Commissioners Approve Letter of Intent for Planning Grant

Tippecanoe Township officials in Marshall County will move forward with a planning grant to make improvements to the structure that houses the fire department and upgrade equipment.

The Marshall County Commissioners Monday morning approved a letter of intent as part of the process in obtaining a $40,000 planning grant through the Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA). A planning grant would help the officials work with a planner and architect to put together a comprehensive study.

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Property Rezoning Allows Church to Expand

Grace Outreach Fellowship propertyA Marshall County church can now expand thanks to the approval of a rezoning ordinance request.

Marshall County Plan Director Ralph Booker presented the information to the county commissioners this week on behalf of Grace Outreach Fellowship Church. The church congregation has outgrown the current facility and officials there are interested in the rezoning of purchased property to accommodate the change. Church officials are seeking the rezoning of 2900 Center Street in Tippecanoe to better serve their patrons. The two parcels on the affected property are zoned heavy industrial. The property needs to be rezoned to town residential for the church to occupy the building.

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Marshall County Council on Aging to Complete Transportation Funding Paperwork

Marshall County will act as a funding pass-through point to deliver transportation funding from the Indiana Department of Transportation to the Marshall County Council on Aging.

Executive Director Jackie Wright explained to the Marshall County Commissioners Monday morning that she is submitting grant paperwork to INDOT for the annual request for transportation funding. She requested that the County be the pass-through point for the funds. She anticipates the reception of $277,000 this year.

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Marshall County Commissioners to Discuss Several Items in Today’s Meeting

The Marshall County Commissioners will consider a change order request from USI Consultants’ Bart Trester when they meet today. Trester oversees the 7th Road project and the roundabout project on North Michigan Road in Plymouth. Trester indicated earlier this month that crews are waiting for word from the state to move ahead, barring any more issues with the HMX mix design. The mix of aggregate and asphalt binder is causing buckling pavement in other locations across the state. Crews are awaiting final approval of the combination to install the mix.

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Marshall County Commissioners Review Roundabout Agreement

Marshall County Attorney James Clevenger has drafted an agreement between the County and the City of Plymouth concerning the maintenance of the roundabout on Michigan Street north of Plymouth. Further discussion by the Commissioners has prompted its return to a meeting for approval.

The agreement calls for all expenses and improvement of the roundabout be the sole obligation of the City of Plymouth. The city has plans for signs as well as landscaping. Whatever improvements are planned would be approved by the Commissioners before any action is taken. Any planned landscaping would also need to comply with the proper navigation of vehicles around the roundabout. The city must also comply with all federal, state and local regulations.

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Sheriff’s Department to Find New Fund for Proposed Training Facility

The funding for the construction of a proposed firearms training facility in Marshall County may have hit a snag.

Marshall County Sheriff’s Deputy Ryan Hollopeter along with fellow deputy and president of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Lodge #130 Travis O’Neal presented plans to the Commissioners in April for a firing range and classroom facility on the FOP’s property on Hawthorne Road and State Road 10. The plan was to pay for the facility out of the firearms training line item in the sheriff’s department budget. However, Marshall County Commissioner Kevin Overmyer said during a meeting this week that the funding may need to come from another line item. Overmyer mentioned that Auditor Julie Fox contacted the State Board of Accounts. It was determined that the firearms training fund is limited to training and firearms training or training for other law enforcement duties. She found that the particular fund was not appropriate for this construction project. Fox told WKVI News yesterday that this issue is not yet resolved. Phone calls to Sheriff Tom Chamberlin were not returned.

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Marshall County Commissioners Consider Contract Addendum for Alcohol Monitoring

A contract addendum to help streamline costs for alcohol monitoring through Marshall County Community Corrections was reviewed by the commissioners this week.

Director of Court Services Ward Byers approached the governing body on Monday with an agreement from 3M Electronic Monitoring to include alcohol monitoring for those on home detention.

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Construction on 7th Road Project Continues

The 7th Road project in Plymouth should be complete by the end of June.

Project Supervisor Bart Trester from USI Consultants told the Marshall County Commissioners on Monday that the center of the roundabout is open to traffic in order for construction to occur on the east and west third of the circular intersection. Crews will return the traffic pattern to travel around the roundabout when that phase is complete. The project is anticipated to be done by the end of June.

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Marshall County Commissioners Approve LOHUT Recommendation

 In order to generate funding for county and local roads, the Marshall County Commissioners are recommending the county council enact a Local Option Highway User Tax (LOHUT). A LOHUT contains a vehicle excise tax and a wheel tax.

Supervisor of County Highways Jason Peters said the county now operates with $850,000 for road projects. With the addition of state relinquishment funds of $350,000, the county will have $1.2 million to chip and seal 13.5 miles of road and to pave five miles of road this year. The $1.2 million figure also includes dust control and the acquisition of materials.

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Marshall County Commissioners to Discuss LOHUT in Today’s Meeting

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

A local resident will be giving her opinion about a wheel tax to the Marshall County Commissioners when they meet this morning.

The Culver Town Council and the Plymouth Common Council have approved letters of support to the Marshall County Commissioners and the council for a proposed Local Option Highway User Tax (LOHUT). A LOHUT includes a vehicle excise tax and wheel tax that is payable at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles when vehicle registration is due. Those fees will be distributed to the county for use to construct, reconstruct, repair or maintain streets under county, city or town jurisdiction.

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Meeting Scheduled in Marshall County to Discuss Road Funding

A representative from the Indiana Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) will be meeting with the Marshall County Council and the Marshall County Commissioners this week to discuss funding options for the highway department.

Commission President Kevin Overmyer said in a previous meeting that the state will soon cut funding for local roads and highways, and it will be left to local governments to provide funding for projects.

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Marshall County Highway Department Doing Best to Address Road Conditions

 Marshall County Highway Department crews are trying their best to make the roads as smooth as possible with the resources they have.

Supervisor of County Highways Jason Peters told the county commissioners this week they’re out now working on blemishes on the roadways.

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Marshall County Commissioners to Receive Road Update

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 roads when they discuss items with Highway Administrator Laurie Baker and Supervisor of County Highways Jason Peters.

The highway department crews are doing what they can to rehabilitate areas that were damaged due to the frost line. Potholes have surfaced, and edges of roads have deteriorated as winter turned to spring. It has been noted that some summer road projects will suffer due to lack of funding. The highway crews will do what they can with the funding they have to make the road as passable as possible.

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Marshall County Council and Commissioners to Evaluate Options for Road Funding

It is the hope of the Marshall County Council and the Marshall County Commissioners to come together soon to address funding for county roads.

Commission President Kevin Overmyer told the county council Monday morning that the state appropriated money for INDOT but nothing for local roads for the next two years. He said representatives from the Build Indiana Council, Association of County Commissioners, and Indiana Association of Cities asked for those funds, but the request was not approved.

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Wellness Community Coordinator Installed in Marshall County

Marshall County is part of a pilot program for a wellness initiative.

Newly installed Wellness Community Coordinator Sandy Read told the Marshall County Commissioners this week that Purdue University received federal funding to place five coordinators in counties to develop a branch of the Nutrition Education Program. She will be employed by Purdue University.

Read said she and the Fulton County representative would be constructing the manual for the program and try to pave the way for a more widespread organization in 2016 or 2017.

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Marshall County Treasurer’s Office Extends Hours for Property Tax Collections

Marshall County Treasurer Penny Lukenbill requested the extension of business hours to accommodate the payment of property taxes this spring and fall.

Lukenbill told the commissioners that the auditor delivered the tax duplicate to the treasurer’s office last week. The tax bills are now being created to be mailed out to taxpayers.

Lukenbill requested that the treasurer’s office be open on Saturday, May 9 from 9 a.m. to noon. She also asked that hours be extended on Friday, May 8 and Monday, May 11 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET.

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Religious Freedom Restoration Act Affects Marshall County Manufacturer

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act has caused some concern for a Marshall County manufacturing company.

The Marshall County Commissioners took up the conversation Monday morning.  Commissioner Kevin Overmyer did not release the name of the company but did say that the manufacturer’s largest customer has opted to discontinue business due to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Marshall County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Jerry Chavez commented that he received the same communication. He said the state moved in an aggressive matter concerning the legislation.

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Marshall County Commissioners to Get Update on 7th Road Project

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 receive an update on the 7th Road project when they meet this morning. Bart Trester from USI Consultants will relay the progress of the extension of the road to the new U.S. 31 highway. Among the aspects of the project, the roundabout needs to be completed. In a previous meeting, Trester noted that the project should be done in May. The completion deadline has already passed. Crews ran into unsuitable soils that needed to be addressed before work could continue. That delayed the project by a few weeks. Continue reading

Marshall County EMA to Use Grant for Another Purpose

The Marshall County Emergency Management Performance Competitive Grant (EMPG) will be used for a different project.

Marshall County EMA Director Clyde Avery told the commissioners this week that the $8,485.29 grant was to be used for an Emergency Operations Center exercise, but it was canceled due to lack of interest.

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Marshall County Commissioners Discuss Lawsuit over Stolen Documents

The Marshall County Commissioners got an update on a class-action lawsuit against a company who allegedly stole thousands of dollars worth of data from the recorder’s office.

County Attorney Jim Clevenger told the commissioners that the lawsuit involves Marshall County and several other counties against Black Knight Real Estate Data Solutions. Recorder Marlene Mahler previously told the commissioners that the company reportedly took 2,700 documents totaling 39,000 pages out of the computer system without going through the proper channels. The recorder’s office would normally charge $1 per page so the company would owe $39,000. The lawsuit seeking damages would triple that amount.

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