Today's News

Marshall County Commissioners Approve Funding for Fairgrounds Feasibility Study

There have been discussions on how to improve the property for the Marshall County 4-H program, and now a professional firm will step up and help.

While long-range plans have been discussed individually with the Marshall County Fair Board, there needs to be a focus of the board. Principal Architect Stephen Kromkowski from the DLZ Corporation in South Bend explained what would be in the feasibility study.

“We would meet with the primary users and understand your current operation and the site,” said Kromkowski. “There have been some discussions about some improvements on the fairgrounds itself. We’ll gather all of the information, so we understand what your needs are. We will document what you have now. We also do a site analysis to make sure that you don’t place a new building on an area that will cause some other difficulties down the road.”

A report will be produced to decide what the improvements can be and dollar amounts for those improvements. A priority list will be provided as Kromkowski said the improvements will most likely cost more than what funds are available.

Fair Board President Tammy Dickson said the board and others are excited to have a professional direction of how to improve the grounds for the successful program.

“The Marshall County program is a hugely successful program,” commented Dickson. “I know at the fair itself the judges come from all over and comment on the quality and level that Marshall County and it is very commendable. We want to continue to grow that program.”

Sponsors have donated money toward improvements, but an agreement couldn’t be reached on projects, but that is about to change.

Kromkowski commented that the report would take about 14 weeks to complete.

County Attorney Jim Clevenger suggested an inter-local agreement between DLZ and the county on behalf of the fair board be signed. The Commissioners approved funding for the study with the understanding that the fair board will need to follow through with the plan.

Marshall County Commissioners Review Airport Comprehensive Plan

Plymouth Airport Manager Dave Lattimer presented the Marshall County Commissioners with the board’s comprehensive plan this week.

One of the projects that the board is anticipating is the widening of the runway, which Lattimer says is set to begin in the next several months.

“That involves widening our runway from 60 feet to 75 feet and rebuilding 4,400 feet of pavement,” Lattimer explained. “The next phase is to lengthen the runway. The magic number for an airport our size is 75 feet wide and 5,000 feet long.”

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Marshall County Commissioners Approve Move to E-Poll Books

Marshall County voters will soon have a new way to sign-in to vote at the polls.

Steve Shamo from KnowInk gave the commissioners a demonstration of how e-poll books can save a lot of hassle at voting sites. The voter’s Driver’s License is swiped into a reader that confirms the voter’s identity on an iPad screen. The voter then signs with a finger or iPad writing device. The poll worker can confirm that the Driver’s License signature matches the handwritten signature. The voter can also be manually input into the system. A receipt will print to show that the voter did sign in at the polls. Once that process is done, a legal ballot may be filled out and submitted.

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Marshall County Highway Department Commended for Efforts

 The Marshall County Commissioners commended the highway department on their efforts during the weekend to keep roads clear for travelers.

Supervisor of County Highways Jason Peters said the crews went out Sunday morning as opposed to Saturday night as visibility was low and cars were stranded in the roadways.

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Marshall County Commissioners to Meet Today

Marshall County Commissioners (L to R) Deb Griewank, Kevin Overmyer and Kurt Garner

Marshall County Commissioners (L to R) Deb Griewank, Kevin Overmyer and Kurt Garner

The Marshall County Commissioners will meet today with a full agenda.

Plymouth Airport Director Dave Lattimer will present the airport board’s capital improvement plan while Superior Court II Judge Dean Colvin will appear with a video arraignment discussion. Clerk Deb Vandemark will discuss the KnoxInk E-pollbook with the commissioners.

County Attorney Jim Clevenger will present an ordinance and a resolution for approval. The final reading of the pre-pay ordinance will be considered. A tax certificate sale is expected to be signed. The tax certificate sale is scheduled for this spring.

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Marshall County Commissioners Get Update on Pug Mill Purchase

The Marshall County Highway Department discussed pug mill quotes with the commissioners this week.

The highway department would need to commit 10 percent for a down payment for a pug mill. The down payment would be $28,500. Supervisor of County Highways Jason Peters will be going to look and test the equipment soon.

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Marshall County Commissioners Move Forward with Tax Certificate Sale

Marshall County Commissioners (L to R) Deb Griewank, Kevin Overmyer and Kurt Garner

Marshall County Commissioners (L to R) Deb Griewank, Kevin Overmyer and Kurt Garner

The Marshall County Commissioners approved an agreement this week to hold a tax certificate sale. A resolution was also adopted in order to move the process forward.

The county will be working with Joe Edwards from SRI, Inc. Approximately properties would be included in the sale. Thirty-six properties will be featured in the sale. Some will not be included as the City of Plymouth and North Township has expressed interest in a few parcels for development.

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Marshall County Commissioners Approve Amendment to Purchasing Policy

Marshall County Commissioners (L to R) Deb Griewank, Kevin Overmyer and Kurt Garner

Marshall County Commissioners (L to R) Deb Griewank, Kevin Overmyer and Kurt Garner

The Marshall County Commissioners this week discussed a prepayment limit for department heads.

Commissioner Deb Griewank suggested the change to the purchase ordinance so department heads can make county equipment purchases with a personal credit card that does not exceed $750. She said that it was brought to her attention that sometimes different departments need to buy something online but don’t have the time to wait for commissioner approval. Buildings and maintenance directors can find items on eBay for cheaper but then they have to wait to purchase the items pending approval. Time could cost them.

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Marshall County Commissioners to Meet Today

Marshall County Commissioners (L to R) Deb Griewank, Kevin Overmyer and Kurt Garner

Marshall County Commissioners (L to R) Deb Griewank, Kevin Overmyer and Kurt Garner

The Marshall County Commissioners will have an update on the construction projects in the county when Bart Trester from USI Consultants visits the governing board this morning.

Supervisor of County Highways Jason Peters told WKVI News that the lull in between snow storms leaves the employees filling in potholes and performing maintenance on equipment. He says they also get material ready for the next storm to come through the area. He and Highway Administrator Laurie Baker will give a report to the commissioners on that activity plus pug mill quotes and bids for a new loader.

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Marshall County Commissioners Approve Tax Sale Paperwork

Marshall County Commissioners (L to R) Deb Griewank, Kevin Overmyer and Kurt Garner

Marshall County Commissioners (L to R) Deb Griewank, Kevin Overmyer and Kurt Garner

The Marshall County Commissioners last week approved an action to sign paperwork in order to move forward with a tax certificate sale.

In a previous meeting, Joe Edwards from SRI, Inc. told the commissioners that there were about 30 properties that were not sold in the 2014 property tax sale. These particular properties have been on the tax sale for years without interest by potential buyers.

A tax certificate sale could lower the price of the properties to heighten interest and to get the severely tax delinquent properties back on the tax rolls. The redemption period is a little quicker in a certificate sale. The average time period is 120 days.

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Marshall County Commissioners Approve Prepayment Limit

Marshall County Commissioners (L to R) Deb Griewank, Kevin Overmyer and Kurt Garner

Marshall County Commissioners (L to R) Deb Griewank, Kevin Overmyer and Kurt Garner

The Marshall County Commissioners this week discussed a prepayment limit for department heads.

Commissioner Deb Griewank suggested the change to the purchase ordinance so department heads can make county equipment purchases with a personal credit card that does not exceed $750. She said that it was brought to her attention that sometimes different departments need to purchase something online but don’t have the time to wait for commissioner approval. Buildings and maintenance directors can find items on eBay for cheaper but then they have to wait to purchase the items pending approval. Time could cost them.

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Metronet Project Done, 7th Road Project Awaiting Completion

Marshall County Commissioners (L to R) Deb Griewank, Kevin Overmyer and Kurt Garner

Marshall County Commissioners (L to R) Deb Griewank, Kevin Overmyer and Kurt Garner

This week, the Marshall County Commissioners approved and signed paperwork to complete the acceptance of the Metronet project along Glen Overmyer Drive. The work ended on Nov. 12 with all punch list items checked off the list. The installation of conduit for the three phases of the Metronet project is now complete.

The conduit will house dark fiber capable of distributing high-speed internet to business and industry in Plymouth. The conduit was installed in the city limits and along old U.S. 31 through LaPaz, LaVille, Lakeville and into South Bend. LaVille School Corporation and Hoosier Racing Tire have already lit dark fiber to begin using the product.

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Marshall County Jail to Update Inmate Communications

The communication system for inmate phone calls and visitation at the Marshall County Jail will get an upgrade after the commissioners approved a contract Tuesday morning with a new vendor.

Sheriff Tom Chamberlin told the commissioners that the company, Telmate, not only offers the telephone option for inmates, but also video visitation at an off-site location. Family members can schedule a video visitation with an inmate by going through officials at Telmate. Chamberlin explained that kiosks will be placed in the cells for video visitation as well as computers. The inmates will use the notebook computers if the kiosks are being used.

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Marshall County Commissioners to Meet Tuesday

Marshall County Commissioners (L to R) Deb Griewank, Kevin Overmyer and Kurt Garner

Marshall County Commissioners (L to R) Deb Griewank, Kevin Overmyer and Kurt Garner

The Marshall County Commissioners will not meet today as the county employees will observe Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

When they meet tomorrow, the highway department heads will have updates on the wetland mitigation issue and the mill pond dam. Highway Administrator Laurie Baker and Supervisor of County Highways Jason Peters will also have pug mill estimates and bid specifications for a loader.

Bart Trester from USI Consultants will present a fiber-optic conduit certification of completion for Glen Overmyer Drive in connection with the Metronet project. Curt Fey from Legal Shield will have a presentation, and the commissioners will discuss the 2015 covered bridge certification.

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Travel Advisory Implemented in Starke, Marshall Counties

The Starke County and Marshall County Commissioners and EMA directors have implemented an advisory level travel restriction.

The advisory level is the lowest level when talking about travel restrictions. The advisory level means that routine travel or activities may be restricted in areas because of a hazardous situation. Individuals should use caution or avoid those areas. Continue reading

Marshall County Commissioners Sign Grant, Get Update from Highway Department

Marshall County Commissioners (L to R) Deb Griewank, Kevin Overmyer and Kurt Garner

Marshall County Commissioners (L to R) Deb Griewank, Kevin Overmyer and Kurt Garner

The Marshall County Commissioners signed grant paperwork so EMA Director Clyde Avery can order equipment. The commissioners previously approved the 2014 Department of Homeland Security grant worth $20,000 to order newer 800 MHz radios to have on hand.

Highway Administrator Laurie Baker informed the commissioners that bridge inspections are ongoing. The department has gotten a bill for $78,967 for work already completed on the first phase. The inspections are about 60 percent complete. INDOT will reimburse the county for 80 percent of the cost.

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Great Lakes Lab Contract Approved

Marshall County Commissioners (L to R) Deb Griewank, Kevin Overmyer and Kurt Garner

Marshall County Commissioners (L to R) Deb Griewank, Kevin Overmyer and Kurt Garner

The Marshall County Commissioners discussed a contract with the Great Lakes Lab through the prosecutor’s office.

The Great Lakes Lab provides forensic services for Marshall County. All of the law enforcement agencies in the county may send drug samples or alcohol tests for analysis with this lab company. The number of tests that have been requested through the lab by Marshall County officers has dropped since 2013. As a result, the contract price has decreased.

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GIS Data Contract Approved for Plymouth Trail Project

The Marshall County Commissioners have approved a measure to help the City of Plymouth move forward with the Greenway Trail.

City Attorney Sean Surrisi told the commissioners last week that the city is attempting to complete phase two of the grant-funded project. Officials with SEH Engineering need GIS data in order to continue with the design work.

“In order for them to prepare the plans, they would like to have some GIS data for that area,” explained Surrisi. “We’ve made a similar request before and we were able to put together a contract where we signed off and said we were guaranteeing that the contractors were just going to use the information for this project and not for any other commercial purposes.”

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Marshall County Commissioners Discuss Juvenile Detention Center Contract

The Marshall County Commissioners received clarification on a proposed contract for 2015 with the Muskegon River Youth Center in Logoda.

James Pheibush from the probation department explained that he negotiated with the detention center for point to point transport.

“For $149, they will transport a kid from point A to point B which I think is cheap,” stated Pheibush. “If they exceed eight hours in a transport, it’s $238 and I thought that was a bargain compared to having one of our road officers tied up for that many hours and other legal questions involved.”

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Marshall County Commissioners Reappoint Department Heads, Meet Today

The Marshall County Commissioners reappointed department heads last week.

Doug Masterton was retained as buildings and grounds maintenance supervisor, Jason Peters as supervisor of county highways, Laurie Baker as highway administrator, Chuck DeWitt as building inspector, Gary Masterson as jail maintenance supervisor, Clyde Avery as EMA director, Michael Marshall as IT director Linda Rippe as museum director, Pam Schweitzer-Betz as veteran’s service officer, and Jim Clevenger as county attorney.

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