Commissioners accept bids on Patriot Boat Ramp

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The Switzerland County Commissioners met on Monday, June 21st, and dealt with issues ranging from the animal shelter to money for paving county roads.

The big item on the commissioner’s agenda was the opening of bids for the Patriot Boat Ramp.

County attorney Wil Goering opened the bids for the Patriot Boat Ramp, and there were four bidders:

– Dave O’Mara bid $770,671.50; along with bidding alternate one at $96,537.00 and alternate two at $20,846.60.

– Sunesis Construction of West Chester, Ohio bid $783,269.50; along with bidding alternate one at $80,476.75 and alternate two at $26,686.00.

– Force Construction of Columbus, Indiana, bid $479,966.96; along with bidding alternate one at $69,807.80, and alternate two at $23,099.29.

– Beaty Construction of Boggstown, Indiana big $709,450.00; along with bidding alternate one at $95,665.00 and alternate two at $34,847.20.

Commissioner Brian Morton gave the bids to Dan Back, project manager and the engineer for the project, to look over; and the awarding of the bid will be made at the commissioners meeting on July 6th.

Keli Hall of the Switzerland County Animal Shelter gave the commissioners her monthly report on the shelter’s operations. The shelter made between $700-$800 on its recent garage sale; and Keli Hall told the commissioners that they want to use this money to build a shade area for the animals and get rid of the tarps. This should be the shelter’s last building project.

She also told the commissioners that Animal Control Officer Terry Scudder will be off for at least four weeks due to having knee surgery. Roger Cooley, current part-time assistant at the shelter, has agreed to work fulltime as long as he is needed until Terry Scudder returns to work.

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In other business discussed by the Switzerland County Commissioners:

– Jon Bond of the Switzerland County Economic Development Commission brought the engagement with Crowe on the proposed Purdue extension office building. The council approved the money for the engineers on this project and to look at the finances for it. This is just a pay as you go agreement; not a fixed fee. Brian Morton signed the agreement.

– Jodi Coomer of the Southeastern Indiana Regional Planning Commission spoke to the commissioners with regard to Aberdeen Pate in Ohio County. She brought an interlocal cooperation agreement between them and Switzerland County. The commissioners signed the agreement.

- Switzerland County Highway Superintendent Wil Hutchinson told the commissioners that he has received three quotes on the Bear Creek Bridge.

He said that US Bridge out of St. Louis, Missouri said it would take at least $30,000.00 to start; and Cincinnati Bridge was another who gave a quote but didn’t really seem interested in the job.

CPI Supply gave a quote of $110,220.15; this is a pre-engineered bridge. E & H Bridge gave a quote of $81,124.19 on basically the same type of bridge.

There is enough money in Cum Bridge for this project. Commissioner K.C. Banta made a motion to go with the E & H Bridge quote, seconded by commissioner Craig Bond, and Brian Morton agreed. This has a steel deck.

Wil Hutchinson also reported that the salt storage building is ready to be shipped; and he will call the company to set up a delivery date.

Kyle Riley was hired as a new member of the highway department.

Wil Hutchinson told the commissioners that the long arm is down and Zimmer tractor should be out to fix it. The tractor for Craig Bond’s district is also down. The new tractors are to be in the beginning of July.

K.C. Banta asked if the county council gave the commissioners another $1 million for blacktopping. County auditor Rachel Schuler said that currently the commissioners have $1.5 million to split between the three districts.

The highway department will be removing trees from the Markland Business Park.

Keli Hall asked about the highway department getting the water drainage problem fixed at the 4-H fairgrounds. Wil Goering said Chris Clerkin, highway department subforman, was going to try to get this problem resolved before the 4-H Fair in July.

– Traci Weber asked to commissioners about the residents who would serve on the Planning Commission’s Citizens Advisory Committee.

At one of the Planning Commission meetings it was stated that the commission is to look over the 1996 and 2008 plans and see what can be gleaned from these and to also get input from the county residents.

Wil Goering said that if changes are wanted or needed to the planning commission ordinance they are to go before the Planning Commission first to formulate a policy which then comes back to the commissioners for their approval.

– Wil Goering had the sex offender registry ordinance, which the sheriff has already seen and approved. He also had the ordinance to be able to pay some claims early. Wil Goering added the poll workers to this list so that they did not have to wait for their pay. The commissioners approved these ordinances.

– Rachel Schuler mentioned the directory for the courthouse offices to be placed in the hallway. The board cost is $385 and the letters/numbers are $40. The commissioners approved purchasing the directory sign.

– Rachel Schuler said that courthouse custodian Mitch Barnes needs a backpack sweeper to sweep the stairways and other areas. The cost will be about $300. The commissioners agreed to this purchase.

– Mike Kramer and Kip Newman spoke with the commissioners about the group health insurance plan. Kramer explained the changes in the plan as well as the plan year changing from June 1st through May 31st to January 1st through December 31st.

He thought the commissioners might want to consider longtime disability coverage. The county has a fully insured health plan. The wellness part of the plan can reduce costs if fully implemented. Employee education about the health/wellness plan is critical, and there was discussion about having employee meetings.

Kip Newman discussed employee disability insurance. Many municipalities will offer disability benefits to their employees because this will cover accident or illness claims. By putting a policy in place it could alleviate the workman’s comp claims. Benefits of the policy can be determined by the commissioners.

This would need to be an across the board plan; in place for everyone, not just the ones who want it.