In their regular monthly meeting, the Clay County Commissioners approved a proposal for a new war memorial.
Clay County Veterans Officer Mike Holland and Clay City V.F.W. Post 6606 Commander Brian Michael requested approval from the commissioners for a war memorial to honor Clay County residents lost in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Michael, who came back from Iraq in 2009, said he wants the memorial as a way to remember Marine Cpl. Gregory Stultz and Spc. Arronn Fields, as well as a place other war veterans can go to remember and pay their condolences.
Michael plans to take up donations within the community to pay for the $6,300 monument. Nick French, of French Funeral Home, has designed the monument. Michael said he wants the monument to be finished by Veteran's Day of this year for a dedication service. The location of the monument on the courthouse lawn is still to be decided.
"Coming off of 46, at 100 S for about two miles is causing a lot of stress on those people," Brown said. "It's a heavily populated road, and with the increase of traffic on that road, it's causing quite a dust problem."
Brown said he asked the state to get a tank of oil for the road. He offered the labor to put the oil on the road, but the state refused.
"It's so dusty down there sometimes that you can't see the car in front of you," Brown said. "I'm not happy that they're not going to come up with at least a tank of oil for us to do the work on it. I'm very upset about the fact that they won't follow through. They caused the problem, and we have to address it."
Brown and the other commissioners discussed other options for a detour to eliminate the dust problem. However, they eventually came to the conclusion that accepting the state's detour won't affect which roads locals take around the closed bridge.
"Regardless of what we have listed or what the state says, the local people will take the roads they want," Commissioner Paul Sinders said. "I guess the advantage of this is if there is any damage or repairs to be made that's caused by this, the state will reimburse us for that."
State officials did come take pictures and video of the detour route as it is now, in order to evaluate what damages were caused by the excessive traffic once the bridge is reopened. The state will then reimburse the county for those damages. The commissioners chose to sign and approve the unofficial detour from the state.
In addition, the commissioners agreed they felt the bridge will be closed for sometime, possibly until next year.
Also during the meeting, Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Director Bryan Husband presented two agreements with Amateur Radio, a group of volunteer radio operators. The first agreement is to install an antenna on the tower in Center Point for communications in case of a disaster. The second is to install a radio in dispatch for weather spotters if a disaster would occur to have communications in case all other communications are down. The radio for the Clay County Justice Center would include a pad to set on top of the roof. The stable unit would prevent holes from being drilled on the roof or building. Husband showed the commissioners proof of insurance for the projects.
In addition, Husband explained Dick Johnson, Posey and Van Buren volunteer fire departments have been having problems hearing the scanner. Husband said a 100-watt radio was brought in temporarily, and it did help resolve the problem. The radio will also give a back-up system to the county.
In other news:
* Clay County Clerk of the Circuit Court Vickie Wheeler presented a contract with Indiana Business Equipment for a new copier lease in the clerk's office. The new lease will save $53 each month. The new copier will be smaller with more capabilities and features. The commissioners approved the new contract. The goal is to bring all the copier leases together under the General Fund, so that eventually they can all become one lease,
* The commissioners approved the change order for Bridge No. 84 and the contract for the final inspection of the bridge, and
* Kevin Meyer, a Knox County commissioner, who works for RQAW Corporation, an architectural engineering firm, that specialize engineering transportation such as bridges and roads. RQAW also designed Knox County's new jail. Meyer introduced himself and explained about the company he works for. He told the commissioners if there was any business available, RQAW would like to be considered.