During their special meeting Monday morning, the commissioners opened quotes to replace one bridge and two culverts that were washed out earlier this month.
Due to the need to make the repairs and replacements as soon as possible, the commissioners declared all three projects as emergency situations.
The bridge is located on County Road 100 South, one-quarter mile west of CR 600 W in Perry Township, One of the culverts that was washed out was over Little Birch Creek along CR 600 N, just west of CR 300 W in Posey Township, while the other is across Clear Creek in Perry Township on CR 200 S, between CR 425 and 525 W. With the culvert washing into the woods on CR 200 S, approximately 100 feet of the road collapsed.
All three areas are to be replaced with tank cars, but there is one hitch in the progress.
"We should be able to receive assistance for the work on the bridge," Commissioner Paul Sinders said. "However, as we understand it, the tank cars would be an upgrade from having the culverts and we are not eligible to receive assistance."
Sinders added there is a teleconference with the Association of Indiana Counties (AIC) today, which should give the commissioners and emergency response personnel a better feel for what the county can receive assistance for.
L & B Construction, Brazil, had the lowest quote ($47,550) for the replacement of the bridge on CR 100 S, while Brown's Land Improvement, Inc., Staunton, of which Commissioner Charlie Brown is not affiliated with, had the low quote ($54,900) for the work on CR 600 N, and BLS Contractors, Bowling Green, had the lowest quote ($180,665) for the large area of work to be done on CR 200 S. Blackfoot Construction, Inc., Poland, also provided quotes on the culverts, but were higher than the ones chosen.
With only $94,150 left in their budget for bridge work, the commissioners only approved work to be done on CR 100 S, pending any new information they receive from the Web Cast today. The other two projects are under advisement until their regular meeting on July 7 so they can gather information that may help fund the projects. If no assistance is available, the Clay County Council would have to approve an additional appropriation for the work to be done.
"It is a matter of being patient and finding out what help we can get," Sinders said. "We know the taxpayers want the work done as quickly as possible, but with what we had not working this time, I'm sure they see the need to put in something better."
Also during Monday's commissioners meeting:
* They approved a plan to suspend one of the three Federal Bridge projects in Clay County. The suspension allows the county to rollover current funding on the project onto the other two and come back to it in the future without having to pay for additional engineering work on Bridge 104, which is on Woodsmall Road, near Cory. A letter will be drafted and submitted to the Indiana Department of Transportation to notify them of the change,
* Discussed ways to combat rising fuel costs. A couple of the options included shifting the work week of the Clay County Highway Department to a 10-hour day, four days a week, and transferring the budgeted salary of an employee who recently resigned to the fuel budget. With employees at the Highway Garage working extra to repair county roads, the change in their work week will be a trial period that may happen later this year, and
* Renewed the Community Corrections Grant for the fiscal year of July 2008-June 2009. The grant is provided by the Indiana Department of Correction, and this renewal approved the second year of the two-year grant.
The next meeting of the Clay County Commissioners will be Monday, July 7, at 9 a.m., in the Commissioners' Courtroom at the Clay County Courthouse.