During a special meeting, the Clay County Commissioners approved the purchase of land and rights-of-way for one of the projects.
For the project on Bridge No. 1 (located on North Meridian Street, Brazil, near County Road 1100 North), a total of 0.31 acres were purchased across four parcels at a total cost of $27,385, which includes $3,385 to relocate an electrical box.
While rights-of way have already been purchased for Bridge No. 84 (located on East Pinckley Street, near County Road 400 East), the commissioners were hesitant to give the go-ahead for construction to begin.
One reason for waiting is the uncertainty of how much the county would have to put up for the projects.
"I want to make sure we have the hard facts to see just how much we need to put in the bucket before proceeding with construction on the bridges," Commissioner Paul Sinders said. "We need to find out if these are 80 percent/20 percent or 90/10 reimbursements, and if the engineering costs are included as part of our match."
Clay County Auditor Mary Jo Alumbaugh informed the commissioners there is currently $681,000 in the Cumulative Bridge Fund, and the estimated cost (including engineering) for the completion of the bridges is $1.2 million apiece.
Meanwhile, the commissioners approved contracts with Havel for maintenance at the Clay County Courthouse and Justice Center.
The contract for the Justice Center is $20,000 annually, which includes maintenance on the radio communications tower and its generator, while the courthouse contract is $4,600 annually, which includes maintenance on its generator.
Alumbaugh said both contracts were the same amount as in 2010.
In addition, the commissioners tabled taking action on a contract to transport a steel bridge, which was constructed by Purdue University and being donated to the county.
Kevin Loiselle, senior project manager with Clark Dietz, Inc., Indianapolis, told the commissioners the contract would also include design services for the relocation of the bridge.
"The total cost is about $70,000, which includes the field survey, engineering and purchase of rights-of-way," Loiselle said. "This project was in two phases, study and design, and the bridge is designed to be stable for a 100-year storm."
Commissioners' President Charlie Brown said he would prefer to wait on making a final decision until other factors are finalized.
"At this time, with two Federal Bridge Projects in the wings, I would prefer to wait and see how much funding we will have available," he said. "Plus, we are still looking at the options on where to place the bridge."
The next regular meeting of the Clay County Commissioners is 9 a.m., Monday, March 7, in the Commissioners' Courtroom at the Clay County Courthouse.