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Building Inspector Reports High Permit Purchases in 2014

Marshall County Building Inspector Chuck DeWitt gave the Marshall County Commissioners a quarterly update where he announced the number of permits beginning in August and their permit values.

“We had 35 permits totaling approximately $1.6 million, giving us almost $30 million for the year,” explained DeWitt. “We had 183 inspections during August. In September, we had 52 new permits with a value of $2.4 million which gives us a total of $32 million for the year and 326 permits. We’re probably going to be on track to have about 425 to 440 total permits which is an exceptional year.”

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Metronet Project Nearly Finished, Jail Bond Paperwork Finalized

Marshall County Attorney Jim Clevenger told the commissioners this week that the paperwork for the Metronet project is complete.

There were some endorsements and fees that were added to the paperwork that couldn’t be avoided. The conduit installation is nearly finished.

The bonds for the jail project were closed on Wednesday, Oct. 15. The lease amendment was recorded and sent to the state.

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Marshall County Highway Department Crews Busy this Summer

The Marshall County Highway Department was busy this summer with the road program.

Supervisor of County Highways Jason Peters told the commissioners Monday morning that crews were able to chip and seal 38 to 40 miles of roads this year.

“We pugged right around five-and-a-half miles, we paved a little over two-and-a-half miles. We used about 2,000 tons of milling for paving. We used about 1,500 ton of that for miscellaneous patching here and there. Roughly 1,000 to 1,500 ton we used for patching which offsets a tremendous amount of money in years to come as far as buying cold mix,” said Peters.

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Commissioners Approve and Adopt Road Vacation Ordinance

The Marshall County Commissioners held a public hearing Monday morning concerning the vacation of a portion of 3B Road between Quince and Olive Roads.

Plan Director Ralph Booker explained that the request went before the plan commission at their recent meeting. The members of the plan commission found findings of fact that the conditions have changed in order to defeat the original purpose of the road, there is a public interest to vacate the road and the value of the road will not be diminished with the vacation of the road.

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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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