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New Milltown bridge on schedule

June 10, 2009
The new Milltown bridge remains on schedule to be open by the end of the year, as the Crawford County Board of Commissioners, in a special session Friday at the judicial complex in English, named the contractor.

R.L. Vuckson Excavating Inc., which submitted the low bid of $964,448 at the commissioners' May 28 regular meeting, received the contract. In addition to constructing the prefabricated two-lane bridge over Blue River, which will replace the existing one-lane structure, the company will be responsible for relocating utilities.

Other bids were submitted by American Contracting Services ($1,305,624) and Gohmann Asphalt & Construction Inc. ($978,900).

The three-member board also took other steps at its May meeting to move the project along, including unanimously approving a contract with Heritage Engineering to serve as the construction administrator, which includes conducting materials testing and general site visits and inspections.

The contract, to be paid on an hourly rate, is not to exceed $20,000, and likely will be less, Greg Miller of Heritage Engineering said. The firm also served as the design engineer for the project.

"It's a good project for us. It's a good project for the county," Miller told the commissioners.

"It's been a long time coming," Larry Bye, president of the board of commissioners, added.

Miller said environmental regulations prohibit the contractor from doing stream work until after June 30, but other work, including planning for the approaches and utility relocation, can begin. After June 30, the contractor will do as much work as possible until stream work again is limited in the fall.

"What we have set up is, Dec. 1 we would have the bridge open," Miller said. "The existing bridge would not be 'demoed' until probably sometime after January."

In other Milltown bridge news, Bye announced that the county has been awarded a $2.6 million grant from the Federal Highway Administration Bridge Fund to replace Bridge No. 129 (commonly known as the curve bridge) south of the intersection of state roads 66 North and 64.

However, the grant calls for a 20-percent local match, meaning the county would need to supply about $500,000.

The bridge, built in 1937, was closed briefly last year for emergency repairs after an inspection showed structural deterioration.

In other business May 28, the commissioners:

•Gave their blessing for Recorder Dawn Wright to ask the county council for an additional $6,000 so a part-time employee can continue backing up records.

In explaining the importance of having backups of the records, Wright noted the recent Jefferson County Courthouse fire that destroyed several historical documents.

In her 2009 budget request, Wright asked for $12,000 for part-time help, but the council only approved $4,000. She said she has used that as well as another $2,000 that was transferred from a different fund in her budget.

Wright also talked about the importance of finding an off-site storage location for the backups.

•Approved, upon the county attorney's review, a contract with CyberTek Engineering for upgrades to the computer systems in the Assessor, Treasurer and Auditor offices. State law mandates that the accounting systems throughout the state be compatible by the end of the year, or else the state will withhold the county's 2010 tax settlement.

David Neel of CyberTek said the project will cost $22,943, but the three offices will be linked — they are all on separate servers now — and the company will provide a backup of records for two years. He said the price includes his company ensuring state certification.

"If it comes down to Dec. 15 and we're not certified, what will we do?" Bye asked Neel.

"You will be," Neel answered.

Following the county attorney's approval of the contract, funding will be requested from the county council.

•Approved a contract with Tyler Technologies, CLT Appraisal and Tax Solution to perform the 2011 property reassessment. The county council earlier approved an additional appropriation of $140,865 to the reassessment fund to meet the total cost of more than $200,000.

•Voted to pay part-time emergency medical technicians with the county's ambulance service $25 on-call pay and the $9.25 hourly rate for hours they actually work when on-call.

•Voted to purchase an aluminum box culvert from CPI Supply for $39,339 to replace Bridge No. 10 on Tunnel Road.

•Approved a contract with MC Lawn Service to mow government property.

•Publicly thanked sixth-graders from Patoka Elementary School for doing landscaping at the judicial complex. The school received a grant for the project.

"It was a good experience, I think, for the kids," District 3 Commissioner Jim Schultz said.

The commissioners re-warded the students with a pizza party at school.

The commissioners an-nounced their next regular meeting will be Friday, June 26, at the judicial complex in English. A closed executive session will be at 8 a.m., while the public meeting will follow at 9.

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Barbara Shaw
Schuler Bauer
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