2012-08-07 / Front Page

Owen Commissioners Approve Interlocal Agreement For Future Sewer Expansion With Spencer

$116,000 Bid For Old Owen County Home Property Is Submitted
by Michael Stanley
Staff Writer


This security fence bordering the north side parking lot of the Owen County Courthouse will be temporarily removed in the days leading up to the annual Spencer Lions Club Apple Butter Festival. The fence will be reinstalled following the weekend festival. (Staff Photo) This security fence bordering the north side parking lot of the Owen County Courthouse will be temporarily removed in the days leading up to the annual Spencer Lions Club Apple Butter Festival. The fence will be reinstalled following the weekend festival. (Staff Photo) Members of the Owen County Board of Commissioners voted 3-0 on Monday morning to enter into an interlocal agreement with the Town of Spencer for a future sewer service expansion east of town to the State Road 43 corridor.

The commissioners also agreed with recommendations from the county’s redevelopment commission to have all day-to-day management of the task force – designated to monitor the sewer expansion – be conducted by the Owen County Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Corporation.

Additionally, the board voted 3-0 to allow the redevelopment commission to process bids for the project in the future, with all final decisions to be made by the board of commissioners and members of the Spencer Town Council.


Owen County received approval from SHIPO for additional concrete work near the north entrance to the Owen County Courthouse. The additional concrete in what is now a planter area will be utilized as an outdoor patio area during community gatherings. (Staff Photo) Owen County received approval from SHIPO for additional concrete work near the north entrance to the Owen County Courthouse. The additional concrete in what is now a planter area will be utilized as an outdoor patio area during community gatherings. (Staff Photo) The board was also visited by Matt Sward from the Southern Indiana Development Commission, who received a 3-0 vote for permission to submit a request to the USDA REDLG (Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant) for a revolving loan fund on behalf of South Central Indiana REMC, which is applying for the loan on behalf of the county. The funding would be used for the sewer expansion project. If a loan is received, the total amount could be up to one million dollars with zero interest. The grant, if received, would amount to a maximum of $300,000.

Sward also informed the board that funds have been released to complete the spillway rehabilitation efforts at Lake Hollybrook. Civil Engineering Consultants and JDH Construction Contractors will collaborate on the project. The county has received $35,000 in additional grant funds, increasing the grant amount to $456,108 on behalf of the project, Lake Hollybrook took out a line of credit for the remaining $37,000 for the project, estimated to cost $363,976, and an additional $47,898 for steel and concrete adjustments, brining the grand total to $411,874.

The board voted 3-0 to approve the project contract. The project is expected to be complete by November 15, 2012. A pre-construction meeting is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, August 14, at Lake Hollybrook.

In regards to the ongoing ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) accessibility improvement project at the Owen County Courthouse, Sward has received approval from SHIPO for additional concrete work to the north entrance of the building. The work has not been quoted and has not been approved at this point.

The commissioners later opened a bid for the former Owen County Home property comparable to its asking price.

The single bid for the county home building and its 9.97 acres was submitted by Becky Brown in the amount of $116,077.77. The board voted 3-0 to take the bid under advisement until its next meeting.

A possible new income source for the Robert E. ‘Bob’ Clark Owen County Recycling Center could become a reality in the near future. The commissioners were visited by center operator Troy Denney and Owen County Health Department Environmentalist John Reeves with a request to purchase a tire splitter. The board voted 3-0 to allow Denney and Reeves to approach the county council for funding, noting that the machine should be large enough to split tires from the county highway garage and possibly tractor tires being discarded by area farmers. Reeves noted that a line item has been in place to help fund a “Tire Recycling Day” each year, but he and Denney agreed the funding would be put to better use by purchasing a machine to help bring in additional revenue.

The commissioners were later visited by Owen County Emergency Management Director Jack White regarding the ongoing, county wide burn ban. The board voted 3-0 to extend the ban until its next meeting on August 13.

In an update on county roadways, Owen County Highway Department Superintendent Joe Pettijohn told the board he is awaiting a third bid for resurfacing Johnson Road. Pettijohn also provided the board with a complete inventory of the highway department’s 1,239 road signs in the county.

Pettijohn said that chip and seal work was recently completed on Braysville Road and that crews are preparing to chip and seal a portion of Otterbein Church Road in the near future.

The board later voted 3-0 to allow Pettijohn to purchase a used pickup truck that had previously been budgeted for. The purchase amount given was $26,325.

With a request from Deb Jordan and Owen County Preservations, the board voted 3-0 to approve an event request and waive an associated fee for a River Front Festival at Cooper Commons in Spencer, August 25-26.

The commissioners were also visited by Owen County Clerk Jeff Brothers concerning contracts for Lexis Nexis and the county election board. Brothers said he must first approach the county council before any action can be taken by the board of commissioners. The commissioners were also told of the need to replace a desk in the county elections’ office. The board advised Brothers to make the purchase from his supply line item or utilize a used desk currently stored at the county armory building.

In an update from Owen County Emergency Medical Service Director Cris Lunsford, the board was informed of the recent addition of Jake Taylor to the Owen County Rescue Team. The board also voted 3-0 to allow members of EMS and the rescue team to attend a Task Force 7 training exercise at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center in Jennings County, Indiana from September 24-27. Lunsford said approximately six personnel and one ambulance would take part in the training.

In another update on the ongoing courthouse ADA project, the board was informed by county maintenance supervisor Sam Hobbs that restroom facilities will be open for the upcoming Spencer Lions Club Apple Butter Festival. He also noted that the security fence currently occupying the north parking lot will be taken down for the festival and put back into place following the two-day event.

Hobbs also informed the board of the need to replace air conditioning systems at the county highway garage and county extension office. Hobbs is currently seeking bids on the replacements. He also noted that there may be a need to replace the courthouse chiller system, citing two system failures already in the summer of 2012, most recently on Sunday evening.

Hobbs also suggested a future work session, to be attended by members of the board of commissioners, county council and Hobbs himself, to discuss future building repair projects.

The commissioners also accepted the resignation of Shelley Edwards from his post as president of the Owen County Health Board. The board will advertise the now vacant position on the county health board.

The commissioners also voted 3-0 to approve the request of a fifth draw down on the ADA project for a total amount of $30,442.50 from the state. The county’s portion of the payment is $7,150.50.

The Owen County Board of Commissioners will meet again on Monday, August 13, beginning at 4:00 p.m. in the Commissioners’ Room, located on the second floor of the Owen County Courthouse.

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