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Commissioners hear concerns about West Patoka Village Road

Commissioners hear concerns about West Patoka Village Road Commissioners hear concerns about West Patoka Village Road
By Stephanie Taylor Ferriell, Senior Staff Writer, [email protected]

The condition of West Patoka Village Road brought two residents to the July 13 meeting of the Crawford County Board of Commissioners. However, Tammy Fisher, who spoke on behalf of her neighbors, said 100% of those who live on the road signed the statement she read.

The concern is that the county suddenly stopped maintaining the road, said Fisher.

“Since May of 2018, the county has maintained the road through rain washouts, snow removal, rock replenishment and grass mowing,” Fisher read. “This has allowed the residents to feel secure in knowing that 911 services could be secured in the event of need.”

Fisher noted the majority of those who live on Patoka Village are older and several have health issues.

“However, since March of 2021, there is no longer road maintenance services being provided,” Fisher continued. “The recent washout of the road from the rain on July 11 further added concern to the residents. … The resulting ruts in the road that accumulated since April 2021 make the road nearly impassable for most smaller vehicles.”

The commissioners didn’t dispute that the county had maintained the road for the past couple of years. That maintenance stopped when the county highway superintendent discovered Patoka Village Road is not on the county inventory, meaning the county receives no state funding to use toward upkeep.

Commissioner Dan Crecelius, who serves as board president, said in all likelihood the road should be on the county inventory.

The total length, said Fisher, is less than 1.5 miles.

Crecelius explained the county will have to follow the proper procedure for adopting the road, including advertising for and having a public hearing.

“We’ll try to get you some help down there,” he said.”We just have to do it the right way.”

Fisher thanked the board for listening to residents’ concerns.

Commissioners’ attorney Gordon Ingle noted that the board met earlier in executive session to discuss pending litigation regarding the lawsuit over the Crawford County Community Park, located along S.R. 66 south of Marengo.

He asked the board to authorize his firm to obtain two commercial appraisals of the property and to budget $7,000, although he expects the cost to be more in the neighborhood of $5,000. The board unanimously approved the request.

The board opened paving bids for two projects, a 1.26-mile section of Riddle Road and a 0.58-mile section of Satterfield Lane.

Three bids were submitted. E & B Paving’s bid totaled $194,330; C & R Construction’s bid was $177,000; and CalCar Paving submitted a bid for $211,050. It was noted E & B Paving did not include a bid bond.

The board took the bids under advisement.

The commissioners heard an update on the bridge 42 replacement in the Alton area.

Erosion control measures have been installed, traffic signs are up and drains have been installed. Exploratory rock bores have been completed, necessary before piers can be built, and rebar for the piers has been delivered.

The commissioners approved hiring Jacque Clements with the Association of Indiana Counties to assist the county with budget preparation. The cost, which must be approved by the county council, is $5,100.

The EMS office’s agreement to have sharps containers disposed of was discussed but tabled because the total cost could not be determined from information presented.

During a special commissioners’ meeting on June 24, the board took the following action:

Approved an updated ordinance concerning Hoosier Hills PACT providing community corrections.

Approved the agreement with Mainstream Fiber Networks for the high-speed internet project.

Approved the county joining IREADI through the Upland Region and Radius Indiana.

Appointed Zotaina Zellner to the Crawford County Public Library board.

Approved five warranty deeds and two corrective easements.

Approved a professional contract with Clark Dietz.

The Board of Commissioners’ next regular meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 10, at 4:30 p.m. at the judicial complex in English.