A joint session of the LaGrange County Commissioners and LaGrange County Council produced two unanimous votes Monday morning. One vote approved $280,000 for roadwork and the second vote tabled a $3,267,000 request for funding from the Michiana Event Center (MEC).
The approval of $250,000 for engineering work on CR 200N will allow for a study to be completed and plans developed for widening the road to 11 ft. lanes with a 2 ft. paved burm and flattening out the hills for 2.5 miles west of CR 450W.
The stretch of CR 200N from SR 9 to CR 450W was previously improved and repaved with special emphasis on building the road up to withstand heavy semi-traffic to Pallet One.
Highway Superintendent Jeff Brill noted that he cannot get any good numbers on the proposed new construction until the engineering study is done to determine the soil types and amounts of dirt that will need to be moved.
Commissioner George Bachman noted that he does not want to see a study done, then nothing done to complete the project. He added that this is probably the worst stretch of road in the county.
There was also a $30,000 expenditure approved for the buying of right-of-way and construction of a county ditch on the east side of SR 5 south of CR 300S.
The State of Indiana reconstructed SR 5 some time ago to include buggy lanes on both sides of the road. There is a stretch of the road where the buggy lane is cut off because of the county ditch along the roadway. This produces a safety issue that could easily result in accidents.
County Surveyor Rex Pranger will be in charge of the project and said that there are two landowners involved. One parcel is owned by a person in Benton, Iowa, and the other by two brothers in South Bend, Ind. “Local people are certainly in favor of the project but we will need to get agreement and sign-off from the actual owners for the project to move forward,” he said.
A committee has been formed to make a recommendation on the MEC request for $3,267,000 in a combination of grants and loans. Members of the committee are Fred Brown, Charles Ashcraft, Ryan Riegsecker, Larry Miller, and Keith Gillenwater. This group has met previously and will be meeting again with the charge to bring a recommendation to the joint council-commissioner group.
The joint group approved meeting again after the June 11 county council meeting for further consideration of the MEC request.