By LUCY PERRY
Motorists who might otherwise travel county roads at their own discretion, might want to pay attention to road signs posted along the way from now on.
Clay County Commissioners voted Monday to pass an ordinance establishing speed limit signs, stop signs, yield signs and traffic regulations on both and private roads and highways in the county.
"I believe it will give us some enforcement powers, but it's certainly not what I want," county attorney Eric Somheil said, explaining that the proposal is a temporary solution to what many think is a safety measure, especially those frequenting the county roads. The commissioners plan to revise it at a later meeting.
The ordinance will enforce state signs, giving local authority and jurisdiction according to existing signs and regulations as well as posting new signs where needed. The highway superintendent will be authorized to maintain the signs.
"Be it ordained, that the posting of traffic control signs throughout the private roads and highways under the authority of Clay County, such as traffic control signs currently exist, are approved," according to a subsection of the ordinance in conjunction to a state code authorizing a county legislative body to adopt ordinances regulating traffic on any highway or private road in the county.
Janet Reed, of the Solid Waste Management District, approached the commissioners with her concerns about a proposed transfer station on SR 59 and I-70. She alleges the business, Best Way Disposal, is in violation of Indiana Code and has been illegally transferring trash at the site, in which case a permit is needed.
Craig Maschino, manager of Best Way Disposal claims the business is not in violation of any code and is currently operating as a recycling center, but has applied for a permit to transfer trash in the future. His facility was visited one time by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. He denies being cited for any violation at the visit.
Commissioner Daryl Andrews expressed his concern over the proposed transfer station.
"I personally will not support a transfer station in light of the economic situation of the county," Andrews said. "Call it a transfer station or a dump, we're bringing trash to the county."
Maschino claims the opposite to be true. He says the business will be an asset to the community, and will actually be taking the trash away from the county while providing about 40 jobs to the area in the "state-of-the-art facility."
In other business:
- The commissioners agreed to a settlement over the Briley Ditch controversy with the Environmental Protection Agency. The ditch, located in Lewis Township, was alleged to be in violation of the Clean Water Act nearly eight years ago. In the agreement, the county is to pay a fine of $10,000 over a period of 10 years.
Daryl Andrews stressed the county doesn't admit any fault, but said the commissioners were at a "crossroads" to accept or not accept penalty. In effort to avoid the legal fees of going to Federal Court, he said he feels it best to settle out of court.
Commission president, Dave Parr, expressed relief to settle with the EPA.
"The sooner we're out of this fiasco, the better," he said.
- County Highway Supervisor, Ron Chamberlain, announced to the commissioners that construction work on bridge 310 at Lena. will finally be complete in early September. The project spanned over five years.