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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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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