Chesterton Tribune



Porter County Commissioners approve bridge inspection contract

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The 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.

The 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.

In 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.


In 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system, he said, but that gear, including the IP logger which handles call data, was already starting to fail and be outdated.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 goes live.



Posted 2/15/2018





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