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Commissioners working toward reopening bridge

July 24, 2019
The Crawford County Board of Commissioners continue to make progress on reopening a bridge that was closed last month.

The commissioners, meeting at the judicial complex in English on July 9, voted 3-0 to approve a consulting contract with CivilCon regarding the Bridge No. 23 project along Whiskey Run Ranch Road southwest of Milltown. An hourly rate contract, the total cost will be based upon the scope of the work performed.

The bridge was closed on June 11 after being inspected by two engineers. The commissioners, at their regular meeting later that day, declared an emergency situation, pointing to the disruption the bridge's closure will have to emergency responders, school buses and other vehicles. They indicated they would attempt to get the bridge reopened as soon as possible.

In another matter, the commissioners voted 3-0 to get bids to move county records from the old courthouse in English to the former Crawford County Youth Service Bureau building in Marengo that the county owns. (The county leases a portion of the building to the Town of Marengo at a cost of $1 per year.)

District 1 Commissioner Daniel Crecelius said the issue took on greater importance after heavy rain earlier this year made its way into the old courthouse. Fortunately, he said, the majority of the records were undamaged.

"It's not going to be as expensive as maybe we thought," said Crecelius, who made the motion, which was seconded by District 2 Commissioner Larry Ingle.

In other business, the commissioners:

Voted 3-0 to permanently lay off an employee with the county highway department due to job performance issues.

Announced they had conducted an interview for the open secretary position at the Extension office. While the commissioners had offered the position to someone, they declined to say who as they were still waiting for a response.

Denied a claim of $2,657 from Frontier Communications for damage to a pedestal for which the company says the county is responsible. Unable to determine if the pedestal was properly placed within an easement or even is in the county, as the road given doesn't appear to be a Crawford County road, the commissioners chose not to pay the claim.

Approved, 7-0, a supplemental contract with the Indiana Department of Transportation regarding the Bridge No. 43 replacement project on Beechwood Road. The supplemental contract was needed due to the bid letting date being changed to July 2020.

Voted 7-0 to approve the annual Harrison County gaming revenue sharing contract. There are no changes from the previous agreement.

Chose to find out more information before deciding whether to have the 2020 U.S. Census be conducted under county leadership, with the commissioners appointing a board, or allowing each incorporated town to be responsible for itself. Auditor Christian Howell brought the matter to the commissioners' attention, saying she had been contacted by a Census official.

The commissioners' next regular meeting will be tomorrow (Thursday) at 7 p.m. at the judicial complex.

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