Today's News

Speed Limit Ordinance Amendment Approved on First Reading

The Marshall County Commissioners have approved the first reading of an ordinance amending speed limits on two roads.

The speed limit on Lincolnway West will be reduced to 45 mph. It was suggested to the highway department that the area is congested and a lower speed limit would eliminate a potential traffic issue. The road did not have a posted speed limit so by law the limit was 55 mph.

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Marshall County Commissioners Sign Papers for Movement in Jail Bond Refinancing

The Marshall County Commissioners approved the action of signing a preliminary official statement for Umbaugh and Associates in an attempt to move the refinancing of the 2006 jail bonds through at a quicker pace.

County Attorney Jim Clevenger told the commissioners that the paperwork is behind schedule, but he anticipated rates will be ideal for the county to move forward. It’s the hope of the commissioners and the county council to reduce the payments on the bonds each year through 2026. The county also wants to have flexibility to keep the funds in reserve to either pay off the bonds sooner or apply those funds for additional capacity at the jail or operational costs due to sentencing changes and the potential impact.

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Marshall County Commissioners to Meet Today

The Marshall County Commissioners will receive an update from Umbaugh and Associates on the process of refinancing the 2006 jail bonds.

The commissioners and council members approved a decision to begin paperwork to reduce the payments on the bonds each year. The county also wants to have flexbility to keep the funds in reserve to either pay off the bonds sooner or apply those funds for additional capacity at the jail or operational costs due to sentencing changes and the potential impact.

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Marshall County Commissioners to Meet Today

The Marshall County Commissioners will meet today.

Plan Director Ralph Booker will present the commissioners with a Brownfield Assessment grant agreement. The Brownfield Assessment grant gives the county a chance to identify abandoned buildings, vacant fields and problematic areas to rehabilitate them and clean up the sites. The grant money would repair blighted areas by preparing them for potential business sites. The money would also be used to test areas for possible contaminates. Continue reading

Marshall County Building Security Procedure to Change

Deputies from the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department will now be securing the Marshall County building.

Commissioner Deb Griewank explained that the maintenance department had been securing the building at the end of the day, but felt the sheriff’s department’s court security could take over that responsibility. She asked Sheriff Tom Chamberlin if a deputy could secure the building and he would agree to that as long as it is in writing.

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Marshall County Commissioners Table Donation Decision for Heminger House

The Marshall County Commissioners heard a presentation from Laura Mann from the county’s shelter for victims of domestic abuse.

Mann explained that the Heminger House has served the needs of Marshall County since 2008 and is in need of funding. Federal and state cuts have prompted officials of the women and children’s shelter to seek $65,000 in lost revenue to keep the doors open. She noted that it costs $3,000 per week to feed those in the shelter and to keep the utilities paid.

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Road Salt Jumps in Price

Last year’s blizzards will cost highway and street departments a little bit more in road salt this year.

Marshall County Highway Administrator Laurie Baker informed the Marshall County Commissioners this week to prepare for a rather large payment for road salt.

Last year’s bid amount through the state for road salt was $48.84 a ton and it jumped to $73.32 a ton this year. Contracts limited road salt companies to how much they could charge for a ton of salt and they are hitting departments hard this year to make up for the shortfall.

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Expanded Alcohol Monitoring Approved for Court Services

Officials with court services in Marshall County are moving forward to hold offenders accountable for actions while under home detention.

Ward Byers approached the county commissioners on Monday morning with a request to enter into a contract with the BI Corporation to expand alcohol monitoring.

“Currently, we can provide in-home alcohol monitoring through our 3M contract. This will allow us to have what’s called a SCRAM, or a trans-dermal ankle bracelet, which provides continuous alcohol monitoring of those more high risk alcohol offenders,” said Byers.

The contract will allow the use of a more sophisticated breath test.

“I can set up a schedule in the computer, it notifies the offender when it’s time to provide a sample. When it does that, it takes a photograph of the offender, registers the blood alcohol content and then sends up a GPS signal so we know where that offender is at that time. Should they fail to provide that sample or if they fail their breath sample, I immediately receive a text message so then I can address whatever matter is going on with that person.”

Byers noted that this contract just gives the court and court services more sentencing options.

The BI Corporation is headquartered out of Boulder, Colorado but an office is located in Anderson, Indiana.

As with the contract with the 3M corporation, there will be no costs to the county. When the equipment is activated and assigned to an offender, all user fees will be handed down to the offender. No costs will be incurred by the county. The offender will pay $12 a day.

The commissioners approved the contract pending attorney review.

Metronet Nearing Completion, One Connection Approved

 The Metronet project is expected to finish ahead of schedule.

The Marshall County Commissioners noted that the installation of conduit has been going smoothly for the most part and the installation should be complete in mid-September. The Metronet officials will then install the dark fiber and companies should be able to connect to high-speed internet soon after the construction.

Roland Houin with Fourway Computer Products at 12700 4A Road told the commissioners that he’s ready to tap into the service to run to his facility as soon as possible. He plans to lay down conduit and to be prepared once the fibers are lit. He said he wants to experiment running the conduit and fibers to a communication tower and to homes in that area which is by the Tri-Way Theatre and the state highway garage.

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Marshall County Commissioners Tentatively Approve Gasoline and Diesel Fuel Contract

The Marshall County Commissioners approved a contract for gas and diesel with one company – provided some language can be ironed out between the company and the county attorney.

Representatives from North-Central Co-op went before the commissioners Monday morning to discuss the agreement which allows for gasoline and diesel fuel at the highway department with a card reader system and tank monitoring. The company would install the hardware and software and equipment at the highway department at no up-front charge, but a four-and-a-half cent additional cost over the rack price will be assessed on fueling to pay for the cost of the equipment over a five-year period.

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Marshall County Commissioners to Meet Today

The Marshall County Commissioners will meet today at 9:30 a.m. ET.

The commissioners are expected to discuss a resolution that will pertain to the refunding of 2006 jail bonds.

Laura Mann from the Heminger House will be before the commissioners to request funding to help keep the domestic abuse shelter open. She told the county council last week that the shelter has served 952 since 2008 and that the shelter is critical in keeping abuse victims in a familiar area instead up completely uprooting them to a new environment. Mann indicated that they’ve lost $65,000 in grant funding due to state and federal cuts.

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Marshall County Highway Department Addresses Visibility Around Corn Fields

The Marshall County Commissioners asked Jerry Ambrose from the highway department about visibility around corn fields. Ambrose said it is becoming an issue.

“When we come up to a corner, we try and stay five feet back,” explained Ambrose. “If you can see in a normal vehicle, not in a pickup truck, that’s where we like to be. I’ve pretty much been trimming just enough so you can see just a little bit more. There are a lot of farmers who have come out and done that. We try and keep it back as much as we can.”

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7th Road, Metronet Projects Continue in Marshall County

The Marshall County Commissioners received an update on two ongoing construction projects.

Bart Trester, project supervisor for the 7th Road project, said the project is on schedule to finish this year.

“The contractors have completed the removal of the unsuitable soils and are backfilling with the borrowed material along the project limits. With that done, the contractors have been able to upgrade the main line and cut ditches along the project limits. They have completed the installation of the box culvert at Zimmer Ditch and a temporary lane has been constructed. Traffic will be switched over and this will allow the contractor to begin construction on the roundabout on Michigan Road. Pile driving issues on the Seltenright Ditch are on hold as we’re waiting for the contractor to return to the project. In talking with the designer, we should be able to lighten driving requirements so we don’t have to drive them so deep,” explained Trester.

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Marshall County Commissioners Approve Amended Emergency Plan

The Marshall County Commissioners approved an amended emergency plan after a lengthy discussion.

EMA Director Clyde Avery explained that the plan was changed after the blizzard events in January and February.

“The advisory council met and there were some suggestions made to change some of the wording as far as when the plan is activated and that the EOC can be activated by virtual means rather than people coming to physically staff the Emergency Operations Center,” explained Avery.

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Marshall County Commissioners to Meet Today

The Marshall County Commissioners will meet today at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Emergency Management Agency Director Clyde Avery will update the commissioners on the emergency plan. During the last commissioners meeting, Avery explained that the emergency plan was changed after events during the winter season. Department heads said working with the EMA Director by way of virtual means would work better, but Avery believes that may not be the best solution – especially if electricity and internet services are not available.

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Contract Addendum Approved for Additional Electronic Monitoring

Court Services Director Ward Byers appeared before the Marshall County Commissioners this week to discuss a contract addendum with 3M for electronic monitoring services.

The county signed a contract with 3M in 2011 that does the very basic in electronic monitoring services. If an offender commits a violation, a message is sent via text message or email to officials on mobile devices or to a desktop computer. Byers said this addendum will offer more to the county.

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Marshall County Commissioners Table Approval of Updated Emergency Plan

The Marshall County Commissioners received an amended county emergency plan from EMA Director Clyde Avery for approval.

Avery said the changes came from events during winter season when an emergency declaration was activated during blizzards.

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Marshall County Commissioners Approve Ordinance Amendments

A public hearing concerning amendments to an ordinance regarding electronic message signs was conducted on Monday morning.

Marshall County Plan Director Ralph Booker presented the changes which include operational limitations, minimum display time, message change sequence, light intensity change, sign design and requirements for static message signs, motion message signs and video message signs. Setback requirements were also included.

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Marshall County Commissioners Name Highway Department Appointments

The Marshall County Commissioners approved new hires for two new positions at the highway department.

On Monday morning, Commissioner Deb Griewank presented the recommendations of Laurie Baker as the administration manager at the highway department and Jason Peters as the supervisor of county highways. Baker is currently working in Judge Dean Colvin’s office in superior court while Peters is serving in the capacity of interim highway superintendent.

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Marshall County Commissioners to Meet Today

The Marshall County commissioners will meet this morning at 9:30 a.m. ET where a packed agenda will meet the commission members.

The commissioners plan to make highway appointments and to hear updates from the CASA director, health department, building department and County Attorney James Clevenger.

A public hearing is set for 10 a.m. ET on a zoning ordinance amendment that pertains to sign standards. Anyone wishing to comment on the ordinance may appear at this time.

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