In a relatively uneventful meeting Tuesday, the Porter County Board of
Commissioners approved a consulting agreement with Porter County Drainage
Board President Dave Burrus to launch efforts on the countywide
comprehensive drainage study.
“This is something that will benefit the entire county,” said Commissioner
John Evans, R-North. “This has been a matter pressing on us for some time.”
County Attorney Gwen Rinkenberger presented the agreement to the
commissioners on behalf of Plan Commission Executive Director Bob Thompson,
who was absent from Tuesday’s meeting.
The agreement calls for Burrus to serve as a consultant to negotiate and
assist with preparation of agreements between engineering consultants and
Geographic Information System providers selected by the county
commissioners. He will also prepare monthly reports to the commissioners,
coordinate the work of the engineering and GIS firms, serve as
representative for the commissioners and point of contact, and advise the
commissioners on project budgeting and funding.
According to the agreement, Burrus will be paid on an hourly basis of $75 by
the commissioners and the billable work shall not exceed more than 20 hours
per week. Burrus will work closely with the recently formed Drainage Plan
Committee consisting of representatives from various municipal and county
The commissioners asked Burrus in November to consider the consultant
position based on his years of good service as drainage board president. At
that meeting, Burrus gave his recommendations on engineering firms for the
project, DLZ and SEH, and also recommended to begin aerial photography and
topography later this spring.
In a separate matter, Porter County Highway Superintendent Al Hoagland
sought approval from the commissioners to put up a guardrail on Smoke Road
near CR 435S in Morgan Township. The Highway Department recently removed
trees along the ditch and the distance between the road and the ditch is
Hoagland said the department has rescued three cars from the ditch since the
trees were excavated. He said Smoke Road is a major north/south route and
that there may be major accidents if Smoke Road had to serve as an alternate
route for Ind. 49.
Commissioner Carole Knoblock, D-South, agreed with Hoagland, saying that the
road can be dangerous especially in the winter when snow plows are on that
stretch of road.
Hoagland said he could have the guardrails up in just a matter of weeks. The
commissioners approved Hoagland’s estimate of $156,000 for the project.
Also at the meeting, Porter County Expo Manager Brian Schafer asked for the
commissioners’ approval to purchase new equipment for the Expo Center.
Schafer recommended a bid from Kem-Co of $3,990 to pay for two new vacuums.
He said he is also looking to replace black draperies in the main room for
events and weddings which will come to about $9,500.
The commissioners made two additional appointments to county boards on
Tuesday. Harvey Nix has been selected by the commissioners’ as their
appointee to the Porter County Drainage Board.
Bill LaFever will join the commissioners’ appointees to the Property Tax
Assessment Board of Appeals. The commissioners also appointed Ed Campbell
and Lynn Ross to the PTABOA at the previous meeting.