Chesterton Tribune                                                                                   Adv.

Consultant agreement reached for county drainage study

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By JEFF SCHULTZ

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 departments.

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 very narrow.

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.

Further Board Appointments

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.

 

Correction on cost of Expo Center vacuums

In the article appearing in the Jan. 20, 2010 edition of the Chesterton Tribune on Wednesday, “Consultant Agreement Reached for County Drainage Study,” it was reported that Porter County Expo Manager Brian Schafer recommended the purchase two new vacuums. The report should have read the price requested for the two vacuums for the Expo Center was $3,990 from the Kem-Co company of Knox.

The Chesterton Tribune regrets the error and apologizes to Mr. Schafer for the inaccuracy.

 

 

Posted 1/20/2010 Corrected 1/22/2010

 

 

 

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