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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Marshall County Commissioners Approve Permit Fee Schedule Ordinance

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 held discussion on an ordinance to establish a fee schedule.

Several of the proposed fees for permits for residential and commercial construction were raised by $5.00 to cover costs. Permit fees for construction of accessory structures and larger structures went up even more. The proposed increases can be found here: permit fees

A fee was also included for a newly proposed roofing permit. Building Inspector Chuck DeWitt explained that they have the largest amount of calls with roofing projects.

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Marshall County Commissioners Table Zoning Ordinance Amendment

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 decided to take more time to decide upon a commercial overlay district for Marshall County until more research is conducted.

Plan Director Ralph Booker presented the ordinance amendment for the Marshall County Zoning Ordinance that would allow commercial uses such as auto repair and maintenance facilities, as well as bakeries, drug stores, hotels and motels, offices, restaurants, small wind systems, and special uses such as communications towers, light industry and self storage units.

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Marshall County Commissioners to Discuss Three Ordinances

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 second reading of three ordinances will dominate this morning’s Marshall County Commissioners meeting.

The commissioners previously discussed the ordinances to establish a fee schedule and to amend the Marshall County zoning ordinance and zoning map. LaPaz residents expressed opposition to the zoning map saying that they don’t want the agriculture area zone to be overcome by commercial development. They’re more concerned about the preservation of existing businesses downtown. With the new U.S. 31, not as much traffic passes through the town and residents are afraid those establishments may become extinct.

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Loader Purchase Approved by Marshall County Commissioners

The Marshall County Highway Department is getting closer to purchasing a new loader.

Jerry Ambrose and Highway Superintendent Jason Peters reviewed several bids and told the commissioners this week that a more expensive brand may be the best route to go. They are looking at a Caterpillar loader that is a more reliable machine, according to Ambrose. Ambrose said the two lower bids were for Hyundai brands, but those machines don’t last long as parts wear out faster.

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Change Orders Approved for 7th Road Project

The 7th Road construction project has been on hold all winter, but once the weather breaks workers will be busy to finish the project. It was anticipated to be complete last year.

Bart Trester from USI Consultants told the Marshall County Commissioners that several issues delayed the project including unsuitable soils and piling issue for the bridge. He presented a change order for the project once things get moving again.

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Video Conferencing, Technology Upgrade Approved

  Marshall County Superior Court No. 2 Judge Dean Colvin asked the commissioners this week to assist him in improving the video conferencing system between the courthouse and the Marshall County Jail.

A system was put in place years ago, but it’s time to upgrade, according to Judge Colvin.

“Over the last several years, we’ve run into a couple of issues with the video conferencing as a result of, as I like to call it, planned obsolescence with the regards to technology,” said Judge Colvin. “We’ve worked through the lifetime expectancy of the video conferencing and we’re having technical problems with video conferencing. We need to address those and bring them back up to date and back up to speed.”

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Proposed Permit Fee Amendment to Zoning Ordinance Passes on First Reading

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 held a public hearing on the proposed increase in building permit and improvement location fees Monday morning.

Several of the fees increased by $5 while others jumped considerably. Plan Director Ralph Booker explained that the fees will help cover costs. The fees haven’t been amended for several years.

Permit fees for accessory structures larger than 1,601 square feet rose from $80 to $100 for structures up to 2,000 square feet. Permit fees for accessory structures larger than 2,000 square feet will be $150.

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Marshall County Officials Upgrade to Watch Level Travel Advisory

The Marshall County Commissioners and EMA Director Clyde Avery have upgraded Marshall County to a “watch” level travel advisory.

Snow, sleet and freezing rain will affect the morning commute to work and school. Snow covered and icy road conditions will cause hazardous driving conditions. Temperatures will increase in the afternoon which will cause the precipitation to change to rain.

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LaPaz Residents Speak out Against Ordinance Amendment

Commercial Overlay DistrictThe Marshall County Commissioners held a public hearing Monday morning to take comments on the proposed ordinance amendment on the Commercial Overlay District.

The ordinance encompasses all of Marshall County, but some LaPaz citizens spoke out about the ordinance as they’re worried about commercial development with the overpass on U.S. 6 and the new U.S. 31.

Residents are concerned about existing businesses that were “displaced” when the new U.S. 31 was constructed. Most traffic now passes by LaPaz instead of through LaPaz and taxpayers are concerned about those establishments. Agriculture ground was also a focus of concern as commercial developments could dig into the county’s agribusiness district.

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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 hold three public hearings this morning.

Plan Director Ralph Booker will present three ordinances for public comment. An ordinance to establish a fee schedule, an amendment to the Marshall County Zoning Ordinance and an amendment to the Marshall County Zoning Map will be brought forth for comment. The ordinances have been approved by the plan commission. The public hearings are scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. ET.

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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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