The Marshall County Highway Department has a plan they hope can better maintain roads.
During Monday’s Marshall County Commissioners meeting, Highway Department staff provided updates on this year’s road projects, including about $180-thousand spent this year that is not included in the project list. Continue reading →
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.
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.
The Marshall County Highway Department will be looking for ways to get more funding to improve roads in the county.
Supervisor of County Highways Jason Peters commented to the commissioners this week that the county has limited funds to repair county roads. He said there will be some roads that will need to wait to be repaired until next year because the funding isn’t there to provide a workable solution.
A plea deadline date was continued to Thursday, April 23 at 9 a.m. in a case involving former Marshall County Highway Superintendent Neal Haeck. A judge granted the decision on behalf of the defense in a judgment released yesterday.
A Grand Jury returned an indictment against Haeck in September of 2014 alleging theft of scrap metal from the county in 2012 and 2013. He was employed at the highway department at the time the alleged acts occurred.
A judge in a Grand Jury case involving former Marshall County Highway Superintendent Neal Haeck will determine a timeline today on whether a plea agreement hearing or trial will be scheduled. A Grand Jury returned an indictment against Haeck in September of 2014 alleging theft of scrap metal from the county while in his capacity as highway superintendent in 2012 and 2013.
The Marshall County Council discussed several additional appropriation requests at their meeting Monday morning.
The highway department had a request for a $310,000 additional appropriation for a new pug mill. Highway Superintendent Jason Peters discussed looking into a used pug mill in Missouri but decided against the purchase. Peters previously said the pug mill had been used for a different need. It was decided to go with a new pug mill for the requested amount that the council approved.
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.
Marshall County Highway Department employees continue to work to clear county roads for safer travel.
All of the roads are open but remain snow-covered and icy. Rough spots will remain an issue until temperatures reach a melting point. Salt and sand have been applied on all critical points, but officials urge you to travel with caution. Allow extra time to get to your destination.
The Marshall County Highway Department will be working toward getting a pug mill to save money on paving costs.
Supervisor of County Highways Jason Peters told the commissioners this week that they have been using Starke County’s pug mill and have patched roads with the stone, oil and sand mixture. Compared to a hot asphalt mix, having a pug mill will save the county thousands and thousands of dollars. He said the materials for other paving options are getting more expensive.
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.
The Marshall County Highway Department is ready to handle winter weather, according to Jason Peters, Supervisor of County Highways.
He commented on the status of the department in a Marshall County Safety Committee meeting this week. Peters said the highway department has a good system of when to send out workers to clear the roads of snow and ice.
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.
The Marshall County Council approved a transfer of funds to take care of the salaries for the two new positions developed at the highway department.
The positions of highway superintendent and general foreman were eliminated and the duties of those two departments were split between two new positions in the highway administration manager and the supervisor of county highways.
The Marshall County Commissioners asked Jerry Ambrose from the highway department about visibility around corn fields. Ambrose said it is becoming an issue.
“When we come up to a corner, we try and stay five feet back,” explained Ambrose. “If you can see in a normal vehicle, not in a pickup truck, that’s where we like to be. I’ve pretty much been trimming just enough so you can see just a little bit more. There are a lot of farmers who have come out and done that. We try and keep it back as much as we can.”
The Marshall County Commissioners approved new hires for two new positions at the highway department.
On Monday morning, Commissioner Deb Griewank presented the recommendations of Laurie Baker as the administration manager at the highway department and Jason Peters as the supervisor of county highways. Baker is currently working in Judge Dean Colvin’s office in superior court while Peters is serving in the capacity of interim highway superintendent.
The Marshall County Council members will meet today where several items will be discussed on the agenda.
A representative of the personnel committee will approach the council with job description changes for the highway administrative manager and the supervisor of county highways. The council members will consider additional appropriations from court services for a case work manager in the amount of $21,384. The request includes wages and benefits. The highway department is asking for an additional appropriation of $55,000 for road paint and $300,000 for vehicle maintenance. The health department is asking for $5,000 to take care of unsafe buildings.
Starke County Highway Department employees plan to mow county rights-of-way for the first time tomorrow, weather permitting. This will be the first of at least six planned mo
wing cycles this summer. Crews will mow five feet off the edge of the pavement at each road and 20 feet back at intersections in order to clear the necessary sight distance for drivers. The Starke and Marshall County Highway Departments are also coordinating their paving schedules in order to share resources. Starke County will make Marshall County’s pug asphalt, and Marshall will loan Starke County their distributor trucks and two-lane chipper box. The pug will be made in late May for paving in July.