the bridge was too expensive and it has taken until now to accumulate the funds required to construct it. Officials wonder if it’s in the county’s best interests to rebuild the bridge, since residents have been without it for nearly four years.
Keeley Winiger, the commissioner’s executive assistant, stated that she often fields phone calls from residents inquiring when the bridge will be back in service. The commissioners would like to hear from more people about the issue.
Highway superintendent Steve Schenk stated there are other bridges in the county that need to be re-built as well. He cited one at John Mills Road and another at Black River on Eastville Rd. as two examples. Specific permits had to be acquired from the Department of Natural Resources and the Army Corps of Engineers. Schenk stated that if the bridge is to be completed before the permits expire, they will need to begin work on it this winter.
Anyone that would like to voice their opinion should contact Winiger at 838-1311.
In other business, the commissioners approved:
• An amendment to the consolidated zoning ordinance that changes Use Unit 20-Commercial Recreation from permitted uses to special uses.
• Preparations for 41 properties to be included on a tax sale in the spring.
• The change for the dental health options effective dates from July 1-June 30 to a calendar year format.
• Additional insurance coverage for the newly constructed salt storage building
• Schenk’s request to advertise for bids for commonly used supplies for 2013. The commissioners directed the Sheriff’s Department and the EMS Department to do the same.
• The receipt of a $4,000 grant received due to the training sessions Emergency Management Agency Director, Larry Robb, attends and completes throughout the year.
Emergency Medical Services Director, Chuck Thompson, reported that $567,155 in revenues were collected in 2011. As of September, that figure had already reached $508,902 thanks to an outside billing agency that is responsible for collecting payments.
The next commissioner’s meeting will be held on Monday, November 5, instead of its regular meeting time on Tuesday, due to the election.
By Valerie Werkmeister
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