By Valerie Werkmeister
Posey County Commissioners helped temporarily relieve Raben Road area farmers’ concerns at last week’s evening meeting, regarding the recent bridge closure. The commissioners gave highway superintendent, Steve Schenk, the nod to seek bids for a “Band-Aid”-type repair to the bridge.
In January, Schenk informed commissioners that the bridge had been struck by something very large—possibly as large as 30 tons. Results from a recent bridge inspection revealed that the seven-ton weight limit bridge could be repaired and retain the same weight limit. Schenk stated the weight limit determination is set following the findings of a bridge study utilizing federal guidelines. The overall tonnage has decreased over the years due to the deterioration and age of the bridge. He added it would take a lot of money to build the bridge up to a 10-ton limit.
Long-time farmer, David Reese, stated, “A Band-Aid will get us through for a while, but I’m looking long-term.” Reese, like many others would like to see a new bridge built and questioned the availability of federal funds for the project.
Schenk stated the process to obtain federal funds is long and tedious, taking as much as seven years.
Commissioners explained they are currently committed to the new bridge construction behind Wesselman’s Shopping Center in Mount Vernon. The construction cost is unknown until the project goes out for bid and is completed. They stated the Raben Road Bridge would be placed high on the priority list following the completion of the Wesselman’s bridge.
Commissioners approved Sheriff Greg Oeth’s recommendation to purchase and install security cameras at the Hovey House and Coliseum. Prosecutor Travis Clowers spoke in favor of maintaining his office within the Hovey House. While Clowers and Oeth do not anticipate the need for armed security guards at the facility, they felt the utilization of camera surveillance and door buzzer system would be effective.
Oeth stated that since the camera system was updated at the jail, they have been able to monitor the inmates and have caught several in the act of destroying jail property. Those individuals were able to be charged and prosecuted for those crimes and ultimately had to pay restitution.
The cameras will be purchased from and installed by Cellular Nation, Inc. of Evansville. The cost at the Hovey House will be $3,245.50 and the system for the Superior Court area will cost $4,914.
The Coliseum roof will soon be replaced after a recent lightning strike. The roof was patched following the lightning damage sustained in late December. High winds have further damaged the roof patch and the commissioners felt that due to the roof’s 15-year age, it is wise to replace the entire roof. Insurance has covered some of the replacement cost. The county’s portion will be $37,830.06.
A monthly service agreement with Tru Green Lawn Service was approved in the amount of $130 per application. The company will apply chemicals and seeding to the courthouse lawn for a total of four applications. The service does not include mowing.
The commissioners approved the appointment of George Postletheweight to the Posey County Redevelopment Board. His appointment will be for a one-year term. John Denning was appointed to serve on the Emergency Medical Services Board and Richard Mayer will serve on the Wadesville-Blairsville Regional Sewer District Board.
Commissioners created a new drainage board comprised of farmers living throughout the county. President Carl Schmitz remarked that it was easy to find volunteers to sit on the board as the problem is important to farmers throughout the county. They appointed Matt Schenk, Dale Koester, Tim Hoenert, and Scott Becker. Commissioner Jerry Walden will also sit on the board. Their first meeting will be in March.
All county officials are now legally bonded through Schultheis Insurance. They were previously out of compliance and were not aware they needed to approve the measure during their first meeting of the year.
The next meeting is altered from the regular meeting schedule due to a scheduling conflict with road school training for the commissioners. Instead of the normal Tuesday morning time, it will be held on Monday, March 4, at 9 a.m. in the Hovey House.
By Valerie Werkmeister
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