Today's News

Jefferson Street Bridge Rehabilitation Continues

Jefferson Street bridge

Jefferson Street bridge

The repairs to the Jefferson Street Bridge in Plymouth are on schedule.

Supervisor of County Highways Jason Peters told the Marshall County Commissioners on Monday morning that work is nearly done on the west side of the bridge.

“They’re actually hoping to have that end of the bridge done by Friday. Of course it will be closed for probably a week before that end will all be said and done. Then, they’ll start on the east end. On the east end, they do have the sidewalk off. I think, in previous years, they must have actually cut a hole in the cement and filled it with cement and it actually ran down on the gas line,” Peters said.

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Marshall County Commissioners to Meet Today

The Marshall County Commissioners will hold a public hearing on a vacation of part of a road when they meet at 9:30 a.m. ET today.

A portion of roadway on 3B between Olive and Quince is being considered for vacation. A petition has been completed and sent to the landowners for approval by the plan commission. The plan commission drew up an ordinance pertaining to this property which will be up for the public hearing this morning.

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Marshall County EMA Director to Apply for Grant Request

Marshall County EMA Director Clyde Avery told the commissioners this week that the county is eligible for the Emergency Management Performance Competitive Grant, but the equipment requested in the grant may not be approved by the state.

Avery explained that he would like to reevaluate the use of the grant if the state will not approve recording equipment that Avery feels is necessary for the Emergency Operations Center.

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Marshall County Commissioners Approve 2015 Schedules

The Marshall County Commissioners approved the 2015 pay schedule and the 2015 holiday schedule.

Auditor Penny Lukenbill explained that the year is unique in that there are 27 pays for the year and budgets had to be moved around to accommodate that extra expense. The pay schedule begins Jan. 2.

The holiday schedule was also approved in which the county offices will be closed on Jan. 1, Jan. 19, Apr. 3, May 5, May 25, July 3, Sept. 7, Nov. 3, Nov. 11, Nov 26, Nov. 27, Dec. 24, Dec. 25. Lukenbill stated that the county will follow the state’s holiday schedule.

Marshall County Commissioners Receive Update on Projects

The Marshall County commissioners received an update on the 7th Road project and the Metronet project Monday morning.

USI Consultant’s Bart Trester is the project manager and said the 7th Road project is moving along.

“The contractor has begun the soil stabilization of the sub-grade and should finish from Linden Trail to Seltenright Ditch by the end of the week. This will actually allow them to put in under drains and hopefully begin paving toward the end of the week. They won’t put surface down this year. Traffic has been running on a temporary lane allowing the contractor to construct phase two of the roundabout on Michigan Road. Traffic will be switched to phase three at the end of this week or early next week. They will be running through the center of the roundabout at this time allowing them to construct phase three which is the east side up to Zimmer Ditch,” said Trester.

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Speed Limit Changes Approved for Two Roads in Marshall County

The Marshall County Commissioners approved two speed limit ordinance amendments on second and final readings Monday morning.

Lincoln Highway West in Plymouth from the city limits to Pioneer Drive will be reduced to 45 mph. Safety was the driving force behind the change. The same idea was behind the reduction of the speed limit on 3B Road between Birch and Beech Roads.

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Jefferson Street Bridge in Plymouth to Close Thursday

Jefferson Street bridge

Jefferson Street bridge

The Jefferson Street bridge in Plymouth will be closing beginning Thursday.

Michael Obergfell from USI Consultants told the Marshall County commissioners Monday morning that the concrete slabs by the bridge are not stable and the sidewalk is not reinforced. The bridge was rehabilitated in 1986 but a storm sewer line is leaking and may be causing stability issues.

Obergfell suggested that the commissioners close the bridge so crews can immediately fix the issue.

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Marshall County Commissioners to Meet Today

The Marshall County commissioners will meet today with a host of items to discuss.

Bart Trester of USI will provide the commissioners with an update on the 7th Road project and the Metronet project. The Metronet project is ahead of schedule while the 7th Road project continues. An update on the Jefferson Street bridge will also be provided by a USI representative.

Ward Byers from Court Services will be before the board for approval of an employment contract and Stacy Richer will have a request to vacate a street on county-owned property.

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Public Testing of Voting Machines Set for Friday in Marshall County

The Marshall County Election Board will be conducting a public test of voting machines prior to the General Election.

The test will be Friday, Sept. 26 at 9 a.m. in the Marshall County Clerk’s Office. The purpose of the test is to count ballot cards and to tabulate machine votes cast for all candidates. This is to ensure that the machines will correctly count the votes cast for all candidates and on all public questions.

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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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