Porter County Board of Commissioners heard reports on bridge and road
maintenance at its meeting Tuesday morning.
Director of Highway Engineering Robert Thompson and County Engineer Mike
Novotney came before the Board, with Thompson saying that all Porter County
bridges have to be inspected once every two years and that a small group
need to be inspected each year. The Board approved a contract with United
Consulting, not to exceed $385,021.02, for consulting on bridge inspections
and inventory. The services will be split into phases over four years.
Board also accepted two letters of credit, presented by Novotney as part of
his engineer’s report, that act as financial guarantees for three-year
maintenance agreements on the Cherry Hill subdivision and St. Andrews
subdivision. The county will inspect the infrastructure of both subdivisions
when the three years are up, and the developers will be responsible for any
needed repairs, including crack sealing. In the meantime, the County will
continue light maintenance, such as plowing. The letters of credit were in
the amount of $109,278.48 from DeMotte State Bank for Cherry Hill; and
$84,942 from First Merchant’s Bank for St. Andrews.
other Highway Department business, the Board approved $50,000 in overtime
pay for plow drivers who handled the recent snowstorm. Highway Department
Supervisor Andy McKay also reported that his department has gone through
5,600 tons of salt. He said they are still well stocked but received
approval to buy up to 7,000 more tons, if needed.
other business, Public Safety Director Mike Brickner has uncovered an
unexpected cost associated with the switch to an 800 megahertz 911 system.
Some E911 equipment will have to be replaced to work with the new system, he
said, but that gear, including the IP logger which handles call data, was
already starting to fail and be outdated. The cost of the new equipment with
a five-year maintenance agreement will be $484,146.99 over the next five
years, done in five annual payments. County Attorney Scott McClure said that
the cost was unexpected, but the county will come up with the money for the
first payment and build the remainder into future budgets.
Additionally, Brickner’s request for an E911 maintenance agreement with
Miner Electronics for consoles and other onsite infrastructure was approved.
The contract, at $2,400 per month, will become unnecessary and be canceled
when the new 800 megahertz system goes live.
Brickner’s final request was for approval of an annual maintenance
agreement, also with Miner Electronics, for base stations, receivers, track
units, and conventional IP sites. The annual cost of that contract is
$29,787.20. It ends in November and will not be renewed after the new system